FOI COMMISSION UPHOLDS CONFIDENTIALITY OF ELM CITY RESIDENT CARD APPLICANT INFORMATION
(6/25/2008) NEW HAVEN- After months of hearings, the State’s Freedom of Information Commission issued a proposed ruling on a complaint by Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer and the Community Watchdog Project that asked the City of New Haven to disclose records of applicants of the Elm City Resident Card Program. The Commission found that the City met its burden of proof that the records requested by the complainants are permissively exempt from mandatory disclosure and that the City does not violate the FOI Act by refusing to disclose Elm City Resident Card records. In its findings, the Commission confirmed that the release of these records would pose a direct safety risk to individuals whose information would be revealed.
“I’d like to thank the FOI Commission for recognizing the safety threat that would be posed by releasing the information of individuals involved,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “That said, it’s time for America to come together around a consensus on immigration policy. It’s in the nation’s and the immigrants’ interest to do so.”
The City presented overwhelming evidence, including hate mail and e-mails, to protect the personal information of card-holders. “We met the burden of proof and look forward to moving past this so that we can continue to grow this successful program,” said Kica Matos, Community Service Administrator. “New Haven residents should feel comfortable coming down to City Hall to apply for their Elm City Resident Card with the confidence that their information will be kept safe and secure.”
The City and the complainants will each be given a final opportunity to present 10 minutes of testimony before the full Commission on July 9.
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