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Connecticut Insurance Department Head Faces Fine for FOI Violation

June 9, 2017 By Staff
Connecticut Insurance Department Head Faces Fine for FOI Violation

The head of the Connecticut Insurance Department may be fined $1,000 for withholding documents related to her approval of a proposed merger between insurance giants Aetna and Humana.

The head of the Connecticut Insurance Department may be fined $1,000 for withholding documents related to her approval of a proposed merger between insurance giants Aetna and Humana.

Wade will face the fine if the state Freedom of Information Commission adopts a proposed decision accusing her of wrongly withholding the Insurance Department’s analysis of the failed merger.

According to the Hartford Courant, such a recommendation is rare and is only used in “egregious” violations of freedom of information law.

The recommendation of a civil fine is rare in freedom of information cases and is reserved for egregious violations. The Freedom of Information Commission will decide whether to adopt the finding and penalty at a June 28 meeting. 

“It is highly unusual, indeed extraordinary, for a Freedom of Information Commission hearing officer to propose the imposition of a monetary fine on a state official for failing to comply with the FOI Act,” said Dan Klau, an attorney who frequently handles public-records issues and is president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

A coalition of consumer groups in Connecticut pressed the complaint against Wade. The commission will decide whether to assess the penalty on Wade in a June 28 meeting.

Wade faced scrutiny in Connecticut last year, when she was forced to recuse herself from an antitrust case involving a merger between Cigna and Anthem due to her past career as an insurance lobbyist for Cigna.