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Saturday, November 14, 2009


The State of Connecticut seems to be working to provide much information to web users in a user friendly manner. One of the sites that I have started using regularly and which has proven invaluable is the State of Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission website, on there you can view candidates campaign filings outlining all of their income and expenditures, here is the address:|

Have you ever wondered who had the best deal on rent for their campaign headquarters ? It looks like Hector Robles ($568.87). Have you ever wondered how much David Medina, Matthew Hennessey and Calixto Torres have donated to Kelvin Roldan's exploratory committee "Roldan for CT"? If you want to see who bounced checks to "Roldan for CT", that is there also. Interested in how much John Fonfara's campaign paid his campaign Treasurer, you can find the info here? (over $6,000).

Would you like to see how much former State Representative Evelyn Mantilla has been paid as a "consultant" for various campaigns. (I'll leave you in suspense on that one, but it is a big number, not including all that was paid to her by the Perez Campaigns). And don't forget to check out the Giles reports. How much did Abe Giles pay to himself for rent and use of phones as well as how much of his donations came from Georgia?

It's great reading, now if only the City of Hartford took the same step toward transparency.

Another site that was recently upgraded and is a great resource for parents is the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry. click here to go to the Department of Public Safety Registry site Before using the site though, be sure to read and agree to the terms and conditions. Keep in mind that it is illegal to use information from the website to "harass or commit a criminal act against anyone on the registry".

The new mapping portion of the website puts the location of registered sex offenders into perspective. As an example, put in the address 34 Sequassen Street, Hartford, CT 06106. This is the address for the River Street School. You will most likely be amazed and, somewhat nervous, as to the number of sex offenders within 3 or 4 blocks of several Hartford Schools. In case you are wondering, 43 registered sex offenders in close proximity to several hundred students.

When you enter an address the map shows you the location of any registered sex offenders in your neighborhood. Click on the names on the right hand side if you would like further details, including the offenders picture, name and other information.

Another great feature is to "register for e-mail alerts". If you would like to receive an e-mail alert if a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood,sign up and you will receive an e-mail from the Connecticut State Police


I'm sure you are asking yourself what that picture has to do with this post, I'll get to that eventually.

About a two years ago I sat at an MDC meeting as the Commissioners debated the re-appointment of MDC Chairman William diBella. DiBella had been under Federal investigation and had been found guilty of numerous civil charges and ordered to pay more than $791,000 in fines as the result of Federal charges of Fraud. At that hearing, MDC Commissioner Kevin Deneen made a very passionate presentation in opposition to DiBella's re-appointment.

Commissioner Deneen, a Windsor Attorney and someone I have known since childhood, asked how he would explain the MDC Commission's actions to his children. I'm paraphrasing here but Deneen asked how do you explain to a child that it is not ok to steal, when they ask essentially isn't that what Mr. Dibella did?

I was driving in downtown Hartford this past week and I came by the old YMCA and the Memorial Arch when I saw the sign shown in the above picture on the front of the building that houses Blackeyed Sally's and the Pig's Eye Pub. Now I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought the sign was totally in-appropriate for not only downtown Hartford, but for any public area.

What's next, will the Holiday Inn Express next door put up a sign "Bring Your Whore's Here- Special Discount Rates" ? In light of the City of Hartford apparently finding bumper stickers critical of President Obama unacceptable, what stand will they take on this?

The more I thought about it though, I wonder what messages we are sending to our young children. I think that most people would agree that raising a child anywhere these days is a difficult task, but in urban areas the task is even more challenging. Many children in Hartford do not have the benefit of a strong male, (called a father in most areas)to guide them. On top of that many have a single mother working 2 or three jobs to make ends meet.

Now add to that what some consider a failed education system that graduates 3 out of 10 students from the Hartford School system. Throw in the pressure of drugs, gangs, gun violence and crime. Not a great recipe for success.

