FOI Lawyer: Newtown Broke Law By Withholding Sandy Hook 911 CallsSubmitted by Swifty on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 15:39
The Hartford Courant ~ By Matthew Kauffman
Newtown officials violated state law when they refused to release tapes of 911 calls made during the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a Freedom of Information Commission lawyer has ruled in a preliminary report that chastised both Newtown police and state prosecutors.
Kathleen K. Ross, a hearing officer with the commission, said Newtown police offered little evidence supporting their contention that the tapes were exempt from release under the state's Freedom of Information laws. Instead, she wrote, the police department merely deferred to state prosecutors, who instructed Newtown to withhold the tapes because they related to an ongoing investigation.
Ross wrote that it is settled law in Connecticut that an ongoing investigation is not by itself sufficient grounds to deny access to public records — and particularly 911 tapes.