Friday, January 10, 2014

New Haven city clerk issues, retracts order squashing document release

By Rachel Chinapen
New Haven Register
NEW HAVEN >> In his first full week on the job, City Clerk Michael Smart issued several memos, originally prohibiting his staff from releasing public documents without his approval, and, by the fourth memo, reversing that and clarifying that documents would be released as normal, but that he would be the only voice of the office.
In a memo dated Thursday, Smart wrote, “Press/Media inquiry request for interviews, documents etc., but not limited to inquiries from other individuals /representatives of any entity are to be directed to the City Town Clerk, who will give office staff a directive on how to proceed.”
In the memo, he added he will “always be accessible” and if he isn’t “directly” accessible, he can be reached on his cellphone or by email.

Read the full story here.

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Connecticut FOI Commission, law enforcement at odds over access to info

By Luther Turmelle
New Haven Register
HARTFORD >> An attorney representing the state’s Freedom of Information Commission told state Supreme Court justices Thursday that giving law enforcement officials sole discretion on what information to release from arrest reports would be a bad idea and a radical departure from current practices.
Victor Perpetua said the commission has served an effective role over the past 35 years in balancing the public’s need to know against information that needs to be withheld in order to ensure the effective operation of the judicial system. Perpetua made his arguments before the state high court in a case that focuses on whether police can withhold arrest reports from the public and, while prosecutions are pending, simply issue press releases instead.

Read more in the New Haven Register here.

Check out coverage in other Connecticut media outlets on the Supreme Court hearing too!

In the Valley Independent Sentinel here.

In the New London Day here.

In the Waterbury Republican American here.

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