Search This Blog

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I totally forgot about this one, but one of the blog readers reminded me about this.

Another wise decision by Mr. Rose that cost the taxpayers of Hartford 13 times the original claim because he chose to fight the decision.

Keep it up John, great legal work representing us.

click here to view the story on


Some might wonder why the City of Hartford and Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose are fighting so hard to keep from releasing documents related to the case of Hartford Police Officer Matthew Secore.

Over the next few days I will be posting some of the documents I have obtained in regards to this case. None of the documents, not even one piece of paper have come from the City of Hartford though.

On the face value the case seems pretty simple, Secore was terminated after an Internal Affairs Investigation was completed in which Secore was accused of punching Ruben Perez. Ruben Perez is the nephew of Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez. Ruben Perez had been arrested after a brutal beating of Officer Secore's younger brother, Slade Secore.

After reading the Labor Board decision, you might think differently about the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. The IAD report also raises some questions about Ruben Perez and his statement. Was it coached? Are the words really those of Ruben Perez? Is Secore totally responsible or was it a breakdown of an entire system?

Matthew Secore commented yesterday here on "We the People". For those who didn't read his comments, they are posted below. I have confirmed that the comments are in fact posted by Matthew Secore.

Matthew Secore's comments:
Greetings Mr Brookman,

It comes as no surprise to me that the city of Hartford would not want you to know the details of my case. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to try and answer your questions.

Yes I was reinstated through the process of legal arbitration, agreed upon through the City of Hartford and the Hartford Police Union. However, the city has appealed my award to the superior court. They have every right to appeal but based on what my lawyers are telling me an arbitration award is legally binding and can only be successfully appealed on the grounds of fowl play or a violation of public trust laws. Since my award was not won through any illegal means and I was not found to be a thief or dishonest, the city is fighting a case they are not likely to win. In fact, based on multiple conversations with various lawyers, I'm very comfortable in saying they will not win. So the question becomes, why would the city spend money and resources on a case they are not likely to win? Maybe I can shed some light on that.

Recently I've been issued a civil lawsuit from Ruben Perez, Eddie Perez's nephew. What's interesting is Ruben Perez is suing me on an individual capacity and is NOT suing the City of Hartford. All civil lawsuits are about money, so why sue an individual with limited funds over a government? I guess money isn't his goal in this. Regardless, the case will most likely be settled out of court by the City of Hartford anyway.

I'm not looking for sympathy for I take full responsibility for my actions. My concern comes from one of being a public servant to the tax payers of Hartford. As of this month the city of Hartford owes me over $100,000 in back pay, this does not include vacation time, paid holidays and such. This amount just keeps climbing each week. Also, in about one year my police certification will expire. Per CT state law if it expires and I do not receive a waiver the city of Hartford will have to send me through the police academy again. It's estimated the police academy cost the city $50,000 for each recruit, but mine will cost more because I will be getting paid at the top of my pay scale during that time. I can only speculate on the man hours Hartford has spent on my case but as you can see by how they are fighting your FOI request, your money is no object to them.

Mr. Brookman, I can't answer your second two questions about why the city has not reinstated me yet or what role Eddie Perez played in my discipline. At least not to the level of proof you are accustomed to. What I can give you is my opinion based on the unusual choices and small nuances of how my case was and is being handled by the City of Hartford. I feel the reason the city has not reinstated me and has elected to continue it's losing battle is because Mayor Perez cares more about his personal agenda then he does the tax payers who elected him to be their Mayor.

I look forward to serving the City of Hartford again in the near future,

- Matthew Secore


Last week I put up the link for those who wanted to watch our "1 Hartford" program.

For those that don't have cable in Hartford or if you missed the program Saturday nights at 10:00PM on Channel 5, click below and take a look

When I put the link up last Friday night, within a couple hours over 150 people clicked the link and went to Stan McCauley's website and watched.

This week we discuss Hartford issues including economic development and the loss of more small businesses and more jobs lost, including the Cityplace McDonald's. We talk about the recently released crime stats and the upcoming Town Committee races.



Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am no fan of John Rose. Ask almost any Councilperson what they think of Mr. Rose(with the exception of Councilpersons Winch or Torres, they are blind to most issues non-Perez).

If Mr. Rose was in private practice, I'd say let him do whatever he wants. Repeated losses would eventually drain him of his client base and he might be smart enough to change his style.

