The Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information had reason to celebrate at its annual meeting this month. It is the 60th anniversary of the group’s founding by Connecticut journalists seeking to protect the public’s right to know, a right not always appreciated or understood by the public, or by some public servants at every level of government who prefer to perform many of their functions away from the prying eyes of the taxpayer.
Also this year the group campaigned successfully to restore access to police arrest records lost in a state Supreme Court decision. Recognizing police could use the decision to keep the public in the dark about the circumstances surrounding arrests, the court itself recommended that the legislature explore remedial action.
This the legislature did, over the initial opposition of Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane. He eventually negotiated a compromise with Colleen Murphy, executive director of the state’s Freedom of Information Commission and her staff, and James Smith, president of the CCFOI. CCFOI cited the efforts of Rep. Ed Jutila of East Lyme for his fine work in shepherding the bill [Read More]