FOI Commission orders Stonington to release Haberek harassment complaint

Stonington — By a 4-2 vote this afternoon, the state Freedom of Information Commission ordered the town to release a harassment complaint filed against First Selectman Ed Haberek by former Human Services Department employee Alicia O’Neill.

The Day had asked for the complaint last August but the town refused to release it, prompting the newspaper to file an appeal with the commission.

The commission also reversed a portion of the recommended decision by hearing officer Victor Perpetua, saying the town does not have to release a file containing some information relating to the case because The Day had not requested the file.

After the vote, Town Attorney Thomas Londregan said that once the town receives official notice of the decision he will discuss it with the Board of Selectmen. The town has the option of not releasing the document and appealing the decision in court.

During this afternoon’s commission meeting, Londregan argued that releasing the complaint would stop other employees from filing confidential complaints about town officials because they could some day become public. The Day argued there was an overriding public interest in releasing the complaint.

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