Word from sources moments ago is that Hector Robles will be tendering his resignation from both the 6th District Town Committee and his seat as a State Representative.
Sources are also confirming that Hartford County States Attorney Gail Hardy earlier today referred the HPD/Robles IAD report to Chief States Attorney Kevin Kane for criminal prosecution.
More as I get it.
Although at 1:00PM today Hector Robles had promised to deliver his resignation from the Democratic Town Committee and the State Legislature to 6th District spokeperson Jan Appellof, as of 6:30PM he has not arrived. Maybe 2nd thoughts? Who knows.
Apparently now Robles is claiming he never offered to resign, never mentioned a letter of resignation and has no plans to step aside. Eerily similar to the Perez, saga, isn't it?
Although no one can be blamed for Hector Robles's behavior except Hector himself, how could this situation occur unchecked for so long?
Is anyone else amazed that in this day of technology and "blackberry this" and "i-pad that" that the Hartford Police Department is still using handwritten index cards to account for payroll time? And what about tracking and payroll software? Were there no red flags when the payroll was input that he was billing for the same, duplicate hours?
Is it really conceivable that Officer Robles is the only rocket scientist that figured out how to beat the system by double dipping? Out of a force of almost 460 officers could Robles be the lone fox feeding in the "PJ" henhouse?
How could an Officer that was assigned to the South Meadows as the community service officer be missing in action on all those occasions he was alleged to be double dipping? Did anyone ever notice he was making no traffic stops , no arrests, no case numbers being drawn, no productivity of any sort?
Where was the supervision? Where was his Sergeant who should be checking on him throughout the day? Where was his Lieutenant who at the very least should know what his activity was for his area for the week?
And just for the sake of Officer safety, why wasn't the dispatch center aware who is working and who is not? Routinely only patrol units sign "on the line" at the beginning of their shifts. Shouldn't every officer, detective, supervisor, Lieutenant Captain right up through the Chief be accounted for when they are working? Who tracks that all officers on the street are safe and return at the end of the shift?
It amazes me that no single person, whether a dispatcher or the Headquarters Commander could answer specifically at any given time who is available and accounted for. That just seems like a huge safety issue. Not to mention shouldn't it be known what resources are available at any given time?
Whatever happened to that modern technology we were supposed to be implementing called "GPS"? Would that have not shown that Robles's assigned cruiser was stationery for hours at a time at a construction site when it should have been patrolling the Southend of Hartford?
And with the number of Assistant Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs assigned to know what is going on in their areas of the City, were they all asking "Hector who?"
Heads need to roll on this one and it shouldn't just be Hector's head. He is responsible for his actions, but a lot of others need to be held accountable for theirs.
Fortunately a new supervisor assigned to the area noticed something wrong with Robles's productivity and started asking questions that others didn't. Luckily HPD has a Chief that has taken his responsibility and accountability to the community seriously and immediately launched an Internal investigation. And more importantly, Chief Roberts has built an Internal Affairs Division that handles investigations promptly and efficiently and has greatly reduced the backlog of investigations that he inherited as Chief.
A year to complete the IAD may seem like a long time to complete the investigation, but I think a 300 page report speaks for itself as to the extent of the investigation and its thoroughness.
It is getting late, but maybe tomorrow I'll try to address the timing of the reports release as my sources have explained it to me. It had nothing to do with politics.
If you have questions as to how this happened , feel free to post them and I'll try to get the answers
That might just be the next logical step if Hartford City Councilman Luis Cotto has his way.
Cotto has introduced a proposed ordinance that will drastically limit the efforts of the Hartford Police Department in obtaining information and intelligence gathering.The ordinance is below for you to view.
Since when can the Hartford City Council supercede the powers given to law enforcement by State and Federal law? Do we have any confidence in our Police Department and our Police Chief to do the right thing? Unless I'm confused, Federal law trumps State law, State law trumps municipal ordinances and resolutions.
As an example, one of the dictates being placed upon our police officers by the ordinance is "Reasonable suspicion that an offense has been committed may justify a cursory pat down of outer clothing for weapons but shall not justify a search, seizure or collection or retention of intelligence information".
