As documents continue to surface regarding the hiring of recent Hartford firefighters, the picture seems to becoming clearer for most people viewing the documents and listening to the facts. Dan Nolan's contentions that he was terminated after he refused to force unqualified recruits through the Hartford Fire Academy also seems to gain more credibility each day. The recent revelations that disgraced Hartford firefighter John Thomas used the dishonorable Mayor Eddie A. Perez as a reference on his job application was interesting, but the documents that show Thomas was also a paid consultant on Perez's campaign in 2001 raise even more questions. According to sources close to Perez and his campaign stated that Thomas was very upset after the election when Perez didn't offer Thomas a "city" job.
Most of us at one time or another have been used as a reference by someone seeking a job. I know I can honestly say that I have recommended people for employment, only to realize later that I may have not known the person well enough to do that. maybe a person that you know on a casual friendship level and then realize that you knew very little about their work ethic or reliability when their hiring didn't "work out". If Eddie Perez was a man of integrity, he could have stood up and admitted that he knew John Thomas, pushed for his hiring, but realized now that it was a mistake. Instead he threw Hartford's Fire Chief Charles Teale under the bus and blamed Teale for Thomas's hiring and said the sole responsibility was Teale's. For anyone that thinks that Perez didn't use any pressure or exert any influence to hire Thomas, especially when Thomas's references and background were checked , must also believe that Perez is innocent of his criminal charges. The facts are the facts in both cases and speak for themselves.
The part that bothers me though is that most people would agree that Chief Teale is, or was, an honorable man. To allow Perez to throw the entire blame for Thomas on Teale's back is wrong and Perez had no problem throwing him under the bus. I think most would agree that Teale loves his job, but sooner or later you have to ask yourself, at what price are you willing to sell out your reputation and integrity and continue to be a Perez puppet.
Chief Teale, a simple question after our conversation Monday night, who is the one being used now ? I still believe in the stand I've taken, do you?