In a lawsuit pending in Superior Court against the City of Hartford and Hartford MHIS Director Eric Jackson count two of the complaint states "On said date and at said time, the defendant, Eric Jackson, was operating a motor vehicle with permission of the owner/defendant, City of Hartford".
That statement might just be the furthest thing from the truth. In a city where "take home cars" are handed out like candy, MHIS Director Erick Jackson apparently found a way to get his hand into the candy jar. Although recently appointed Public Works Director Kevin Burnham said there are specific policies regarding who gets cars and how they may be used, that policy has pretty much been ignored before Burnham's appointment.
On the evening of August 11, 2007 , MHIS Director Jackson was travelling southbound on Interstate 91 in a City vehicle. According to Connecticut State Police, Jackson was responsible for causing an accident that injured the driver of another vehicle that was also headed southbound. Jackson was ticketed by the trooper, and the full accident report is attached below.
Jackson Accident Report
According to a source though, Jackson should have never been issued a "take home car". Apparently based on a relationship with another City of Hartford employee "the rules were bent" and Jackson was given a take home car for his use. Apparently a violation of city policy, but we are talking about Hartford City Hall where the rules only apply to the other guys.
Jackson lives at the Hartford 21 building, less than 5 blocks from his office , so the need for a take home car is extremely questionable. Regardless though, the city policy is that the vehicles are used for city business and personal use is prohibited.
Jackson's use of the vehicle, according to my source, was to head to a party on a Saturday evening. As he headed south on 91, he appears to have been in violation of the City's own policy. The date of the accident was 8/11/2007 which was a Saturday.
A law suit has been filed by the victim of Jackson's actions. But even with the lawsuit pending, it appears that over $278,000 has already been paid out in this case. In documents provided to me of accident payments for numerous city vehicle accidents, Jackson has the largest payout on the list.
A copy of the lawsuit is below.
In addition to Jacksons apparently improper actions costing the taxpayers of Hartford $278,000 it potentially will cost much much more. An outside law firm has already been hired to defend the suit and it may prove expensive. When you look at the "loss record" of Corporation Counsel John Rose though, it will probably be a smart decision.
The question that arises though is how does someone like Mr. Jackson still have a job after an incident like this. His actions potentially will cost millions to the City of Hartford, as according to the accident report, the City of Hartford is "self insured". It seems as though corrective actions have been taken by the city against Jackson. In my FOI request I had asked for any "disciplinary" documents , and none were provided.
And finally, if there is any question that John Rose needs to go, read the e-mail below.
What do you think would happen to someone in the private sector that made a sexist or inappropriate remark like Rose did in the e-mail "Maria...met your husband last week...you are much better looking".
Jackson Rose E-mail