(June 29, 2017) Yesterday, Connecticut's Freedom of Information Commission accepted all of the recommendations made earlier this month, finding in favor of CSMS' Freedom of Information Act request to the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID).
"[CID] Commissioner [Katharine] Wade, acting in part through her deputy commissioners, is the official directly responsible for denying the complainant its right of prompt access to non-exempt public records.
It is found that the exemptions claimed by Commissioner Wade were almost entirely without merit, and it also found that the Commissioner's refusal to submit records for in camera inspection and to provide an index of exempt records demonstrates an unreasonable attempt to avoid a long established process of determining whether a public record is subject to disclosure." (emphasis added)
The Commission also accepted the recommendation of a civil fine for Commissioner Wade. Although the fine was reduced from $1,000 to $500 (on the grounds that she had followed the advice of her legal counsel), the imposition of a civil fine in any amount is a rare occurrence, and reserved for instances of significant misconduct. This is a significant victory for Connecticut physicians and patients, as well as for insurance market transparency.
Special thanks to attorney Simon Allentuch of Neubert, Pepe and Monteith, P.C. for his support and assistance in this matter.