By SHERIDAN CYR
The State of Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission approved the report of the hearing officer as-written, and that marked the end of the state’s investigation into a complaint filed on Aug. 7, 2017 by former Board of Finance member and local Democrat John Moise against the Southington Town Council.
The hearing officer’s report recommended that the case be dismissed.
The complaint charged that a caucus of four Republican councilors became an “illegal” meeting when a Democratic councilor was called via telephone to join in for a portion of the discussion. It is not illegal for members of a party to meet, but it becomes an issue when other party members are selectively included.
The case was contested on Oct. 18 with both parties present, at which time the hearing officer gathered testimonies from both sides. She produced an official recommendation to the FOI Commission on Jan. 11, including references to the Connecticut General Statutes to accommodate her decision.
At a regular bi-weekly meeting, the commission goes through an agenda of cases and either accepts or denies the Hearing Officer’s recommendation. Both parties have the opportunity to speak if they choose.
In this particular case, neither party attended the FOI Commission meeting to contest the recommendation for dismissal, so the commission accepted it as-written.
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