What We Do

The Day: Thin excuses for keeping the public in the dark

From the Day, New London

At a Jan. 3 proceeding conducted by a Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission hearing officer, an attorney for the Connecticut Port Authority was pressed as to why the authority had waited nearly five months — until the day of the hearing — to hand over documents requested by The Day and columnist David Collins.
“My dog ate it,” testified the attorney. (Read More)

Wielding FOI Act, columnist Collins made his mark – The Day, New London

By Brian Hallenback

For David Collins, The Day’s columnist, 2022 was a typically impactful year.

He weighed in on the Connecticut Port Authority’s role in transforming State Pier in New London, a candidate’s exclusion from an election-season debate and plans to locate a data center in Groton, raze a historic Mystic home and convert the former Mystic Oral School. (Read More)


Join Us Oct. 18 for CCFOI’s Annual Luncheon

The Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information’s annual luncheon is a great celebration of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act and people who’ve worked to preserve the public’s right to know.

The honorees include The Day columnist Dave Collins; state Rep. Cristin McCarthy-Vahey; Yale’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic; and Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission Managing Director Mary Schwind and Management Analyst Cindy Cannata. We will also be honoring David Fink as a champion of open government for his work with the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government.

This year’s luncheon will be at noon on Oct. 18 at the Pond House, Elizabeth Park in Hartford. Tickets are $50 per person. Tickets are sold at the door, but we ask that you RSVP ahead of time so we can get a head count. You can respond to Mike Savino at 860-324-5768 or to Treasurer Jacqueline Smith at jacqueline.wordsmith@gmail.com or 203-540-7305.

Adventures In ‘Open’ Government: Derby Needs A FOI Refresher – Valley Independent Sentinel

By Eugene Driscoll

DERBY — Derby government needs to take a refresher course about the Freedom of Information Act.

The city also needs to come up with a simple written policy that gives guidance to employees who receive information requests from the public.

They need to do this not because I say so. They need to do this because they promised to do this three years ago.

It is time for Derby government to live up to its word. (Read More)

Old Saybrook appeals state order to release former cop’s exit interview – New Haven Register

By Meghan Friedmann

A state order for the disclosure of an Old Saybrook police officer’s exit interview is facing a legal challenge.
The Old Saybrook Police Department has filed a complaint in New Britain Superior Court appealing a Freedom of Information Commission decision to require disclosure of the exit interview.
Releasing the document would constitute an invasion of Chief of Police Michael Spera’s personal privacy and is not in the public interest, the OSPD argues in the Aug. 9 complaint. (Read More)

Old Saybrook Police Withhold Patrolman’s Exit Interview, Citing ‘Personal Privacy’ of Chief – Connecticut Examiner


By Emilia Otte

OLD SAYBROOK — The state Freedom of Information Commission last week ordered the town’s police department to release the exit interview of former Old Saybrook Patrolman Justin Hanna, but the department has so far declined to release the document. (Read More)

State police findings demand greater transparency – New Haven Register

From the New Haven Register

Failing to investigate crimes. Driving while intoxicated. Improper searches. Violating protective orders.

These are a few of the misdeeds, some of them criminal in nature, that Connecticut State Police officers have been found to have taken part in over recent years. Most of the complaints, however, had long been hidden from public view. Thanks to reforms that have allowed for greater transparency, those complaints are now available to the public. (Read More)

Hearst CT investigation: Troopers accused of wrongdoing — including crimes — almost 900 times in 6 years, records show – Connecticut Post

By Bill Cummings

In recent years, records detailing alleged misconduct by officers of the Connecticut State Police – the state’s largest law enforcement agency – were largely shielded from public view.

But reforms allowing for greater transparency reveal hundreds of cases of alleged wrongdoing by troopers over the past several years, including dozens of allegations the department considers to be potentially criminal in nature.

(Read More)

Judge tosses lawsuit about comment on Facebook – Waterbury Republican-American


By Bruno Matarazzo Jr.

Like most Facebook discussions involving politics, it descended quickly into name calling. Unlike most Facebook posts, it ended with a lawsuit.

Nine days after the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day in 2020, the first selectmen in Southbury and Middlebury and the school district superintendent issued a joint message calling for unity and creating a climate of “respect and value.”

More than 300 comments later, there were accusations of racism from both sides and in one lengthy exchange, one person called another commenter, Sean Murphy, a white supremacist and racist.(Read More)