Now throw in the example society sets. Kevin Deneen was right, how do you explain a William diBella to your kids? How do you explain a Mayor that has been arrested twice already to your kids? How do you explain to your kids the Police Chief and Superintendent of Schools standing by the Mayor after he's been arrested? How do you explain to your kids the reason to obey the law when a so called "community leader" drives her Yellow Hummer for almost a year unregistered?

And how do you explain to your kids what is socially acceptable as far as language to use? It must be difficult to explain to a kid why not to use a word when they point to a building and see the same word in three foot high letters. "Mommy, why is it OK for them to say it?"

And we wonder why we have the problems we do. Mr. Mayor, please do your job and let the owners of Pig's Eye Pub know this is not the example we want to set for our kids.

Am I over re-acting? Let me know. And by the way, that sign runs the entire length of the patio at Pig's Eye, it is probably 12 feet long by about four feet high


The above picture is the front facade of the old Hartford High School and intended to be the front of the new Hartford Public Safety Complex. The large open area between the right portion and the left portion is one of several areas of the building that have collapsed

Although a couple of groundbreaking ceremonies have been held for the "new" Public Safety Complex, it may be further behind now than it was at the first groundbreaking ceremony several years ago. For those that travel in the area of the construction sight, High Street has been totally closed to traffic, apparently due to the collapse threat of the remaining structure.

As anyone who has viewed the site. the brick exterior walls of the old Hartford High School were saved to form the exterior of the new complex. At a cost of almost $3,000,000 (yes, that's millions) steel support beams were used to shore up the walls in an attempt to keep them structurally sound.

Apparently that investment wasn't a wise one as large portions of the walls have been collapsing. On Saturday, a source familiar with the project said that the rest of the building may have to be razed and the project redesigned as a totally new structure and new design. This would render the majority of the current design work useless.

As of the last groundbreaking, statements from the Mayor's Office indicated that funds were in place for less than one-third of the $80,000,000 price tag. That figure seems irrelevant now as any new design work will only add to the final cost unless the project is scaled back to reduce costs.

As any one familiar with the Perez Administration knows, "cutting spending" or "reducing costs" is not a term used in their vocabulary.


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

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I received two separate calls this week about activity taking place under the control of the Hartford Fire Department Administration. Both of these incidents make me wonder if anyone in the Chief's Complex at Fire Headquarters has read the US Constitution.

The first incident involves a firefighther who had two bumper stickers on his personal vehicle. One read "Obama bin lyin, Impeach now", the second read "Somewhere in Kenya a Village is missing it's Idiot" and in the center of the "o" in idiot is the circular logo that was the trademark of the Obama campaign.

During the evening of his shift on November 10, 2009, Mike DiGiacomo, the firefighter, was approached by Hartford Fire Assistant Chief Milner. Milner informed DiGiacomo that he could no longer park his vehicle in the firehouse unless he removed the stickers. Apparently, Milner told him, someone had complained about the stickers and it was creating a hostile work environment. The stickers don't appear to be threatening or obscene, just merely expressing a view point that the firefighter was unhappy with President Obama. It brings to mind all the negative Bush stickers that were trendy toward the end of the Bush years.

Being able to slap a bumper sticker on your car and voice your opinion is a basic civil right, I feel, awarded to all of us whether you agree with the message or not. I think we call that freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Chief Milner advised the firefighter that this matter had been discussed with the Firefighters Union and Hartford's Corporation Counsel and both agreed with Milner's order. If the union agreed, I am surprised. Calls to the Union office have not been returned.

If the Union agreed though, what might be next? Maybe an order to remove all IAFF stickers and emblems from members cars if negotiations don't go well and the City becomes upset. Maybe telling a firefighter he can't wear a crucifix because an atheist firefighter doesn't like the message it sends?

Neither Chief Milner, Corporation Counsel John Rose or Union President Vincent Fusco have returned my calls.

The second incident involves Hartford Deputy Chief Dan Nolan, who was terminated by Chief Teale. That termination will be the subject of a Labor Board hearing November 23, 2009.

I posted a lot about Nolan's termination, and at the risk of sounding like his PR agent, I'm going to post more. I still believe in right and wrong.

