FOIA

Privacy
10:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

State Supreme Court: Arbitrators Outside Freedom of Information law

Connecticut Supreme Court in a WNPR file photo.
Diane Orson WNPR

The state Supreme Court has ruled that arbitrators are not covered by the state's Freedom of Information laws, denying the public's right to know what evidence is presented in arbitration hearings between teacher unions and school boards.

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Freedom of Information
2:53 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Hartford Stadium Gathering May Have Violated State Public Meeting Laws

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Officials from the city of Hartford held a meeting Thursday to discuss proposals to build a new baseball stadium. That gathering, however, appears to have violated the state's laws governing public meetings. 

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Victim Privacy
3:18 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

East Haven Mayor's Release of Harassment Complaint Upsets Accuser

Credit filmfoto/iStock / Thinkstock

The East Haven town employee who alleges that Mayor Joseph Maturo sexually harassed her at work was shocked to learn that her name was released to the media this week by the mayor’s office, according to her attorney. It’s unusual for these kinds of complaints to be released.

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Border Patrol
8:25 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Border Agency Chief Opens Up About Deadly Force Cases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske sits under an image of New York's Ground Zero in his office in Washington. For him, it serves as a daily reminder of the security threats that have shaped his agency.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 4:18 pm

The new commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he is reviewing scores of incidents in which agents have used deadly force.

R. Gil Kerlikowske made that statement during an exclusive interview with NPR's Morning Edition. It was his first extended conversation about controversial incidents in which the Border Patrol has killed civilians without apparent accountability. (Click here for a full transcript of the interview.)

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Cost of Clinton; Political Swiping; FOI Hit Again

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to students at UConn earlier this year.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

We learned that it cost $250,000 to bring Hillary Clinton to speak at UConn earlier this year. As the cost of higher education continues to soar, there are lots of questions being raised about this speaking fee. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses this story, and we check in on the race for governor as candidates start buying air time for those omnipresent campaign commercials. Also this week, the Connecticut Supreme Court took another swipe at Freedom of Information laws.

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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Playing Ball
9:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hartford State Senator Opposes New Rock Cats Stadium

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

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Freedom of Information
4:24 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Report: Hamden Police Records Still Not Available

Credit DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Seven of eight Connecticut police departments that three newspapers say refused to release documents required by state law have improved their access to arrest information. 

The New Haven Register reported that the Hamden Police Department's arrest log was not available. Police Chief Thomas Wydra said he would look into it.

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Freedom of Information
4:33 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

FOI Advocates Pleased With Legislature's Lack of Action

Jim Smith, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Efforts to change the state's laws regarding access to public information have apparently stalled. That comes as good news to those who advocate for freedom of information. 

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Legislative Session
10:13 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Newspapers, Municipalities Still Divided Over Legal Notices

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The state's daily newspapers, and its towns and cities, remain divided over how to change the state’s laws on printed legal notices.

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Energy
10:59 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Environmental Group Challenges New England's Energy Policy Coordination

Credit Daniel Oines / Creative Commons

An environmental advocacy group is challenging how energy policy is coordinated by New England's six governors. The Conservation Law Foundation has submitted public records requests to the region's six states.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Checking In With Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey

Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today, conversations with Connecticut’s top two lawmakers - Senate President Don Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey - about two big issues: Freedom of Information and taxes.

Williams has announced his retirement after 20 years in the legislature after this session ends. We talk about his tenure, which included the aftermath of the scandal that sent Governor John Rowland to jail. And about his testimony over proposed legislation that would limit access to public records.

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FOIA Compliance
4:20 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Police Departments Withhold Public Information

Credit DavidsonScott15 / Creative Commons

Five municipal police departments in Connecticut and one state police troop failed to follow Freedom of Information law by refusing to release basic information upon request.

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Privacy
4:01 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Still Has Limited Access to Records

Dr. Hank Schwartz, member of Gov. Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, The New Yorker published an article by Andrew Solomon featuring an extended interview with Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

A member of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission said the interview does provide more information on the killer's medical and psychological background, but the commission has had limited access to other information while putting together its report.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

The Wheelhouse Talks FOI, Peter Lanza, and Daylight Saving Time

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings you news from the capitol and across the state.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been a busy week in the news. In 2014 campaign news, the number of Republican candidates for governor went from six to five and then right back up to six. At the state capitol, lawmakers held two public hearings at the same time, both of which ironically had to do with Freedom of Information legislation.

