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Friday, September 05, 2003

The Hour Withdraws its FOI Complaint against Landon, Board of Education

The Hour of Norwalk said today it is withdrawing its Freedom of Information (FOI) complaint against Schools Supt. Elliott Landon and the Board of Education over its request for e-mail correspondence.

The newspaper, which filed the complaint Aug. 11 over the controversial school start times issue, notified the FOI Commission in Hartford of its desire to withdraw the complaint by letter. (See WestportNow Aug. 12, 2003).

We have received the information that we had requested and a second request filed for school board e-mails was fulfilled in a more prompt manner,Ӕ said the letter, signed by James Dean, the newspapers editor, and Jennifer Connic, its Westport reporter.

The letter, which was made available to WestportNow, said school officials had established a system for the public to review future e-mails subject to public inspection.

Connecticut’s FOI law provides any communication to a quorum of a public agency is subject to such scrutiny. WestportҒs Representative Town Meeting (RTM) has long had a system in place whereby copies of such e-mails are available in the town clerks office.

ғWe believe the steps the school board has taken will make it easier for future requests for public e-mails to be fulfilled much more promptly than was our experience in July, The Hour journalists said.

Landon did not respond to a request to comment.

The schools superintendent turned over the requested e-mails to the newspaper shortly after receiving a copy of its Aug. 11 complaint. Landon told The Hour at the time that he regretted it did not feel its request was being acted upon in a prompt fashion.

The newspaper said at the time that belated distribution of the e-mails did not make its complaint moot. In its Aug. 11 letter to the commission, The Hour had also asked the commission to rule if school officials had acted promptly under the law.

That request apparently was withdrawn as well by today’s letter.

Editor’s Note: The editor of WestportNow also serves as moderator of the RTM.

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Posted 09/05/03 at 05:20 PM  Permalink



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