Let me start by saying that when I spoke with Nolan about the incidents, I made it clear that I thought he could have handled the situation differently, but everyone has their own style of dealing with issues. The first incident began when Nolan crossed paths with another Deputy Chief from the Hartford Fire Department, someone who played a part in Nolan' termination. The Chief approached Nolan and acting as though nothing had ever happened, said hello and asked how he (Nolan) was doing. Nolan responded with a prompt "Go f**k yourself". That comment seemed fair since they had already done it to him.

The second incident occurred at a retirement party at a downtown restaurant. During the party, someone asked for everyone to be quiet because Chief Teale was going to speak. Nolan responded the people he was with "f**k Chief Teale". Although Nolan's comments may have not been the best choice and may be socially unacceptable, the last I knew this is still a free country and poor taste isn't a crime.

On October 19, 2009 Nolan's union attorney received a letter from the Hartford Corporation Counsel's office. The letter is posted below. Essentially the letter threatened Nolan with possible arrest as "the City of Hartford has referred this matter to the Hartford Police Department".

Nolan readily admits to the statements, but both Nolan and other sources have confirmed that there were no threats or anything else said, other than the remarks quoted above

The letter also states that the second incident "occurred at a Fire Department sponsored retirement party". I am more concerned about that statement than I am about Nolan's comments. Is the Hartford Fire Department actually "sponsoring" events at a bar where alcohol is served? If so, what liability are the tax-payers of the City of Hartford taking on for anyone leaving a "Fire Department sponsored" event.

The part that makes me wonder if the Corporation Counsel and Fire Department administration understand what "freedom" means is in paragraph two.The letters author writes " we would like to remind your client that he is not allowed to enter fire department property or to attend any department sponsored events such as: retirement parties, memorial services, graduation or promotional ceremonies.". How do you forbid someone from attending events that are open to the public?

Hartford Police Department sources did confirm the existence of an investigation at the request of the Corporation Counsel's office. The source also stated that no evidence of any criminal violations was found after several interviews, including Chief Teale and Nolan himself.

I can understand that he can't enter fire department property if that means going inside a firehouse. Other than that, the rest is fair game and I would be interested in knowing how they intend to keep Nolan out of public events. I would imagine any action to keep him out will only add to his eventual settlement before a jury.

Finally, Ramos, the attorney from the Corporation Counsel's office, insists that Nolan "desist from uttering any disrespectful comments against his former supervisors". I've always been told that respect is earned, not demanded. In the entire Nolan case, I can't find anything that would seem to earn the respect of Teale
Milner or Parker. The entire situation has been handled poorly by everyone involved from the Chief on down to the Corporation Counsel and even the Firefighter's Union leadership and like I said in the beginning, I don't think Nolan used the best judgement either. But in the end, I guess that's what juries are for.

We do still live in a free country and actions such as these should be offensive to anyone that believes in freedom. I may not agree with Nolan's language at that time and place, but people have fought and died for his right to say it. Nolan is one of those people that has willingly stepped up and to this day defends his country by his military service. After serving in other countries, I would imagine he knows what our freedoms mean to us first hand.

And Dan, if you don't watch the language we will have to give you a time out in the corner. That you scare you about as much as the Corporation Counsel's empty threats.

Requests for comments were made to Chief Teale, Chief Milner, Corporation Counsel John Rose and Union President Vincent Fusco. As of this comment.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


On Saturday I posted the information regarding an Internal Affairs Investigation into officer's actions inside the Hartford Police booking area. The incident involved a suspect who was being held after his arrest on Breach of Peace and Interfering with police charges. The facts of that incident seem pretty clear and don't seem to be in question.

The problems seem to have started on 11/1/2009 at about 0300 hours (3:00am)when according to Officer Rhashim Campbell, the suspect in custody, Michael Stewart, attempted to flood his cell. Campbell and another officer, according to Campbell's report, were trying to relocate the suspect to another cell when the suspect allegedly tried to strike Campbell.Campbell claims they were attempting to restrain Stewart when Stewart bit him on his right ring finger.

