Bethel developers win Freedom of Information case against town over denial of unedited meeting video – Danbury News Times

By Kendra Baker

BETHEL — The Freedom of Information Commission has found the town in violation of public records laws over its refusal to provide public access to unedited video from a meeting from last year.

The February ruling by the state FOI Commission stemmed from a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on March 8, 2022, during which a microphone was left on during a recess and picked up Town Planner Beth Cavagna making what the FOI Commission described as “negative comments” about Bethel resident and developer Tim Draper. Cavagna and Town Counsel Martin Lawlor declined to comment to Hearst Connecticut Media. (Read More)

Appellate Court: Yale Police Not Required to Turn Over Recordings of ‘Uncorroborated Allegations of a Crime’ –

By Allison Dunn

The Connecticut Appellate Court upheld an administrative appeal that concluded the Yale University Police Department properly denied a student’s request to access certain body camera recordings created when officers were responding to “an uncorroborated allegation of a crime.” (Read More)

Charges dismissed against firefighter over accident scene photos – Connecticut Inside Investigator

By Marc E. Fitch

A public information officer for the Chesterfield Fire Company in Montville who was arrested after posting photographs of a vehicle accident scene in 2021 had his charges dismissed by Superior Court Judge Arthur C. Hadden.
“This case should never have been brought,” said Mario Cerame, a free speech attorney with the firm Brignole, Bush and Lewis, LLC, who represented Chesterfield Fire Company’s Public Information Officer Steven Frischling. “This two-year fight was an epic waste of taxpayer dollars and Court resources.” (Read More)

Town sets open meeting training, not revealed to public – Westport Journal

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — The Board of Selectwomen and the Town Attorney’s Office will hold Freedom of Information Act training for town staff, board and commission members Thursday.

The sessions, at 3 and 7 p.m., in the Town Hall auditorium, weren’t publicly noticed or listed on the town’s calendar. (Read More)

Committee Approves Bill With Steep Penalties for FOI Violations – CT News Junkie

By Staff Report

Lawmakers advanced five bills Friday out of committee revising the state’s Freedom of Information Act, including one that seeks to improve enforcement by increasing the maximum fine allowed for denial of public records requests from $1,000 to $10,000. (Read More)

Connecticut Hearst papers: Open government laws need enforcement – New Haven Register


The penalties for violating Connecticut’s Freedom of Information laws are far too lenient. They hardly amount to a disincentive, and are in no way a cure for those who flout the statutes.
The General Assembly may be looking to change that. (Read More)

Lawmakers eye higher fines, new enforcement tools, more staff for FOI agency – New Haven Register

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Connecticut’s open records laws may soon get its first overhaul in nearly 40 years.
A key legislative committee is proposing to sharply increase the penalties government agencies face for violating public records regulations and require municipal and state agencies to post information online about their track record of releasing public records. (Read More)

FOI is under attack in Connecticut as never before – Connecticut Post

By Michele Jacklin

In 1975, with the unyielding insistence of then-Gov. Ella T. Grasso, Connecticut lawmakers enacted a groundbreaking freedom of information law, opening up previously secretive state and local governmental operations and providing citizens with seemingly unfettered access to troves of information.
Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was considered so important and worthy of emulation that other states and nations around the world sought to adopt many of its facets. (Read More)

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)