Are you kidding me? A police officer can have a "reasonable suspicion that an offense has been committed" and it ends there? No questions asked, no id shown, no further search, just a simple pat down and now be on your way courtesy of Councilman Cotto. In any other jurisdiction, apparently besides Hartford, "reasonable suspicion that an offense has been committed" is known as probable cause.
Is Councilman Cotto attempting the rewrite just about every court decision that defines probable cause and a law enforcements right to proceed once that basic and necessary element has been established?
Why don't we just handcuff the police officers now and get it over with. The "collection or retention of intelligence information" after stopping someone is known as an "FI Card".The "FI Card" stands for Field Interview and is filled out by an officer after a contact with an individual on the street.
A police source familiar with the procedure stated that the FI cards are invaluable and that an alert officer filling out the card often leads to identifying suspects involved in crime trends. The source even stated that on at least one occasion a homicide suspect was identified through an FI card and someone being able to connect the dots to the suspects activities.
Maybe under Cotto's proposal we can do away with "intelligence gathering" and instead issue all Hartford Police officers their own crystal ball. It would probably do about as much good when it comes to Public Safety as this ordinance will.
I'm already prepared for those that will throw out the term racist and racism and claim that I have no idea what racial profiling feels like and the rest of the garbage that accompanies nonsense legislation like this. Illegal immigration is the elephant in the room that no one wants to speak about. Notice I didn't say "immigration", I specifically said "illegal immigration". If you don't follow the process and you are here illegally, you are a criminal, no matter what the reason. Someone robbing a bank because they need money and haven't eaten in days and are on the streets is still a criminal, no matter what the circumstances.
For hundreds of years people have been heading to the shores of what became the United States. There is a process, a legal and systematic process, for those wishing to enter our country and become citizens. My relatives did it, legally, and just about everyone reading this has done it legally or their relatives and ancestors did it legally. Some were forcibly brought to this country, but none the less, they hold the title of US citizen.
What's wrong with following and enforcing the process? I am reluctant to connect violent crime to illegal immigrants, we do well enough with violent crime committed by US citizens. I think most "illegal immigrants" actually come here for the same reason my ancestors did, and for the same reasons those following the process to become legal citizens arrive here. Quite simply, for a better life and to live in a great country like the US.
There is a process to enter this country legally and if Cotto or others don't agree with the procedure, then work to change that. Tying the hands of law enforcement only endangers those that are here legally and encourages more illegal immigration to sanctuary cities like Hartford.
Concilman Cotto might need to be reminded of the oath of office he took when he became a councilperson a major part of which he swore to "uphold the Constitution of the United States". Where does undermining State and Federal law enforcement efforts to enforce laws on the books play into "upholding the Constitution"?
This proposal is pure nonsense and is nothing short of pandering to a specific audience. I would hope that any law enforcement agent that is not allowed to do their job when necessary as required by law as result of this ordinance, if passed, will remember another law also on the books. It is called "Obstruction of Justice" or the lesser charge of "Interfering with a Police Officer", which is exactly what this proposed ordinance is all about.
It would be interesting to see what our new Corporation Counsel and Mayor thinks of the legality of this proposal.
Please turn out Monday night for the Council Hearing on this wonderful proposed legislation.
"Honesty, Integrity and making our neighborhoods safe" as the campaign brochure states is hardly the image portrayed in the document released today.
The Hartford Police Department's Internal Affairs report into the alleged misconduct of Officer Hector Robles has been released today. The 300 page report documents in detail allegations that will most likely result in criminal charges against Robles.
The report outlines "double dipping" allegations that Robles was collecting pay for private duty jobs (PJ's)at the same time he was getting paid for his regular shifts as a community service officer (CSO) in Hartford's South Meadows area. The report documents almost $10,000 in alleged thefts from the city by Robles' actions.
I will post more as I review the report and the investigation narrative.