Although Campbell's report seems to paint a clear picture of the incident, apparently the video of the incident presents a different view according to sources. The HPD investigation continues and the two officers involved have been suspended.

I spoke with Michael Stewart earlier today by phone and he declined to comment on the incident.

The initial incident reports are posted below. Other documents will be posted as they are obtained.Some witness info has been redacted for confidentiality purposes.

Hpd Stewart Reports


Winch on the right, photo from Cityline

It was disclosed on this blog last weekend that Hartford City Councilperson Rosezina Winch (rJo) has traveled to San Antonio, Texas on the taxpayers dime. Jeff Cohen from the Courant ( began questioning the trip. In at least two interviews with Cohen, according to his reports, Winch insisted the cost of the trip was only $1400.00.

During the first interview Winch commented that I "needed to get a life" and that I was wrong, the trip was definitely $1400.00. After I posted the actual numbers for the trip, Cohen contacted her again and she repeated that the cost was $1400.00 and apparently told Cohen that "I don't know where he got that number from".

The answer is quite simple, I got my numbers from public documents that Winch submitted to have the trip paid for. Winch may not be able to tell the truth, but the documents do. Look at the documents below and decide for yourself who is telling the truth.

The credit card authorization form for her hotel room at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, TX for $1569.12 ($261.52 per night).The National League of Cities registration confirmation form for $800.00. Expedia flight confirmation for Northwest Airlines and return flight on American Airlines, $279.40. And this figure doesn't include her meals or reimbursement for sunflower seeds. (yes, she has billed the city in the past for buying sunflower seeds on a trip)

GRAND TOTAL - $2648.52

And as a credit to Cohen, I like his postings title and have named the documents the same

Traveling Winch Documents

Monday, November 9, 2009


Earlier today Jeff Cohen at the Courant posted on his blog (Traveling Winch at referencing my entry about Hartford Council Majority Leader Rosezina "rJo" Winch's taxpayer funded trip to San Antonio,Texas at the taxpayers expense. This occurring in the middle of a budget crisis at Hartford City Hall.

Jeff contacted Winch in Texas for her comment on the trip. Her response was that "Brookman needs to get a life". She further related to Cohen that the trip was pre-approved and only cost $1400.00. Well, here is the real story on that. The actual numbers for the trip are $1569.12 for her hotel, $279.40 for airfare, $800.00 for registration, adding up to a total of $2640.52. If Winch uses the same math formulas at budget time as she does when speaking to the media, it sure would explain a lot.

As far as being an "approved" trip, the truth is that approval was given after the trip was already booked. Using a city credit card, Winch's administrative assistant booked the trip. Apparently, from what sources are telling me, Council President Calixto Torres was not aware of the trip prior to it being booked. When he became aware of it, he was extremely upset and questioned how it was booked. After being told it was booked on a city credit card assigned for council use he sent a memo to all council members outlining the use of the credit card. In the October 19, 2009 memo, Torres stated that all purchases over $100.00 on the "p-card" must be approved by him. A copy of the memo is attached below.

Hopefully at the conference there is a seminar on "Telling the Truth when Confronted with Difficult Questions". Add that one to the suggested classes list please Councilperson Winch.


Torres P-card Memo


After last weeks revelation that a taxpayer funded junket (all expenses paid) was taken by mayoral Chief of Staff Susan McMullen and ten others, the problems with Munis keep on coming.

Last week, the entire MUNIS system was down for an extended period. Now it has been learned that the e-mail portion of MUNIS that forwards messages to city employee's with Blackberry phones has also been down since last week.

Hopefully all of this travel for MUNIS "training" will pay off and the problem will be resolved.

MHIS Director Eric Jackson is apparently unavailable for comment. Sources have said he is in Africa on vacation for two weeks and is then booked for city travel to various conferences for almost a month when he returns.

4:00PM UPDATE- MUNIS/Blackberry service is still down, no anticipated correction date is available according to MHIS.

(Susan, get out your repair manuals from your training and see what you can do)