Friday, October 06, 2006


Breaking News

The Cool Justice Report
Oct. 6, 2006

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is available for reprint or citation courtesy of The Cool Justice Report,

The Waterbury Police Department has delivered 17 documents connected with the Smolinski Missing Person Love Triangle case to the state Freedom of Information Commission offices in Hartford. The amount of pages contained in each document is not known.

The documents, numbered 001 through 017, are each described in an index only as "Entire Document."

A staff member for the FOI Commission said the case file and index were delivered this week.

FOI attorney Mary Schwind, who conducted a hearing Sept. 26, will determine what records can be released to the public. Schwind's recommendation will be presented to the entire FOI Commission for a vote.

Smolinski, 33, has been missing for more than two years. Foul play is suspected. Smolinski's family complained police did not initially take them seriously and failed to perform basic investigative tasks in a timely manner. Central to the case is a love triangle involving a bus driver and a politician who recently resigned from office.

The Sept. 26 hearing followed a complaint filed Aug. 4, Docket # FIC 2006-389, Andy Thibault v. Chief, Police Department, City of Waterbury. The first formal request was made July 28. It was denied Aug. 4, resulting in the complaint. That same day, Waterbury police wrote to the FBI asking for help to solve the case.

In a cover letter to the FOI Commission dated Oct. 4, Waterbury Police Department legal advisor Gary Roosa wrote: "Pursuant to the order of the Hearing Officer relative to this matter, enclosed please find documents which the Waterbury Police Department feels are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. These documents are submitted for the purpose of an in camera inspection by the Hearing Officer."

Such documents are public records unless police can demonstrate they are taking substantive action to pursue the case. Police must also show that release of the records would harm an ongoing investigation.

Waterbury Police Lt. Chris Corbett, testifying at the Sept. 26 hearing, acknowledged that based on his experience, release of some documents in such files might harm a case while release of other documents might not harm a case.

Based on the letter to the FBI, Roosa sought a continuance of the Sept. 26 hearing. The request was denied by the hearing officer Schwind, after argument that the mere writing of a letter did not constitute an ongoing investigation. Corbett, under cross-examination, could not cite any recent investigative activity by his department in the Smolinski matter.

Corbett testified that at least one FBI agent has been looking at the file. But, he could not say whether any interviews had been conducted.

[For background,
see posts in archives:


Upside Down Investigation In Billy Smolinski Case

Waterbury PD FOI request re- Missing Person Billy Smolinski

Complaint / Request for hearing re- Denial of public records request by Waterbury PD

Does Missing Person / Love Triangle Case Add Up To Homicide?]


Anonymous said...

Well done!
[url=]My homepage[/url] | [url=]Cool site[/url]

Anonymous said...

Great work!
My homepage | Please visit

Anonymous said...

Well done! |