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Wake of Newtown
5:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Legislation to Restrict Public Information After Sandy Hook

State Sen. Eric Coleman chairing the Judiciary Committee hearing.
Credit CT-N

Two legislative committees met at the same time on Monday to discuss two very similar bills that would limit access to public documents. The bills are part of the state's response to the 2012 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

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Connecticut Legislature
1:15 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Government Administration and Elections Committee Meets to Weigh Recommendations

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Connecticut legislature's Government Administration and Elections Committee met Monday to discuss an act that would implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know. 

Some legislators acknowledged they're struggling over whether to support the proposed legislation, which would limit public access to 911 audio tapes, additional types of crime scene photos, and law enforcement audio recordings.

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Connecticut Legislature
1:03 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Judiciary Committee Meets, Considers Privacy Task Force Recommendations

State Sen. Eric Coleman.
Credit CT-N
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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:36 am
Mon March 10, 2014

The Scramble: Losing at Jeopardy, Finding Lost Dogs, and Winning Back Lost Freedom of Information

Credit Shawn M. Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

Amanda Hess is one of our favorite social critics. She writes for Slate and lately, well always, she's thinking about the depiction of women in mass media, including a statistical disparity between the performances of men and women on Jeopardy

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Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

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Freedom of Information
1:10 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Victim Privacy Task Force Meets to Discuss Final Report

James Smith, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.
Credit CT-N

The state's Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know met on Friday to consider approval of its final report, which passed by a 15-2 vote and now heads to the General Assembly.

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Wake of Newtown
3:17 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Commission Speaking With Representative of Lanza's Family

Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden, is chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

The head of the governor's commission studying the Newtown shootings said he is direct contact with the family of gunman Adam Lanza. 

The commission that met Friday is hoping to learn more about Lanza's medical history.

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Government Transparency
3:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Progress, But More Work Needed on Statewide Transparency Efforts

Kevin Lembo is the State Comptroller.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been one month since State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced the expansion of Open Connecticut -- an online source for state finances -- to include financial information for Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies and federal programs.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Understanding Connecticut's Quasi-Public Agencies

State Comptroller talks about quasi-public agencies on <em>Where We Live</em>.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Established in 1965, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has earned its title as the oldest quasi-public agency in our state. Now, it’s one of eleven quasi-public entities in Connecticut, agencies like Connecticut Innovations, Inc.; the Connecticut Development Authority; the Connecticut Lottery Corporation; and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority -- to name a few. 

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Sandy Hook Investigation
2:15 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Newtown State Police Investigation Actually Concluded In September

Credit State of Connecticut

The state police have released the results of their investigation into last year's Newtown shootings. But some remain critical of how long it took them to do so.

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Newtown Investigation
3:14 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

What Does State Police Newtown Report Reveal About Lanza's Medical History?

Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, in Newtown on December 14, 2012.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Last month, the state prosecutor who investigated the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown released his much-awaited report.

Now, the state police have released a report of their own into the shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead. Officials said they are redacting the state police file, which is several thousand pages long.

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Year In Review
2:53 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

What Was the Top Story of 2013?

How will you remember 2013?
Credit WNPR

What is your top story from 2013? We wrapped up the year on WNPR's news roundtable The Wheelhouse by asking this question. The following are some of your picks for story of the year as well as some other notable events up to this point.

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Freedom of Information
2:51 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Task Force on Privacy and the Public's Right to Know Meets, Votes on Recommendations

Garvin Ambrose, State Victim Advocate, addresses the task force Tuesday morning.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut's Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know met for most of the day on Tuesday to piece together recommendations for the General Assembly in advance of a January 1 deadline. 

The task force voted 14-3 on a recommendation to allow the public to privately review certain crime scene photos, 911 audio tapes, and other information related to homicides in Connecticut. 

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Sandy Hook Investigation
6:24 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Task Force Tries to Balance Victim Privacy and Public Information

Don DeCesare, the panel's co-chair.
Credit CT-N

A state task force met today as it works to find ways to balance victim privacy with freedom of information laws. But consensus is still hard to come by.

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