The problem arises when his repeated losses have cost the people of Hartford millions of dollars. His inefficiency has resulted in hiring outside attorney's to represent the City, also costing the people of Hartford millions of dollars. And many of his "outside" attorneys hired are his former partners firms or part of the John Rose "good ol'boy" network.

Under the Rose style of "Corporation Counsel Office" some of the most basic forms of legal work, such as real-estate closings, are "farmed" out to some of his buddies. Is it maybe time to consider hiring an outside firm for all legal work for the City?

Although I made light of a few of his classic decisions this week on here, the poor decisions by Mr. Rose seem to be far more numerous than any lucid thoughts or behavior.

Charging a Councilperson for copies of documents he requested? Just the legal hours spent on this had to be several thousand dollars. Denying an inmate documents and fighting an FOI decision over the $27.50 copying fee that most likely should have never been charged in the first place if the requestor could prove that they were indigent. Again, thousands of dollars.

Pushing the termination and labor board decision of an employee branded a thief, even though no evidence was ever presented to indicate that she had stolen anything, only that she was a poor supervisor at the worst and most likely being used as a scapegoat at best.

And his legal opiniions issued with out any basis in law, but more likely based on meteorology. Which way is the wind blowing today? On several occasions his "opinions" have been rebuked by others that have reviewed them.

And let's not forget his behavior that has caused many to question his suitability to hold his current position. For me, it started when he mistakenly sent me an e-mail referring to me as an "asshole". I know some people that would terminate anyone under their supervision for such behavior. Not here though, it's Hartford. But apparently that e-mail is still used in FOI training classes on how NOT to reply to requests for public documents, so Mr. Rose's unacceptable manner has had a positive use.

And then we can all watch the WFSB video where we can witness a John Rose meltdown moment. As WFSB reporter Len Besthoff was reviewing an FOI request, Rose appeared in the lobby of his office and lost it with the camera's rolling. While Rose appeared to be totally wrong and out of line, most people with an ounce of common sense would realize that it was a no win situation, especially with the video rolling. Did Rose think the video would be hidden away in some archive? As if a reminder is needed, the John Rose "THIS IS MY OFFICE" tirade can be viewed below in a segment from WFSB's "Face the State" program.

And as Dennis House says in his promos for each weeks program, "Face the State" is the most widely watched political program in Connecticut. Not only does Mr. Rose make us proud in Hartford, this time he showed his style statewide. The segment also mentions his infamous "asshole" e-mail to me.

Several other situations that Mr. Rose has been involved with first hand seem to be opening the door on future million dollar settlements. The Dan Nolan termination case, the Matthew Secore termination case, the Vilma Rivera-Saez termination case. Both Secore's and Rivera-Saez's cases have been decided by the State Labor Board, and both decisions went against the City and Rose's actions.

The Secore case has raised many questions, above and beyond those already raised by other FOI actions by Rose.

In a recent request to Mr. Rose in his capacity as Corporation Counsel for the City, I had asked for documents pertaining to the handling of Officer Secore's case. I had been told that the Labor Board had ruled that Secore's termination was too severe a punishment for his actions. The Labor Board ordered that Secore be re-instated less a 90 day suspension.

In today's mail, I received Mr. Rose's response to the FOI Commission for not providing me any documents pertinent to my request.

I'm not sure if Mr. Rose and I attended the same FOI hearing, because his version of the hearing officers comments doesn't seem to be the same version I recall.

At one point, on page 3 of his brief, he writes "The hearing officer, after having heard Mr. Brookman on direct and cross, and appreciating the claim of Attorney Rose, cconcerning the documents in his file, directed the respondent to "... submit recordes being claimed exempt from disclosure for an in camera inspection".

The fact of the matter is that the hearing officer, after seeing documents that I was presenting that were already in the public domain, she commented seemed surprised, at least from my read of the situation that Rose's claim of an exemption wasn't valid and advised Mr. Rose " the fact that this is already out there, you know what I'm saying without having to say it?"

Later in the hearing, after ordering Rose to present the documents for an "in camera" review, the hearing officer stated to Rose "Frankly, on the basis of what I've seen so far, I'd agree with the complainant" that Rose had apparently withheld public documents. She further advised Mr. Rose, on the record, that it might be wise for him to submit a sworn affadavit to explain any grounds he had to withhold the documents.

Rose's complete brief can be seen below.

