Monday, February 16, 2015

Legislature Considers Rolling Back Court Decision on Police Disclosure

By Hugh McQuaid
CT News Junkie
Lawmakers will hear public testimony Friday (Feb. 13)on a bill to reverse a 2014 state Supreme Court ruling, which limited the information police must release to the public before a criminal case is resolved.
In July, the court ruled in favor of the State Police and against the Freedom of Information Commission in its interpretation of existing law. The court said the law requires police to provide only cursory details about an arrest, such as the name of the person arrested, the charges, and where and when the arrest occurred. In addition, police can choose to release either a press release on the arrest or disclose some sort of report.
The court said the legislature should clarify the law.

Read the full story here.

Read the text of the bill here

Read the New Haven Register's Feb. 13 testimony here

Check out here a follow-up to the hearing by the Hartford Courant's Jon Lender. 

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Haven Register seeks amount of Ebola case settlement

The New Haven Register on Friday, Jan. 30 filed a complaint with the state Freedom of Information Commission, in an effort to obtain the amount of a settlement paid to the family of a Milford student who was barred from school over Ebola fears.
Stephen Opayemi had filed a federal lawsuit against Milford Public Schools and the city of Milford on behalf of his 7-year-old daughter after she was barred from school following a trip to Nigeria.
In October, the family and school officials announced a settlement had been reached, but they declined to comment on the terms.
The Register had submitted a formal Freedom of Information request asking whether Milford or its insurance carrier paid out any money to settle the case, and if so, how much. The Register asked to be provided with access to, or a copy of, any settlement document which answers this question.
In refusing the request, attorneys representing Milford and the school board indicated the parents of the minor do not consent to the disclosure, and the Federal Educational and Privacy Act may apply to prohibit such disclosure.
The Register asserts the public has a right to know the amount of a settlement against a municipality, whether it was funded directly by taxpayer money, or by an insurance settlement in which coverage is paid for by taxpayers.
The Freedom of Information Commission will schedule a hearing on the matter in the coming weeks.

Read some of the Register's coverage of the case here

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