Saturday, November 14, 2009
APPARENTLY IT'S NOT ONLY THE HARTFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT EMERALD SOCIETY THAT SUPPORTS DAN NOLAN
After this last posting about the bumper sticker controversy and Dan Nolan being banished from public events, the comments, e-mails and phone calls started within about a half hour after the blog post went up on-line. I went back and looked at all the comments and e-mails from the beginning and it seems pretty clear that Dan Nolan's case stirs up some pretty strong opinions.
No other postings have brought out the same number of comments. Not when Eddie Perez was arrested (twice), not when taxpayers money is squandered by a traveling Councilperson, not even when two police officers are accused of police brutality, none match the volume of comments on Nolan.
Although most of the comments are pro-Nolan, I think the facts of the case pretty much speak for themselves. At a Connecticut Labor Board hearing later this month, hopefully the facts will become clearer. At that hearing the veil should be lifted from this termination as all of the facts become public and people are obligated to testify under oath.
One of the major questions I have that will be hopefully answered is how this all got started and who was the driving force behind it. From the documents uncovered through an FOI request earlier this year, it seems that the Hartford Firefighter's Union President Vincent Fusco was the first to send a letter of complaint to the Hartford Fire Department administration based on allegations from an anonymous source.
After requesting the investigation, Union President Fusco seemed to change sides and wrote about the "damage" that the suspension and investigation was doing to Nolan's reputation. Now, the same Union that initiated the investigation is handling Nolan's defense, under the guidance and direction of Fusco. I'm not sure how comfortable I would feel about that if I was in Nolan's situation.
Although I would prefer to fully provide both sides on an issue, the Fire Department Administration won't talk. The Union President won't return calls or present their side. The Corporation Counsel won't return e-mails or phone calls. Some people are willing to talk as long as their names aren't brought into it. Union "leadership" that I have spoke with tried to defend the Union President's actions, until they saw the letters side by side.
They spoke of issues of "liability" if they didn't report "anonymous" complaints against Nolan. If one tenth of the "tips" that have been relayed to me, many of them that I have looked into and found to be accurate, are true, the Union and the Fire Department have much greater liability issues than Dan Nolan.
Where does the Union stand on the letter sent to Nolan's union attorney banning him from Fire Department events? And how does the Union leadership feel about the Corporation Counsel attempts to manipulate law enforcement to discredit Nolan. A source familiar with the police investigation told me that it was very clear that the City wanted a prompt investigation and the arrest of Nolan before his Labor Board hearing. That didn't happen and the investigation has been closed since there is no probable cause for an arrest.
That indicates to me the City is desperate and knows their case is weak, and most likely won't stand up to scrutiny. For the Corporation Counsel to push such an agenda is shameful. But then again, Cheif Teale told me a couple months ago, I was bering used by Nolan.
Issues of drug use, alcohol use, firefighters routinely not showing up for work for days in a row without notifying anyone, arrests of firefighters for thefts and child pornography all raise serious questions. Where has the union been on all of this and does the pattern of discipline for those acts compare to the punishment for Nolan?
I guess that is an issue for the Labor Board to decide, and even after they render a decision, I can almost guaruntee that won't be the end. If this adminstration has their way, no expense will be too much and this case can drag on for years until the courts decide, or until a Mayor with a conscience is elected and people like Nolan, Clarence Corbin and others are given an apology and an offer to return to work.
In the meantime Chief Teale, just a comment to you. Under the Perez Administration you can't have your job and your integrity. Make a decision and choose which one is more important to you