I am not an attorney, but Mr. Rose's legal mumbo-jumbo in his brief is essentially meant to deflect attention away from the fact that he withheld the public documents and sites numerous case law. If his "cites" are similar to his usual opinions, they probaly have very little similarities to the facts in this case, other than they mention "FOI".

In the last paragraph of his opinion he states " Mr. Brookman has made no showing that he cannot obtain the documents elsewhere; he has in fact obtained substantial numbers of them"

This has absolutely no bearing on the facts of the complaint. Because I can obtain documents outside of Mr. Rose's efforts does not release him form fulfilling the FOI request. All that statement proves is that I have some relaible sources that can help me keep Rose and others honest. If I didn't have the documents to throw on the table at an FOI hearing, would Rose have even acknowledged their existence? My gut feeling, having dealt with Rose repeatedly, is most likely no.

Rose repeatedly refers to the requested documents as "his file". That's the part where Mr. Rose just doesn't have a clue, these are not his documents, they are PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.

Mr. Rose, you are not in private practice, you are a public servant. Start acting like it please.


Rose Brief to Foi for Secore Complaint


This past Monday, Hartford City Councilperson Pedro Segarra chaired his first Council meeting as the Council President.

Several promising signals came from the meeting. One of the first signs was the public comment session of the meeting. Former Council President Torres had established a way of silencing those that took the time to speak at council meetings. Torres had established the use of a "traffic light" type device that limited speakers to three minutes, and when the light turned red, your time was up.

Under President Segarra, the stop light was gone and speakers were allowed to speak. On a night like Monday, when residents took the time to go out in 25 degree temperatures to speak, it was a welcome sign. Myself and others that spoke uninterrupted actually felt as though we were being welcomed and respected by the Council.

Another positive step in this age of technology, was the Council's agenda being displayed on a large screen to those in the Council Chambers and also displayed on public access television for those viewing at home. Brendan Mahoney, Executive Assistant to Councilman Cotto appeared to be responsible for the display, although I'm not sure who else might have been involved.

It was also good to see an orderly meeting being conducted and President Segarra kept the meeting moving, despite a prolonged debate over nonsense orchestrated by former Council President Torres.

Another positive sign not directly related to the Council, was the return of former Concilman John O'Connell. John had been recovering from medical issues and it was great to see him out and about, just in time for budget time.

After the public session, when the actual meeting commenced, President Segarra addressed the Council and the community. The text of his speech is below.

Council President Segarra Speech

Thursday, January 14, 2010


What Board, Commission & Committee Members Must Know

Saturday, February 6, 2010 Thursday, March 18, 2010
9:30am - 12:30pm or 6:00pm- 9:00pm
Russell Library, Middletown Senior Center, Farmington, CT

FREE to CCM Member Municipalities
$120 Fee to Non-members

Are You Aware of the Requirements?

Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA ) details requirements for notice and access to public meetings, recordkeeping, and requests for information. It applies to all local government agencies, departments, institutions, boards, commissions, and authorities and their committees.

This workshop is designed specifically for board, committee, and commission members. Attendees will learn about:
· Three kinds of meetings recognized under FOIA
· Requirements for public access, recordkeeping, and release of information
· When can the public be excluded?
· How to handle complaints

A Freedom of Information Commission report concluded that the FOIA is widely misunderstood and ignored by municipal officials. All board, committee and commission members need to understand the requirements of FOIA to avoid costly and embarrassing complaints.
Learning Objectives:
Overview of the FOIA
· FOIA - CGS Sections 12001241
Legal requirements for meetings
· Identify the difference between a meeting and caucus
Public records
· Maintaining records
· Handling requests
· What must be disclosed
· What need not be disclosed
FOI Commission Complaints
· Top reasons for complaints
· How to handle
Penalties & Costs of Noncompliance
· Criminal charges

Who Should Attend?
Board, Commission, and Committee Chairs and members
Staffs to Boards and Commissions
Mayors/First Selectmen
Town/City Managers
Town Clerks
Department Heads
3 Ways to Register:

February 6th
March 18th

Email: CCM Training

Phone: CCM Training Hotline

Please Register Early!

Cancellation Policy:
Please notify us within 24 hours prior to the workshop if you cannot attend, or a cancellation fee of $10 will be incurred. No Shows will also be billed at $10 per person. Substitutions are always acceptable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Some days I wonder why I stay in Hartford. Some days I wonder if all the aggravation is worth it. Then, I think about Hartford's people, its neighborhoods, its strengths and its potential.

