I’ve been denied access to government documents on and off for 20 years.
Sometimes it’s justified. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it depends on who you ask. Sometimes I think it’s unjustified and I’m later proven wrong. Sometimes the Danbury mayor walks in, yells at someone, and you suddenly get what was being wrongfully denied.
It’s part of being a local reporter.
Since it is Sunshine Week — a week to celebrate the public’s right to know — I’m relaying an experience I had with Derby’s building official Thursday morning.
A Derby police officer who resigned earlier this year after allegedly attacking his girlfriend had been the subject of seven previous disciplinary actions, including one incident that saw him suspended for 45 days.
A hearing officer with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission determined the Derby Police Department and the City of Derby violated state open government laws by refusing to release an internal affairs report because the subject of the investigation objected.
The hearing officer’s report will now be the subject of a disposition hearing in front of the full Freedom of Information Commission at 2 p.m. Oct. 10 in Hartford. If the hearing officer’s report is accepted, the city must release the report.