Search This Blog


Friday, September 25, 2015


Subject: City of Hartford employee fired and arrested

On August 18, 2015 a supervisor in the Hartford Police Department Property Room learned that during a regular audit of property, at least one bag of marijuana submitted as “Found Property” was missing. The supervisor reported this discovery to the Hartford Police Department Internal Affairs Division. The supervisor was able to determine through his initial audit that a civilian City of Hartford clerk assigned to the HPD Property Room, Liza Aponte (40yo of Hartford) was the source of the missing property. An immediate internal investigation was initiated, to include an expansive audit of property room evidence to include all drugs, money, jewelry and weapons. Aponte was transferred pending the outcome of the investigation.

The investigation expansive audit revealed a total of three bags of property missing. Internal Affairs investigators, based on video surveillance and closely maintained property room logging records were able to confirm the missing evidence was taken by Liza Aponte.

On September 3rd, 2015 after the appropriate administrative process, Aponte was terminated.
Internal Affairs investigators interviewed Aponte. Based on evidence and her own statements, on September 15, 2015 investigators applied for an arrest warrant for Aponte. On September 21, 2015 it was approved. On Wednesday September 23, 2015 Aponte turned herself into the Hartford Police Department. She was arrested and booked for 2 counts of Larceny 2nd Degree and 2 counts of Unlawful Removal of Records. The charges came with a $10,000 judge set bond.

Of Note:
Liza Aponte was hired by the City of Hartford in an effort to civilianize certain positions within the police department. She was hired in January of 2015.

Three bags were removed from the property room by Aponte. All contained small amounts of marijuana. One bag contained an unknown type pills. All bags were submitted to the HPD property room as “Found Property”. This means they are not attached to any criminal proceedings or criminal investigations.

The expansive audit did not reveal any other missing property.

Further safeguards have been put in place to prevent civilians from misappropriating evidence.

Complete details of the warrant will be made available through the GA14 Clerks Office.


Here is the original posting, first reported here on We the People. Now after the Internal Affairs Investigation, an arrest warrant has been signed for the civilian clerk, Liza Aponte. According to sources within HPD, Aponte was terminated several weeks ago.

It is still unclear if this is a normal policy for civilians to transport drugs unsupervised, as was the case with Aponte


The same Hartford City Council person that wanted to give herself over a $100,000 per year expense account a short time ago, now wants to apparently impose a commuter tax on the employees of some of  Hartford's largest corporations. Here is more on the proposal

This idea is about as crazy as a six figure expense account for Council people in  a cash strapped City.

I'm really not sure where Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings gets her ideas from, but maybe she might want to look into some actual financial restraint before floating these ideas.

Taxing commuters to Hartford's largest employers could quite possibly be the incentive for those employers to start looking outside of Hartford for their corporate homes. Corporate loyalty is not what it used to be a couple decades ago, and we have seen many large corporations willing to relocate when the taxation leash gets too tight.

The City of Hartford has an opportunity to show that it understands what "fiscal responsibility" actually means, and that  responsibility is not  shown tapping into the pockets of the working class to solve their own monetary excesses.

With a new administration on the horizon, including an entirely new Council Majority, change even symbolic change, can begin to set the tone that Hartford is once again open for business and ready to set the tone of responsibility.

A good start would be to end the old policy of political patronage where each Council person brings in their own Council Assistant at a salary exceeding $45,000 a year plus benefits. These are usually people connected to the Councilperson by friendship or a loyal campaign worker that helped get an individual elected. The work load for a Councilperson is not that great that they each need a fulltime assistant.

Here is a little more on how these "aides" are selected

In the State Legislature 3 State Reps share one assistant. That is a system that seems to have worked out well at the Capitol, and the time has come to move to that in Hartford. We don't  need, and we can't afford,  9 separate Council assistants. It might be good for the Councilperson's ego, but it is terrible for the budget funded by the taxpayers.

It is also the time for a greater level of accountability at Hartford City Hall, both out of responsibility for the taxpayers of Hartford as well as to increase the productivity of City Hall. The effectiveness of City Government has been widely criticized by constituents that feel that Hartford Government has been less than responsive to their needs. Greater accountability should also set the tone that taxpayers should feel comfortable that they are getting their money's worth.

Hartford does not have a revenue problem as much as it has a spending problem. This puts us in a very difficult position when we look to the State for additional financial help. We need to show ,first and foremost that we are responsible stewards of those dollars.

A commuter tax will not send the right message. Showing financial restraint and responsibility will be a much better start. Hartford needs a smarter ,leaner operation in line with its financial resources.

There  isn't a better time to get started than now.