And on those days when I'm re-thinking my commitment to be a part of change in this potentially great city, I get an e-mail like the one below.

This e-mail shows the potential of Hartford's people, but also shows the desperation. It shows that people care about the city, but are also scared by its lack of leadership and vision.

I have edited out certain details that potentially might identify the sender, but you'll get the message. In the meantime, I hope that they might see some positive change and re-consider their exit from our potentially great city.

The e-mail is from someone that, to the best of my knowledge, I have never met.

Subject: Thanks for your work
Date: Jan 12, 2010 1:27 PM

Hey Kevin,
I'm glad someone is on our side.

I'm a relatively new resident in Hartford My wife and I moved here in Early 200* from *********. We haven't lived here long enough to know much about local Hartford politics but I've seen enough already. It scares me! The vehicle tax is infuriating! The property tax on our home went from $7,300 in 200* when we signed on it to $8900 in 2009....with more increases to come.

It is clear that the local tax rates deters young hard-working middle class couples like us from living here. I've written letters to the mayor and council members but no one seems to understand or care. I've only had one response which was a call from ***************. I guess they don't want people like us here.

It all scares me. I invested too much into my home to watch my property-value decline because of rapidly increasing taxes. My wife and I have decided to put the house on the market next spring and get out of here if/while we can. Hopefully it will sell at a decent price and we'll move back to ***********...ironically, in search of lower property taxes. It's disappointing because we like the people we've met here and love our home.

Looking forward to reading your updates. Let us know if we can get involved.

Best Regards,


The following editorial was published in the Hartford Business Journal on
October 19, 2009.

It speaks for itself.

Futile FOI Fights


The city of Hartford is engaged in a silly Freedom of Information beef over a copying fee of $27.50. It’s a fight that will likely cost the city much more in time and money.

According to the Hartford Advocate newspaper, the flap began in September 2008 when Prison Legal News, a national monthly publication focusing on prisoners’ rights, submitted an FOI request to the city for electronic records from the case of a man who was arrested.

The city told the publication that it would cost $27.50 to get the documents. State law does allow the city to charge 50 cents per page for the 54 pages. But Prison Legal News requested a fee waiver, which is allowed when the information is for the public benefit.

Hartford’s Corporation Counsel, John Rose, denied the request for the fee waiver and Prison Legal News filed a complaint with the FOI Commission, which ruled in the publication’s favor on Sept. 23, ordering the city to turn over the documents free of charge.

But the city refused again to hand over the records, with Attorney Nathalie Feola-Guerrieri from the corporation counsel’s office, telling the publication’s editor that Hartford might appeal.

For the city to even consider an appeal is absurd. The time, energy and money being dedicated to this case would be better used to deal with important issues facing Hartford.

According to the Advocate, the city has spent tens of thousands of dollars in unsuccessful appeals of FOI rulings over the past several years, blowing in excess of $50,000 recently in an attempt to reverse $400 worth of fines against Deputy Corporation Counsel Carl Nasto after he refused to release documents related to the criminal grand jury probe of Mayor Eddie Perez.

This pattern of blowing taxpayer money to deny requests for public information has got to stop.


As if the previous couple posts aren't enough to convince you that Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose has a real problem with transparency, this decision should help.

In 2005, Hartford City Councilperson Ken Kennedy requested documents from Mr. Rose. Councilperson Kennedy's claim was that he was acting in his official capacity as a duly elected member of the Hartford City Council and was requesting public documents. Mr. Rose apparently disagreed and attempted to charge Kennedy fifty cents a page for copying the documents.

The FOI Commission decided in Kennedy's favor and ordered the documents released to Kennedy, at no charge.

Only in Hartford, a "John Rose Classic Moment"

The FOI Commission's decision is below:


In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Kenneth H. Kennedy, Jr.,
against Docket #FIC 2005-135
Corporation Counsel, City of


Respondent February 22, 2006

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 14, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The respondent’s Motion to Dismiss is denied for the reasons stated herein.

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S.

2. By letter dated and filed on March 22, 2005, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by requiring him, a councilman of the City of Hartford (hereinafter “city”), to pay fifty cents per page for copies of records, and thereby denying him copies of such records.

3. The respondent contends that the Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the complainant’s appeal because “there is no present allegation that the Respondent violated any provision of the Freedom of Information Act …rather, the …[complainant] seeks the determination of his rights under the FOIA".[1]

4. Section 1-206(b)(1), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.

5. It is found that the complaint in this matter alleges a denial of the right to obtain copies of public records without charge pursuant to §1-212(d)(4), G.S.

