The following comment was posted today on the blog:
Nolan was dishonest. You should get all of the facts before you print your tripe.
Well, that's the beauty of the Freedom of Information Act. Although the City of Hartford and Corporation Counsel John Rose have made a mockery of FOI during the Perez Administration, eventually the truth does come out. I filed the following FOI request yesterday with the City:
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act I am requesting the following:
Any and all investigations and/or investigative reports conducted regarding Daniel Nolan related to his employment with the Hartford Fire Department and the City of Hartford, including but not limited to written documents, e-mails, memo's and correspondence as well as any witness statements and supporting documentation.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter
Once the documents are received, they will be posted here in their entirety and we will see where the truth lies. You will be able to read them and make your own decision. A couple things make me suspicious though of the City of Hartford's intent. First, if you conduct a legitimate investigation, I would think that it would not be a problem to outline your allegations for a termination and give those to the employee that is being terminated, it only seems fair. Second, I have yet to have anyone point out to me any other time in the history of the Hartford Fire Department that such an investigation has taken place, especially in the way that this has been handled. Almost a year long investigation handled by the Corporation Counsel's Office under the direction of John Rose. It just seems odd, and to me a conflict of interest, for the investigation to be conducted by Rose, the decision to terminate not handled by the Human Resources Director or Fire Chief, but by Rose and any legal action will be handled for the City by Rose. The FOI documents may prove differently, but we'll see.
John Rose sent me the following response today to my FOI request submitted yesterday:
Mr.Brookman, I have the attached FOI request and have acted to advise
the parties who have access to any disclosable documents to collect them
and to deliver them to Att'y Ramos of this office. He will coordinate
whatever disclosure there will be. Once he has secured the documents he
will notify you and you should then contact this office to obtain copies
or to inspect same. The number here is 757-9700. We will bill for any
copies provided at the per page rate prescribed by law. JohnRose
This is their standard response, and most likely will not be complied with easily.
There are a couple exclusions that they could try to use to deny releasing the documents. 1.) That the request involves an ongoing investigation. Since the termination has taken place, that most likely won't float, any competent individual would complete the investigation before taking any action. 2.)The incident involves pending litigation and the release would undermine their defense. According to Nolan no "intent to sue" has been given to the City, so that won't float either. Also, the City could claim that to release the report would be an invasion of privacy for Nolan or that the investigation is not of legitimate concern to the public. Those two also won't float because the accusations appear to involve on-duty conduct by Chief Nolan and didn't carry over to incidents in his private life that would be extremely damaging to him if they were released. As an example WFSB Reporter Len Besthoff and Courant Reporter Dan Uhlinger partnered in a complaint against the East Hartford Police Department (Docket #FIC 2007-702, can be found at ct.gov/foi). In that decision, it involved an internal investigation used for the demotion of an East Hartford Police Lieutenant who was accused of sexual harassment of another officer and the report detailed sexual activity both on and off duty. That report was eventually ordered released to the public by the Commission. Essentially, there are very few instances where internal investigations conducted by a public agency of a public employee are not open to the public's review.
As soon as the documents are received, you can be sure they will be posted, which ever way they go. I'm betting on the guy who has served a couple tours in Iraq, but if I'm wrong, I'll admit it.