Monday, September 21, 2015


On Monday, September 21st, 2015, Hartford/US Fugitive Task Force working with the Hartford Shooting Task Force developed credible information regarding a vehicle in which an occupant may be illegally in possession of a firearm. Hartford STF Officers  observed a vehicle matching the description, traveling north on Garden Street in the area of Greenfield Street, traveling fast and disregarding multiple stop signs. STF and Fugitive Detectives stopped the vehicle on Barbour Street at Westland Street. Further investigation revealed the passenger, Accused/Daniel, had a stolen S&W 9mm firearm concealed in his waistband. Accused/Daniel was also in possession the listed narcotics. The operator of the vehicle Accused/Castro, was in possession of the listed narcotics  Both accused parties were transported to Hartford Police Headquarters for booking and processing.

Arrest #1; Castro, Khadafi, 37 of Hartford, CT. Charges; Stop Sign Violation x 2, Operating Under Suspension and Possession Narcotics.

Arrest #2; Daniel, Keenan, 19 of Benton Harbor, MI. Charges; Weapon in M/V, Carrying Pistol w/o a Permit, Theft of a Firearm and Possession Narcotics.

Vehicle; 2013 Mazda 2, four door hatchback color gray, GA temporary

Firearm Seized;

Daniel- Smith & Wesson Model 59, 9mm handgun,  with one magazine containing (10) live 9mm rounds of ammunition. Firearm listed in NCIC as stolen out of Bloomfield, CT.

Narcotics Seized;

Daniel- (1) plastic bag containing (20) small zip lock bags each containing a white rock like substance (suspected crack cocaine).

Castro- (7) wax paper sleeves each containing an off white powder substance (suspected heroin).


Typically, an outgoing administration will hold off on critical appointments and allow the incoming administration to choose their own people that they will work with the next few years. Typically, but the Segarra Administration is not typical of what is considered right and proper.
Apparently Fire Chief Carlos Huertas is smarter than we have been giving him credit for . He seems to be able to read the handwriting on the wall and probably realizes his days as Chief are most likely numbered. His rush to fill two Assistant Fire Chief positions is now also raising questions. Huertas today posted the two job openings below for Assistant Chief. These are both positions that have been vacant for at least two years, being filled on  an interim basis by "acting" Chief's. So is it really critical to rush to fill them. Can't Huertas convince the current "acting" Assistant Chief to remain during  transition?
This raises the question why now? If they were critical appointments , shouldn't they have been filled a couple years ago? Is this Chief Huertas's last ditch effort to leave his mark on a Fire Department that he has already left in questionable condition?
If Huertas is actually on the way out as most observers agree he is, shouldn't his successor be allowed the courtesy to bring along his own command staff?
I would hope that we can see a little more courteous transition from the Segarra Administration as we move forward toward a new beginning.  Segarra, Hartford's Human Resources Director Burgos  as well as Councilmembers need to step up to ensure the transition process is an orderly one. The Huertas nonsense, if allowed, will be a roadblock to rebuilding the Hartford Fire Department  and removing the cloud it has been under recently
Note the two different exam numbers on the postings below for the two positions

Friday, September 18, 2015


Sometime in April I think, I received a phone call that turned out to be from one of the most honorable, ethical, inspiring people that I have had the honor to meet. The caller identified himself as Robert Killian. He told me that he heard a lot about me and that he was contemplating a run for Mayor of Hartford. He wanted to meet and introduce himself. I wasn't sure but I also wanted to meet him and hear what he had to say.

I knew of him and his family name. I had heard him speak once as the MC for the Southend Democratic Ladies luncheon a few years ago and his style was impressive. We met at a restaurant for lunch which eventually turned out to be a three  hour introduction. Being in the presence of Bob Killian was  like having lunch with Santa Claus and Mark Twain at the same time. I couldn't stop calling him Judge, a title of respect he earned. He kept correcting me and asking me to just call him Bob.  (I still call him Judge, especially in public)

His knowledge and love of everything Hartford was amazing. His family history and political history and knowledge was also amazing. And after being a Judge for 31 years, I quickly realized he was one of the most "down to earth"  people I had ever met. By the end of our 3 hour lunch, Bob came right out and asked me what it would take to get me as part of his team for his Mayoral run. At first I was hesitant to commit. We talked some more and before we left, he asked again. What would it take to get me as part of his team?

He wore me down, and my response was "lets do this". From that point on, he treated me like he had known me for years and I was immediately included as part of his inner circle and included in most major campaign decisions. He still continued to impress me everyday . No matter where we went I the City , or who we met, a brief history lesson was attached (well I quickly learned the Judge was never brief, but always informative) and he always had a lesson.Whether we were going to lunch on Main Street or passing the XL Center, there was Hartford history. Saint Peter's Church, the Charter Oak Cultural Center, the roof collapse at the Civic Center. How many people knew about the co-generation power plant on the roof of the G.Fox building powered by kerosene? Bob Killian does.