The Department is recommending that Robles be terminated. Sources are also telling me that the report was delivered to Hartford County States Attorney Gail Hardy for criminal prosecution. That may not be the end of the road though as some are suggesting that the State's Attorney Public Integrity Unit also review the case due to Robles's position as a State Legislator from Hartford's 6th District.
Robles won his primary bid on Tuesday beating his challenger by a 2 to 1 margin. Questions had arisen during the campaign and Robles had assured the voters, media and even his own Town Committee that the report was administrative in nature, was not a criminal investigation and that the issues had been resolved. That apparently does not seem to be the truth of the matter as outlined in the IAD report.
In an unusual move, the Hartford Police Union endorsed Robles for re-election in a mailer sent out prior to Tuesday's primary. The IAD was fairly common knowledge and allegations were being raised even before the mailing was sent out promoting Robles's "honesty and integrity". According to Alyssa Peterson, Robles's opponent in Tuesday's primary, she was not aware of any selection process used for the endorsement. Peterson states she was never contacted for an interview or questioned before the Union arbitrarily endorsed Robles.
Pictured above, 4 Year old Lillany Rodriguez, killed by an out of control driver at Main and Belden Streets yesterday
Traffic laws, speeding, red lights, stop signs, improper passing, not to mention proper registrations and insurance are all pretty much ignored by many within Hartford's City limits. The reason? Your chances of getting stopped and cited are almost non-existent unless the offending vehicle is wrecked and can't move and the driver doesn't run away.
A tragic example of this occurred last night at Main Street and Belden Street. A vehicle being operated by a driver apparently high on drugs, possibly PCP, was headed south on Main Streets at speeds that some estimated approached 100 miles and hour. The driver rear-ended another vehicle in which 4 year old Lillany Rodriguez was a passenger. Lillany initially survived the accident and was resuscitated by the Hartford Fire Department but died of her injuries this afternoon.
Hartford's streets are a nightmare, and I fully understand the staffing problems with the Hartford Police Departments limited resources. With that being said, it is time for a Traffic Unit at the Hartford Police Department that actually enforces traffic laws.
Forget the parking issues and tagging scofflaws. Let the Parking Authority take care of that. Forget the abandoned cars. The Health Department tows them from private property now, let them handle the streets also. Forget tagging and towing cars from side streets in the Westend during the morning rush hour. Again, let the Parking Authority handle that. If it is a matter of assigning responsibility to these agencies, have the Council deal with it.
If a decision needs to be made as to towing a parking violator from Willard Street at 8:00am or taking a dangerous driver off the road, the choice seems simple. If a choice needs to be made over tagging a parking scofflaw on Washington Street or saving the life of another 4 year old from an out of control driver, the choice seems simple.
An aggressive traffic enforcement program needs to be initiated immediately to protect the conscientious drivers who actually register their cars, insure their vehicles and pay attention to our motor vehicle laws. Have you ever noticed the difference with which many drivers act when they exit the city at the Windsor, Wethersfield, Bloomfield or West Hartford borders. The stereos get turned down, the speed drops and the traffic laws seem to be obeyed.
Why is that? Because they know the suburban Police Departments have a lot more time for ticket writing and the odds increase drastically that poor driving will grab the attention of a suburban police officer.
I know a lot of the cell phone and distracted driver "campaigns" are the result of Federal Grants, but they seem to obtain results, both with drivers and the media. It's time the Hartford Police Department start something like that on their own.
We had no problem asking for help from the State whenever we needed Troopers to combat crime. Maybe it would make sense to ask for their help with some traffic enforcement, that is their specialty. And while we are at it, ask for a few Motor Vehicle Inspectors for good measure. It would send a strong message quickly and it might save the life of the next four year old that could potentially be the victim of an unchecked, out of control driver.
Last week after the tragic events at Hartford Distributors in Manchester, the Town of Manchester relied heavily on HPD resources. Hartford's SWAT team members and an armored vehicle were sent to Manchester almost immediately. HPD's Bomb Squad was also sent when questions arose about the shooters vehicle and whether it might be rigged with explosives. Several HPD Patrol Officers and Supervisors and cruisers were sent to Manchester to answer calls for service from Manchester residents. Manchester's resources were stretched so thin that Hartford was called upon to help out.