6. It is concluded that the complainant has alleged a denial of a right conferred by the FOI Act, within the meaning of §1-206(b)(1), G.S., and therefore, the Commission has jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.

7. It is found that the complainant is a councilmember of the city who was elected to such office on November 4, 2003, for a term commencing January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2008.

8. It is found that, commencing in August 2004, the complainant made a series of requests to the respondent to be provided with numerous records.

9. It is found that the complainant renewed the August 2004 request by e-mail dated February 15, 2005, and directed such request to the attention of the city’s Deputy Corporation Counsel.

10. It is found that the respondent maintains records that are responsive to the complainant’s records requests at issue.

11. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to …(3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

12. Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides that: “[A]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record”.

13. Section 1-212(d)(4), G.S., further provides that: “[T]he public agency shall waive any fee provided for in this section when:

The person requesting the record is an elected official of a political subdivision of the state and the official (A) obtains the record from an agency of the political subdivision in which the official serves, and (B) certifies that the record pertains to the official’s duties.

14. It is found that the complainant is an elected official, within the meaning of §1-212(d)(4), G.S. It is also found that the records at issue are records of the city in which the complainant serves, within the meaning of §1-212(d)(4), G.S.

15. The respondent concedes, and it is concluded, that the records at issue are public records within the meaning of §1-210(a), G.S.

16. The respondent also does not claim that any of the records at issue are exempt from disclosure pursuant to any federal law or state statute. In fact, it is found that the respondent has provided the complainant with access to inspect many of the requested records, as well as copies of some of the requested records without cost to the complainant. However, it is found that the respondent is now requiring payment from the complainant for copies of records that were produced, and for records to be produced in connection with the complainant’s records requests at issue.

17. At the crux of the complaint in this matter is the disagreement between the complainant and the respondent as to what “certifies that the record pertains to the official’s duties” means, within the meaning of §1-212(d)(4), G.S.

18. It is found that the complainant informed the respondent orally and by e-mail that the records requested pertain to his official duties as an elected official.

19. It is found that the respondent has declined to accept the complainant’s representation as indicated in paragraph 18, above, and contends that certification, within the meaning of §1-212(d)(4), G.S., requires that the complainant submit to the respondent a sworn written statement, signed by a notary public or a Commissioner of the Superior Court, stating that the requested records will be used in the complainant’s official duties. In this regard, the respondent upon receipt of such sworn statement intends to confirm with the city council or council committee, as appropriate, that the requested records do in fact pertain directly to business before the council or committee.

20. It is found that on or about August 2, 2004, the complainant received a letter from the President of Diggs Construction, LLC, the Program Manager for Phase 1 of the renovations of the Hartford Public Schools, along with a two-page unsigned document. It is found that the August 2, 2004 letter and the unsigned document appear to suggest possible irregularities surrounding the award of contracts by the Hartford School Building Committee.

21. It is found that the complainant’s records requests at issue directly pertain to his concern and inquiry into possible irregularities surrounding the award of contracts, and therefore, pertain to his duty as an elected official to respond to concerns and possible improprieties occurring within the city.

22. It is concluded that nothing in §1-212(d)(4), G.S., limits the “official’s duties” to include only business that is formally before the city council or business that has been formally assigned to a city council committee.

23. Consequently, it is concluded that the complainant has met the criteria set forth in §1-212(d)(4), G.S., and therefore, the respondent violated the FOI Act by requiring that the complainant pay fifty cents per page for copies of the requested records.

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

1. In the interest of ensuring clarity and greater understanding between the parties, and also to avoid the duplication of records being produced, the complainant shall forthwith, provide the respondent with a list of the records/ information contained in records, that he has not yet received from the respondent in response to his February 15, 2005 request.

2. The respondent shall forthwith, upon receipt of the list, described in paragraph 1 of the Order above, provide the complainant with copies of all records, responsive to the complainant’s February 15, 2005 request, at no charge.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 22, 2006.


Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission



Kenneth H. Kennedy, Jr.

Councilman, City of Hartford

550 Main Street

Hartford, CT 06103

Corporation Counsel,

City of Hartford

c/o John Rose, Jr., Esq.
Corporation Counsel
City of Hartford
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103


Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission



It's not just me I guess, heres another "John Rose Classic Moment" as he tries to throw WFSB's Len Besthoff out of his office while Besthoff was reviewing public documents.