Ask him about political events on the front steps of the old Hartford Times building (soon to be UConn) and the street that used to run by City Hall where the Burr Mall and Stegosaurus are know. The Killian family was here and were part f Hartford's history.

My "what if " calls between the two of us became a regular nightly thing. What did I think about staffing at HPD? What would he do about the baseball stadium?  What were my thoughts on Hartford's small business environment? Any thing and everything was on the table and I have never talked to someone that knew more about finance and bonding and could explain it all in a usable , understandable way. Municipal law and his understanding  is amazing. The entire time we would talk, I always kept thinking this guy could run circles around Pedro Segarra . I just kept thinking , the sky is the limit as to what Hartford cold achieve with the Judge as Mayor

I will be honest, I was concerned initially if Bob had the stamina to run a campaign and be Mayor at his age. That was quickly dispelled in very short order. The first was a hone call from someone that was aware of my concerns, They asked if I knew Hillary Clinton's age? I quickly realized, both Hillary and Bob were the same age. If she could run for President, surely Bob could run for Mayor. Then the more time I spent with him the more I realized my fears were unfounded. One day we started off attending a funeral for a Hartford resident that both Bob and I had history with, then a luncheon meeting related to the campaign, an evening community event and I honestly think if it wasn't so late, Bob would have been ready to go out door knocking for a few hours.

His energy level was inspiring, He would wear me out almost every time. But at the end of the day you knew you were accomplishing something, meeting great people and learning more about this great City, You can't buy  that knowledge.

Bob's campaign was taking shape. His love for his family, his wife Candy, his two daughters and his grandson Calder I think was the only thing greater than his love for the City of Hartford. During all of this, Bob not only showed what a great Mayor he would be but also what a great friend he is. During this period, I had my stroke. Bob was immediately asking what I needed, Bo and Candy offered to take my dog Bailey into their home if needed. Bob called me one day and asked what I needed in the hospital. I told him the food was so bad, I would really like some fresh fruit.

That afternoon, when Bob should have been out campaigning. he showed up in my hospital room. He was carrying a large insulated bag from Whole Foods loaded with fresh fruit, some of the best bananas I have ever tasted, white flesh nectarines, cherries, strawberries. I made friends with the nursing staff at snack time, they loved the cherries especially. Unfortunately the potassium in the bananas and nectarines damn near killed me, but like they say, it is the thought that counts. (Thanks Bob)

Bob made several visits to my room while I as in the Hospital and during rehab. Shortly after my release from rehab, I was staying at my Mother's house in Windsor Locks. One afternoon Bob called and asked if he could visit me that night, he wanted to talk to me. I immediately could tell by the tone of the conversation it wasn't good. I looked at my mother and said to her, "He's dropping out" It was devastating because all I could imagine was what he could do as Mayor. He arrived at Mom's house and he had some papers in his hand.

I think besides his wife, I was the only other person to get the news yet. He had decided to drop out of the race for Mayor. His reasoning was sound. As with everything Bob Killian.does, the decision had been well thought out. Bob had contracted a poll. Based on that poll,to the best of my memory, it showed that Bob Killian would give Luke Bronin a run for his money. It also showed that Pedro Segarra would most likely pull out a victory if the voter base was split three or four ways between Killian, Bronin and possibly John Gale  if he didn't drop out , which he eventually did)  Bob said that he loved Hartford too much and cared too much about its  future, to be the spoiler in the race.He had made the decision to drop out of the race. Clearly there was no changing his mind.

 I was asked by Bob to keep the decision confidential until he was ready to announce it later in the week, Several people weren't happy afterwards when they found out I knew in advance. That was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do 

He didn't make it any easier when he told me that as much as he wanted to be Mayor, at least one good thing came out of the campaign, he met me and he made a good friend for life. (Right back at ya' Judge )

. And I couldn't really argue. I had seen his love for Hartford from day one, and his reasoning was sound. It was a tough pill to swallow but the decision was his. In the end it was the correct decision. If Bob had stayed in the race and split the vote, Wednesday's outcome would have been much different. We would have been headed for another four years of incompetent leadership. The 15 or 20 percent of the vote the poll predicted, at the very least would have guaranteed Segarra a win over Killian and Bronin. Things might have changed, Killian's numbers might have swelled, but based on the preliminary poll numbers, Judge Killian wasn't willing to take that risk. He is not ego driven like some and was unwillingness to risk the future of 120,000 people on his desire to be Mayor is commendable.

It is more than commendable, it is honorable. And that is exactly what I expected when I signed on with the Honorable Robert Killian. Bob Killian would be a definite  asset for turning this City around.