Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that he selected Owen P. Eagan of West Hartford to serve as chairman of the Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC), the state body responsible for administering and enforcing the provisions of the state’s Freedom of Information Act, which ensures citizen access to the records and meetings of public agencies.
“The Freedom of Information Commission has a critical mission, to ensure that the public is informed about government operations and that they have access to public records,” Governor Malloy said. “Owen has extensive experience with the commission, and I am confident that he will help lead this office in their important mission of connecting the public with their government.”
Eagan was first appointed to the commission by former Governor M. Jodi Rell in 2009, and then was reappointed by Governor Malloy. He is a partner with Eagan, Donohue, Van Dyke & Falsey, LLP, where he conducts the general practice of law, concentrating on state and federal civil and criminal litigation. Previously, he served as Deputy Mayor of West Hartford, where he also once served as a member of the town council. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
“I am honored and humbled to be appointed as the next chairman of the Freedom of Information Commission and I thank Governor Malloy for this appointment” Eagan said. “Our state’s Freedom of Information Act is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy. The importance of an open and transparent government cannot be understated. As chairman, I will strive to ensure that all complainants and respondents are given every opportunity to protect their rights under the law. I look forward to the opportunity to be an important part of this vital process.”
“The appointment of Owen Eagan as the new chairman of the Freedom of Information Commission is welcome news to those who believe in open and accessible government,” Colleen Murphy, Executive Director and General Counsel of the FOIC, said. “Since joining the FOIC in 2009, Owen has been a dedicated and thoughtful commissioner. He brings a keen sense of fairness, integrity and an even-handed approach to the chairmanship that will serve the citizens of Connecticut well.”
The FOIC hears complaints from persons who have been denied access to the records of meetings of public agencies, and then renders a decision based on the FOI Act. Its members are appointed by the Governor and the leadership of the General Assembly. The Governor is required under state statute to select one of the commission’s nine members to serve as its chairman.