Proposed FOI ruling would force Stonington to release original operations report

Stonington — Ten months after The Day filed an appeal, a state Freedom of Information officer has found that the town violated state law by refusing to release a consultant’s report on town operations to the newspaper.

Hearing Officer Valicia Dee Harmon found that the town’s reasons for refusing to release the report, which it claimed was a draft and thus exempt from disclosure, were “evolving, inconsistent and not credible” and also did not meet the legal standards for nondisclosure.

She also found the town removed some of the consultant’s opinions on how the town operates before releasing a version to the public.

The Freedom of Information Commission has scheduled a Feb. 14 meeting in Hartford, at which time it will vote whether to adopt Harmon’s recommendations and order the town to release the original report to The Day.

First Selectman Rob Simmons said Tuesday night that the town had received Harmon’s proposed ruling and is in the process of deliberating its next step. Read more…