In this clip is also a brief reference to the e-mail Rose sent to me in error.


Here we go again.

For anyone that has dealt with, or observed the actions of, Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose, it is quite obvious that he has a total disregard for the Freedom of Information Act and public documents.

I have had my run-ins with Mr. Rose immediately since the first time I submitted an FOIrequest for documents. After receiving that first request, Attorney Rose sent an e-mail to his Deputy Corporation Counsel Carl Nasto asking "Carl, who lit a fire under this asshole? can I shut him down?"

Unfortunately for Mr. Rose, he also copied me on the e-mail and then hit the send button. Yes, this is the competency level of Mr. Rose.

After several FOI complaints against the City for not releasing documents, most of which I have won, myself and Mr. Rose are once again in the middle of an FOI hearing.

The current complaint is regarding the case of Hartford Police Officer Matthew Secore. Officer Secore was charged after he allegedly punched the nephew of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez once while Perez was in Hartford Police custody (That's Ruben Perez, Eddie Perez has only been in the custody of the State's Attorney, so far).

The incident happened after Ruben Perez and others allegedly viciously beat the brother of Officer Secore, leaving him seriously injured.

The charges against Officer Secore were eventually dismissed and the Connecticut Labor board ruled that "The Chief of Police did not have just cause to terminate the employment of Officer Matthew Secore. The termination shall be replaced by a ninety (90) day suspension. The grievant is further required to attend and successfully complete an appropriate anger management course. He is to be made whole for any lost wages and benefits beyond the ninety (90)day suspension period until he is reinstated."

The Labor Boards decision was issued on January 16, 2009.

When I heard about the decision from the Labor Board, I was curious about three issues. First was as to what influenced the Labor Board to decide that Officer Secore should be reinstated. Second was why, if the Labor Board had ruled on the matter, hadn't Officer Secore been re-instated. And third, what role did the fact that Ruben Perez was the Mayor's nephew play into the discipline and the eventual punishment of termination.

I submitted a request for documents to Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose specific to the Secore case. The request included any appeals or court filings, e-mails or correspondence relating to the case as well as the internal police investigation into the matter.

All of these documents are clearly public documents as defined by Connecticut law with very little room for any exemptions to disclosure.

Regardless, Mr. Rose in his typical disdain for the publics right to review public documents, denied my request for ALL of the requested documents. Not one single piece of paper was released by Mr. Rose. Not one letter, not one e-mail , nothing , nada, denied denied denied.

I'm not sure what Mr.Rose knows about FOI statutes, if anything at all if his actions are any indication. When I have a question about documents and their release, I call the FOI Commission office and they are probably the most accommodating state agency I have ever encountered. FOI laws are not complex and essentially involve more common sense than legal knowledge, apparently something that Mr. Rose's actions indicate are both lacking.

So on we move. The documents were never released, not one single piece of paper, so I made a complaint to the FOI Commission. At the first hearing in December, Mr. Rose attempted to make a few baseless arguments and he started off by claiming "Attorney-Client" privilege. Apparently that argument wouldn't hold up because once documents are in the public domain, such as court filings and Labor Board decisions, they become public documents.

As the hearing continued, I produced numerous documents provided to me by a source that were pertinent to my FOI request, yet never released by Attorney Rose. The hearing officer from FOI made a comment to Mr. Rose that the documents I introduced seemed to clearly be public documents.

As a result, the hearing officer ordered Mr. Rose to itemize all of the documents that he was claiming an exemption for and produce them at an "in camera" inspection. For those, like me, who have not attended law school, an "in camera" inspection is essentially a review conducted in private by FOI attorneys who based on their review of the documents decide whether or not they are "public" documents or based on the City's argument they should be excluded from release.

As I mentioned before, John Rose is the gift that keeps on giving. The documents for the "in-camera" review order were scheduled to be delivered to the FOI Commission "on or before January 13". Today, apparently at 12:53PM John Rose sent an e-mail to the FOI Commission requesting a continuance. At 1:00PM he sent an e-mail to me stating " Mr. Brookman, I mis-sent this earlier, John Rose".

I was not sure what his intention was in the e-mail. Did he mean that he mis-sent it because he didn't need the continuance? There was no explanation from him other than "mis-sent" so I e-mailed him back as to what he meant. Was he looking for the continuance or delivering the documents? I thought it was a fair question.

