A member of the Darien Representative Town Meeting has been arrested on charges he illegally distributed confidential records from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families records via email.

Joseph H. Hardison, also known as Jay Hardison, 56, surrendered to Darien Police Tuesday, charged with violating state law related to confidentiality and access to records. He was released on a promise to appear in court Oct. 8.

Hardison has been emailing elected officials and media outlets, including The Darien Times, with allegations about school scandals for several years.

On July 30, Darien Police were informed that Hardison had sent an email containing an attachment of a confidential Department of Children and Families (DCF) report.

Hardison has represented District IV on the Darien RTM, but is listed on the Darien Police arrest report as being a resident of North Carolina. He is listed on Darien’s town website as being an RTM member, and he has previously served on the RTM Education Committee.

Per Connecticut General Statute 17a-28; Confidentiality and Access to Records, DCF reports are confidential documents that contain personal information about reporting parties, victims, suspects, juveniles, etc., and dissemination is restricted. Per state law, records of this type can only be released to a defined group of parties.

In a statement, Darien Police said their investigation revealed that Hardison sent the email to recipients that were not allowed by law. When the Department of Children & Families was informed of what had transpired, investigators were advised that the manner in which Hardison disseminated the report was prohibited by law, Darien Police said.

Hardison surrendered around 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, and was fingerprinted, photographed and processed.

Darien Police said Hardison made no comment regarding the incident. Darien Police said they would release no further details. The Darien Times has reached out to Hardison for comment but has not yet heard back.