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Thursday, May 6, 2010


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.
Jackson Lawsuit

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 are much better looking".

Jackson Rose E-mail


Jeff said...

Jackson was appointed by Eddie Perez himself on September 19, 2006. The accident happened on August 19, 2007, almost a year later.

The Trooper's report states Jackson received a verbal warning for operating with out of state license past 30 days.

Jackson failed to update his license for almost a year??? Not a criminal by any means but just goes to show you how little he cars about following any law or policy.

Date of Hire:

I know the city will spend a lot on this but no worries they can just increase the mill rate again.

Anonymous said...

I like how Maria completely ignores Rose's inappropriate comment about her appearance. She probably requested the transfer so she didn't have to deal with Rose anymore.

Anonymous said...

Jackson left the scene but didn't get charged? Why would someone do that when they caused an accident? Maybe there was someone (or something) in the car that he didn't want people to see?

Get's ya thinking...And he's still there?

Anonymous said...

So let's get this straight. Eric L. Jackson is hired in 2006. Besides infamously eliminating technical support from the school, he racks his car up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Leaves the scene of the accident - for unknown reasons. The city has the opportunity to terminate him for cause but keeps him on. Now the city is going to pay his salary, compensate the victim of his negligence, and he has enough time with the city's cushy plan for directors that he will receive paid insurance for life!

How can we all get in on that scam?

Anonymous said...

And I wonder who Mr. Jackasson have a "relationship" with in the city..


Well, everyone seems to get it except the powers to be at City Hall. This potentially will cost millions, yet we will fight it to the end in court. Wait until the plaintiffs attorneys get the real story behind his use of the car, and it will be a slam dunk for a huge settlement. The city should cut their losses now and jettison him for using the car without permission.

As far as Rosie's comments in the e-mail, I'm glad that others find it inappropriate. I asked a couple of my "confidants" for their opinion and they all said it was sexist and wrong. I just wanted to make sure I was being fair before I posted it. Once again he proves an embarassment

Anonymous said...

K- I think your assessment of the email is right on. It is terribly inappropriate from someone who should know better.

Anonymous said...

Jackson has a reputation within the city for "friendships" with women. Rumors are what they are, just rumors. But I wonder if he had company in the car and left the accident to drop a friend off.

peter brush said...

Interesting report. I agree that the fundamental question is why the guy has a car, and what city business, if any, he would have been conducting at the time. Not knowing what "MHIS" referred to, I see that Jackson's Metro Hartford Information Services outfit employes 40 (!) "workers." (The number includes two presently vacant positions.) I really do have difficulty believing that much MHIS work couldn't be put out to private guys. Of course, if the work were to be done by outside folk we'd have to make sure that the "Human Relations Department" were involved.
"The Contract Compliance Unit of the Office of Human Relations has the responsibility to monitor the efforts of contractors to comply with the Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity contractual requirements and goals. The intent of these requirements and goals is to enhance the inclusion of minorities and women contractors and/or tradesworkers on City of Hartford projects.

The Contract Compliance Unit monitors the following requirements and/or goals.

A. Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Participation Requirement
Prime contractors are required to set-aside a portion of work as specified in the contract for M/WBEs. The City of Hartford has established a minimum requirement of 15% with an overall goal of 50% M/WBE utilization. Prime contractors must submit on a monthly basis the Monthly Minority/Women Business Enterprise Payment Status Report for review to determine compliance.

B. Minority/Female Tradesworker Participation Goal
The City of Hartford's contracts include a 15% minimum and 50% overall minority/female tradesworker participation goal, by trade, of the total project hours. Contractors must submit on a monthly basis the Monthly Utilization Report (1391-A Form) for review to determine compliance.

C. Hartford Resident Worker Goal
The City of Hartford includes a minimum 30% Hartford residency goal of the total project hours in their contracts. Contractors must submit on a monthly basis the Monthly Utilization Report (1391-A Form) for review to determine achievement. Space is provided on this report for information related to Hartford residency.

Hartford Residency Form Hartford Residency Affidavit

D. Prevailing Wage and/or Davis Bacon Act Requirements
Most projects monitored by the Contract Compliance Unit contain provisions for prevailing wage and/or Davis Bacon wage rates. Each of these contracts contains a set of wage rates issued by the State and/or Federal Labor Departments. Contractors are required to pay their employees the assigned wage rate for the job classification in which they are working. All contractors performing work must submit on a weekly basis the Payroll Certification Form for review to determine compliance.

Anonymous said...

Peter, you really have too much time on your hands. What does reciting municipal code regarding consultants have to do with this topic? A

peter brush said...

Ms. Anonymous:
Frankly, I am interested in the apparent misuse of the car, but ultimately I'm more interested in cutting the damn budget, or, put otherwise, in avoiding further tax increases. I'm all for firing someone who might be using a car without authorization, or in firing the person who would authorize inappropriate use. This is especially true with the apparent expense the crash is causing the public fisc. But, I wonder if we need to replace the guy, or if we even need his department. I also wonder if we need a Department of Racial and Gender Discrimination in outside contracts, aka Human Relations. But, I do thank Bruce, et al, for reporting various felonies, misdemeanors, and faux pas.

