• School Board Puts ‘Hold’ On Disclosed Information Discussion

    After deciding to refer two pieces of disclosed board communications to the local Board of Ethics for review and filing an appeal with the Freedom of Information Commission, the Board of Education voted at its November 17 meeting to delay its conversations on the topic until further information is gathered.

    Board members have discussed at multiple meetings an e-mail and a screenshot of a text message recently shared on social media.

  • Getting FOI Right

    There is a certain irony to the controversy that blew up on social media in the final days of this year’s local election campaign over the leak of confidential digital communications of the Board of Education. A school board member eventually identified himself as the source of the leak in the face of a pending investigation of the breach by the school board.

  • Tip Of A Dangerous Iceberg

    To the Editor:

    For any of us who have served as elected officials, there have been times when we have borne witness to things that might call to question whether there is a public need to know that outweighs procedural protocols and safeguards. In the years of my service as an elected official, I sometimes found myself conflicted and sought guidance from Hartford and others with expertise in the applications of policy and procedure.

  • Local Officials Still Don’t Get FOI

    To the Editor:

    On Tuesday October 27th a meeting notice was posted on the Newtown web site and also distributed by email to residents. The email posted an agenda for a Board of Selectman special meeting to be held on October 28th at 7 pm. The agenda was: Executive Session – Legal Pending Litigation. The agenda was signed E. Patricia Llodra.

  • Freedman Admits To Leaking Board Of Education E-mail To ‘Expose Wrongdoing’

    After the Board of Education voted Monday, October 26, to hire an investigator to look into recently leaked communications, member David Freedman announced Tuesday, October 27, that he released one of the leaked communications.

    An intraboard e-mail and a text message were released in recent weeks through social media and shared by nonboard members. The information shared in the communications pertained to then-upcoming board discussions, an executive session, and dialogue with the board’s attorney.

  • State Police Ordered To Release Documents In School Shooting Probe

    HARTFORD (AP) — The state Freedom of Information Commission has ruled that Connecticut State Police must release personal documents seized from the Sandy Hook School shooter’s home during the investigation of 12/14.

    The agency ruled Wednesday, May 13, in favor of The Hartford Courant. Efforts by The Courant to obtain the documents since January 2014 had been blocked by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

  • Time For A Leadership Change On Commission On Aging

    To the Editor:

  • Failing An FOI Pop Quiz

    Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act has been on the books for nearly 40 years. A couple of generations of public servants have been operating under its provisions. Yet after decades of illumination by the state’s Sunshine Laws, our elected and appointed representatives in government continue to wander into the shadows, where they stumble over provisions of the act that should be well known to everyone by now.

  • State Senate Leader Opposes Privacy Bill As Affront To FOI

    Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr. testifying against a bill that he says would erode the Freedom of Information Act.

    In testimony delivered in quick succession Monday to two legislative committees, Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, strongly condemned post-Newtown legislation that would restrict public access to 9-1-1 recordings, police photographs and names of witnesses in drug or violent crimes.

  • Connecticut Supreme Court To Hear Police Reports Case

    HARTFORD (AP) — The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether police in Connecticut can withhold arrest reports from the public and just issue press releases instead, while prosecutions are pending.

    Journalists are calling the case critical for reporters being able to get arrest reports quickly, and for the public’s right to know how their police departments operate. Justices are set to hear the case Thursday.