Tuesday, March 20, 2012

FOI Commission considering case involving Derby employee

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission is considering a complaint by the New Haven Register against the city of Derby.
A hearing on the case took place in Hartford on Feb. 7, and a hearing officer will issue a proposed final decision in the coming weeks. The full commission will then review it.
The Register requested documents in August 2011 regarding disciplinary action taken against city public works employee Shaun Wheeler, for allegedly providing free paint striping at a business, Raro Motor Car LLC, in which the principal of the company is a Derby police officer and chairman of the Derby Parking Authority, John Dorosh.
Wheeler was given a one day unpaid suspension, and agreed to compensate the city $37 for the use of the paint.
In an email to the Register dated October 6, 2011, Derby Corporation Counsel Joseph Coppola refused to release the record, citing Wheeler’s objection. Coppola further indicated, “Based on the circumstances the information you seek is ‘highly offensive to a reasonable person.’”
The Register filed a formal complaint against Derby on Oct. 6, 2011, asserting that the public has a right to know information about a city employee’s discipline, and this is a legitimate matter of public concern.
Read stories from the New Haven Register that ran on Aug. 31, 2011 and Sept. 2, 2011, here and here.

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