I for one would have no problem asking the City Administration to ask for some help in return from these towns we always step up to help when they ask us. It is the perfect example to move toward some regionalization efforts. Maybe one weekend night a month cover areas of the city with traffic enforcement.
I'm sure the efforts would not only yield traffic violators, but more serious offenders with weapons, drugs and even individuals wanted for other offenses.
In the meantime, Hartford PD's Traffic Units should be focusing on getting the message out that there is traffic enforcement in Hartford, and not just for double parking in front of Starbuck's during the morning rush hour.
The more I see, the more the "political operations" in Hartford continue to surprise me. The Republican Party in Hartford is dead and has been in steady decline for years. Many reasons can be thrown around to deflect the blame, but pure and simple, it comes down to a lack of leadership. Any leadership that might be claimed by the Republicans on a local level is held by those with outdated, antiquated ideas that have harmed the party on all levels.
It doesn't have to be that way. One of the reasons the Republican Party in Hartford has seen its demise is because they fail to embrace new ideas and put any effort into education and outreach to rebuild the party. OK, enough on the dead Republican Party.
What really bothers me though is the current state of the Democratic Party in Hartford, specifically the Democratic Town Committee. In case no one has noticed, the "endorsed" Town Committee candidates took a beating yesterday. In the 1st District Ken Green has won re-election(if he survives a recount and holds his 3 vote lead).Green was the incumbent but also was the challenger for his seat since the Town Committee gave his nomination to Matt Ritter.
In the 7th District, incumbent Doug McCrory won his seat back after the 7th District Town Committee attempted to orchestrate his ouster. The 7th District nominated rJo Winch to run in the 7th, the 7th District Town Committee has a large number of Winch family members seated as members. McCrory handily beat Winch to regain his seat.
In the 4th District, challenger Angel Morales came within 9 votes of de-throning incumbent Kelvin Roldan. A recount will be held to determine the winner in that race.
In the 6th District, Hector Robles had a challenge from Alyssa Peterson. Even though Peterson really did not run much of a campaign and didn't qualify for public funding, she still obtained about a third of the vote.
In the Fonfara/Vargas Senate race, Vargas had a respectable showing until the Wethersfield votes were figured in. Fonfara had a much better showing in Wethersfield than he did in his hometown of Hartford.
The part that bothers me though is that all of the endorsed candidates were pretty much on their own. Where were the Town Committee operations. Where were the phone banks for the "endorsed slate"? Where were the signs to vote for the "endorsed Democrats, vote Row A".
I was surprised when I drove through Windsor Center last week and saw a huge banner on a building across from the Town Hall. "WINDSOR DEMOCRATIC HEADQUARTERS" with just about every endorsed candidates signs in the windows. Windsor has about a quarter of Hartford's population, and Hartford probably has more registered Democratic voters than Windsor has total residents.
I'm not aware of any "Hartford Democratic Headquarters", no phone banks, not even a spot fro residents to drop in and get information about the races. Why not? If Windsor can do it along with many other smaller towns, why can't Connecticut's capitol city?
If you attended Town Committee meetings or listened to Hartford's so called political leaders, you would think the rooms were filled with James Carville's or Karl Rove's. Nothing seems further from the truth. Imagine what could happen if all the talk was actually put into action.
I think a lot of the dysfunction is by design though. If voters were educated and actually got involved, that might present a challenge to those that have become fat and happy with their political stature. Many Town Committee seats, both Republican and Democrat, are hardly ever challenged. If you look at the names on the Town Committee's, it probably hasn't changed much in the last ten or fifteen years. If it changes, in many cases the last names remain the same, only the first names change as families retain their "dynasty" hold and make sure the family names carry on in Hartford history.
The town committee's are the first step in getting the best candidates to run for office. As long as the twon committee's are a mess, our selection process for public officials will remain a mess.
It is time we start looking for the best possible candidates and the best people to represent us on the Town Committee's. Until then, nothing will change.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.