The attached e-mail is what I received back from Mr. Rose:

From: "Rose, John " [Edit Address Book]
To: Kevin Brookman
Subject: RE: FW: Brookman v Rose Docket #FIC 2009-551
Date: Jan 13, 2010 4:01 PM

Brookman, you are a piece of work…if you look at the emails you will see that the first time I sent it to you I left out the “r” in your email address…that is to say I “mis-sent” it…Duh!! I asked for and got the extension. I will live up to its terms and conditions. Have a nice day…JohnRose

Yes folks, this is Hartford's "top" attorney. Obviously he takes his job as a public servant seriously as you can see.

Not once have I treated Mr. Rose with disrespect or sent him any e-mails such as those he has sent to me.

Is it any wonder Hartford is the mess it is with people like Mr. Rose in positions of "authority"?


Secore Hearing in Camera Order


After last weeks revelation that Hartford Democratic Town Chairperson Sean Arena and his brother Ralph Arena may have been beating Hartford's high taxes by registering their cars in New Canaan, a storm of denials by Arena erupted.

Arena even went so far as trying to justify the claim by saying one of the vehicles was his mother's.

Apparently those claims didn't hold up, because as of today the Hartford Tax Collectors online lookup service lists the Arena's vehicles as now being taxed in Hartford, dating back to at least 2006. More entry's are expected as the research by the Assessor and Tax Collector continues.

According to the Tax Collector's information, the taxes due Hartford amounts to several thousand dollars, and as of this date does not include interest and penalties which will add potentially several thousand dollars more.

Sean Arena's 2006, 2007 and 2008 Motor Vehicle taxes, less penalty and interest =$3183.35 owed to Hartford so far.

Ralph Arena's 2006, 2007 and 2008 Motor Vehicle taxes, less penalty and interest = $2162.92 owed to Hartford so far.


In the spirit of providing solutions to problems for the people of Hartford, please feel free to download the attached form.

For any Hartford resident whose vehicle might be registered in the wrong town, feel free to download this form.

With the Mayor projecting a $40 million dollar deficit for next year, we can use all the revenue possible. Even though taxes may be cheaper in other towns, please do the right thing and help Hartford out.


Motor Vehicle Change of Assessment

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Yesterday I posted about Hartford's latest "dog and pony show" to present the crime stats for 2009.

In the comments on that posting under "Daryl K. Roberts", Hartford Police Media and Communications Coordinator Nancy Mulroy posted a link requesting people to check out Hartford Crimestoppers.

I did, and I'm very surprised by the numbers there. Hartford Crimestoppers has been in operation since August of 2008 according to their website. I'm hoping this is a mistake and that they just haven't updated their numbers, but they claim that they have resulted in 4 arrests during that time and have paid out $200.00 in rewards.

It is somewhat confusing though because it shows the "worldwide" numbers, which are impressive, updated through today, 1-12-2010 and the Hartford numbers as a year old almost, 1-29-2009. I'm not sure if that means they haven't done anything in a year, or just haven't updated in a year.

Either way, 4 arrests doesn't seem to be making a huge impact. Also, at an average reward of $50.00 per arrest, it might make people think twice about making that call.



Let me first say, it is hard to take Mayor Perez seriously when he stands up and talks about crime. It's like looking at two polar opposites when you see the Mayor standing beside Chief Roberts. One is the image of integrity and honesty the other is Hartford's poster child for corruption.

With that being said, what is the real state of crime in Hartford?

By the city's own handout that was presented at City Hall, it paints a dismall picture if you look at the facts. The entire report is available below by clicking on "2009 Safe City Overview". Essentially the report points out an increase in homicides in 2009. Aggravated assaults increased 16.2%, burglaries increased 12% and shooting incidents increased by 9.2%

By these numbers, it would appear that the crimes that make people fear Hartford are not moving in the right direction.

I guess we should take comfort in the statements and bullet points in this report, but they seem to defy logic or any positive "marketing strategy" to make people feel good about Hartford. As an example the report states "since 2003 Violent Crime has remained constant and in 2009 increased from 1,537 to 1,619". I feel better already knowing that violent crime has remained constant. What are they thinking?

I guess that is what they call looking at the glass as half full.It's like they are trying to say "violent crime has remained constant, you think it's bad now, imagine if it increased how bad it could be".