Anonymous said...


The MHIS department is the "IT" department for the city and much-overlooked public schools. A significant portion of their work is already outsourced and is not reflected on the or chart which, by the way, has not been updated in years.

This points to one of Eric's fundamental failures: he has no sense of the day-to-day operations of his department from what people do, to what his web page looks like, and the needs of the schools. Yes, it's true.

As an employee I can could count the times he has walked up to me and said "so remind me, what do you do?" That has more or less stopped since we don't see him around the office much and Susan McMullen is really running the department. Of course she knows even less about supporting the schools than Eric so you can imagine there is no love between MHIS and the BOE. This last episode will (should) further erode the confidence administration has in Eric's leadership.

Back to your remarks. MHIS does outsource quite a bit and have laid off a tremendous amount of management and workers in the past few years. As seems to be the pattern in Hartford, Eric laid off some of the most critical workers leaving schools to fill the positions with less qualified staff. It made the MHIS budget look good but hurts the students because the school "IT" people aren't even associated with the MHIS department. How much sense does that make?

Just an opinion, but I know the BOE has their own problems, but they really need to exert some pressure on the the city COO to get someone in Eric's position who can restore some balance in the services MHIS provides.

The who suit issue must be a distraction, just as Eddie's case impacts his ability to lead. Eddie has to go and Eric needs to go with him. If the COO can't see this as a problem, perhaps he needs to go also. While the ax is swinging, this who episode reflects how worthless the city HR folks are, so need to go also.

Anonymous said...

Gentlmen and ladies...lets face it,city hall and the BOE is rife with the incompetant,criminals and cronies of the Maor and every single one of them needs to go...

peter brush said...

You obviously know a lot more than I do about the MHIS. All I can say is that it appears to me that there are presently 38 folks employed under Mr. Jackson. And, it seems to me, without knowing, that it is probable that the city could find savings in that area. If one looks at the West Hartford municipal govt. web site, for example, one finds no IT dept. Nor, by the way, is there a department of racial discrimination, aka Human Relations. As to the schools, I would remind you that they are a function of state govt. I say let the BOE decide how to provide IT, but keep the municipal govt. out of it. As to Jackson himself, I have only the reporting provided by Kevin. If he was not authorized to use the car I'd say that should be sufficient to give him the heave-ho.

Anonymous said...


The key phrase in your comment is "without knowing". I don't know how to land a person on the moon so I wouldn't presume to tell NASA how to do it. Comprendo?

And Kevin why do you remove my posts if they are critical of you?


to "anonymous"

I don't remove comments, everything is left as it is, since you post as "anonymous" I have no reference to which comments are yours. The only comment that I recall lately even the remote bit negative was by "the King" ,if that is you, I think you will find the comment is still there.

peter brush said...

I admit I don't know. I suspect that we don't need 40/38 employees with salaries, health insurance, and pension doing IT. In any case, we are at the point where even if the services provided are "needed" we have to acknowledge that we don't have the money, we can't afford it. Yo comprendo, but it appears that tu no comprendes. No se puede any more.

Anonymous said...

Guys, let's not argue with each other over minutia. As I had suggested to Kevin in an earlier post, I recommend to all interested parties that you request an org chart for each city dept and the Bd of Ed. Org chart should include name of position/title, name of employee occupying title, salary, and a brief description of the each dept and each div within the dept. Unless I am off, I believe you will see much duplication and overlap within depts and between depts. In most municipalities, Human Relations is a division of Human Resources, not a separate dept with its own hightly paid administration. Check out the assessor's files. It would appear that Eddie's campaign headquarters were housed in property owned by his Director of Human Relations, Lillian Ruiz, who actually resides in Bloomfield. Doesn't the city charter specify that dept heads live in the city??? Maybe she used her investment property as her residential address; not sure why Santiago Malave's cracker jack staff didn't notice. Okay, here's some more duplication/overlap: Why does the city have a Dept. of Health & Human Services, an Office of Young Children AND an Office for Youth Services as three separate stand alone depts??? Yeah, a rhetorical question, but here's the answer, Eddie wanted to give more of his peeps high paid administrative/director jobs. In other cities, there would NOT be three separate depts. Wait, there's more. The city has a Grants Administrator in both the Management & Budget Dept and in the Development Services Dept. Wait, there's more. The Development Services Dept has numerous divisions all headed by either directors and/or Administrative Operations Managers; in other cities the functions of planning, economic development, housing, and community development are in one division, not four as in Hartford. Are you seeing a pattern here??? Yeah, three of Eddie's boyzzz head up three of the Dev Services divisions. You wanna see some creative writing, FOIA their respective job applications and compare them to the actual job postings. I believe the investigator and state's atty in Eddie's corruption case also examined this patterned issue. Santiago's crew is very lenient in its interpretation (pun definitely intended) of the boilerplate language found on most if not all city job postings ("Wherever possible, appropriate equivalents will be considered.") I'd like to see their definition of "appropriate". I bet Cotto knows.