I don't fault the Chief or the Hartford Police Department for these numbers as much as I do the administration. If we added up all of the Police Officers we have been promised by Mayor Perez at election time, the HPD would be fully staffed and in great shape. Unfortunately the department is still losing officers faster than they are being replaced, and sources tell me that by year end, we potentially could once again be below 400 officers.

In addition, City Hall sources are telling me that this year at budget time, police and fire layoffs are an almost certain reality, reducing the numbers even more.

In addition, equipment and vehicles have been another real problem. It doesn't take an expensive study to figure out that if you are short vehicles and are doubling up officers in the same car, then they are only able to produce half the results together that they might produce working on their own. By only being able to cover half as much territory, then realistically half as much criminal activity might be noticed. Therefore only half as much enforcement might take place, and potentially crime could be doubling, unchecked.

Again, we already know our Mayor has very little regard for our laws as he has been charged with violating several felony statutes himself. Is it any wonder that he may not be strong on crime prevention?

The numbers below are compiled through FBI statistics and show Hartford, CT ranked at number 24 out of 400 US Cities. Hartford is ahead of Newark, New Jersey and way ahead of Boston, Massachusetts. That in and of itself tells the story that Hartford is a violent city.

2009 City Crime RankingsCity Crime 2009 Rank Rev

2009 SAFE CITY OVERVIEW2009 Safe City Overview

Monday, January 11, 2010


I attended the latest comedy event held in the Council Chambers today. I don't know, but I just find it highly laughable to see a Mayor arrested twice on numerous felony charges talking about his crime fighting abilities. Does he even consider his own credibility and wonder how people can take him seriously when he may be facing some serious prison time in a few months?

After having the police called on me last week at City Hall when I asked the Democratic Registrar for public documents, I tried to keep a low profile today.

It took every ounce of my willpower though to not shout out a question for the Mayor.

"Mr. Mayor, do your arrests and the arrest of Councilperson Airey-Wilson and others figure into the City's crime statistics or does the state have to claim those?"


No, not about Sean Arena and his brother Ralph and the thousands of dollars they have apparently beat Hartford out of.

Rather, the posting regarding the documents that someone(I referred to them as spineless) had sent to the Courant. The documents appeared to show that I was not paying personal property taxes for my business office, even though I haven't had an office at the address listed for several years.

I referred to the "source" of the documents as "spineless". I still feel they are because it is easy to sling allegations anonymously with out doing any checking to verify the accuracy of the documents. The person who provided the documents, who I won't name here, had every resource available to verify the documents and chose not to.They most likely knew they were wrong and hoped the Courant would just run with them without any verification

In retrospect, I wouldn't be writing on this blog if it weren't for my "sources" who provide me with information and documents. In looking back, the last thing I would call any of my sources is spineless.Sources providing me with information are actually some of the bravest people I know. They risk their careers and livelihoods by contacting me and giving me the information they do. In this era of corruption at Hartford City Hall, they all know that by contacting me, they essentially could be out of a job tomorrow.

It all comes down to the trust factor and my sources know I will protect their identity and their information at all costs. Hopefully that is why people take the risk to talk to me and forward the information they do.

Although my aggravation in that posting was directed toward those trying to "kill the messenger" and deflect attention away from the Arena's, some felt that it was also directed toward Steve Goode from the Courant.

I whole heartedly apologize to Steve Goode if that was taken as my intent. Although I only met Steve in person today, I have nothing but the highest regards for the way he handled the situation. He was extremely fair. He could have posted the documents on their face value, but he chose not to. He contacted me and then went to City Hall to try to get the full story. Only after he did that and then contacted me again, did he finally post what he found.

Both Steve Goode and Helen Ubinas from the Courant were fair in their analysis last week, and again I apologize to them if they felt any of this was directed towards them.

It is hard to make sense out of a lot of the nonsense that comes out of Hartford politics. All of the back and forth and trying to deflect attention away from their actions by coming after me shows the desperate nature of Hartford's "leaders". But, I guess when you are potentially committing criminal acts, you will become desperate when you face exposure.

Besides, due to the coverage of Helen and Steve and their links to "We the People", the blog had its best week in traffic since I put the information up first regarding the Mayor's second impending arrest. Almost 2500 people clicked on "cityline" and "notes from Hel" in four days to read the blog. Since I am trying not to aggravate anyone more, I won't say which blog was more popular in their links.

Again, I apologize to any of the "good guys" who took this the wrong way, and to the subjects who actually took offense because I exposed their activities, I stand by what I say 100%.