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Saturday, August 21, 2010


Hartford Police Officers awaiting the arrival of the hearse contaning Officer Bates earlier today at the Ahern Funeral Home (sorry for the quality of the pic)

Hartford Police Officer Jason Bates, who passed away in Boston from cancer this week, arrived back in Hartford today. The hearse carrying Officer Bates was escorted back from Boston this morning by members of the Hartford Police Department and a police motorcycle escort.

A line of Hartford Police Officers, including Chief Roberts and Deputy Chief Horvath, stood at attention as the procession pulled into the Ahern Funeral Home at 180 Farmington Avenue in Hartford The officers attended the tribute in uniform, most of them on their own time, to honor one of their fellow officers.

As the hearse pulled into the front lot escorted by six police motorcycles, the motorcade passed a line of Hartford Police cruisers parked with their red and blue roof strobes and their headlights flashing. Bagpiper Pat Whelan added to the tribute as he piped traditional music as Officer Bates was carried into the funeral home by six Hartford Police officers and Chief Roberts.

From what I have been told, the wake for Officer Bates will be Monday and the funeral will be Tuesday. I don't know any more of the details yet than that.


There are many ways to answer that question some days. But it can't get much worse than when you finish that sentence "you know it is going to be a bad day when a prisoner handcuffed in the back seat of your HPD cruiser finds a way to slip out of his cuffs, climb through a broken partition between the seats, get into the driver seat and take off and escape with your stolen cruiser".

That was how the sentence ended today for a Hartford Police officer who shall remain nameless, mainly because the incident is under investigation at this point.

The officer was at Hartford Hospital with the prisoner when the incident occurred and apparently much of the incident was caught on video. After the prisoner fled, nearly striking a few individuals, he eventually ended up at the Windsor boat launch where he ditched the car on a trail that ran along the river.

The prisoner for some reason removed the laptop from the cruiser and disconnected the battery. The damage to the vehicle did have some new dents and also was driven over a rather large downed tree laying across the trail.

The suspect is still at large, but that will most likely change quickly, it is never a good idea to steal a police car.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The following story was posted on line this afternoon. If only the Council had passed the proposed "Cotto" ordinance sooner, we could have hosted 46 of the people arrested. The 47th was already here as a guest of the Connecticut Department of Correction. I wonder how this would have been handled in Hartford?

The crimes alleged seem relatively minor,attempted murder, carjacking, assault and battery with dangerous weapons, assault to rape and possession of firearms.
I can see why we would want to welcome them with open arms and prevent the Police from asking unnecessary questions of these stellar individuals. I'm sure they were only looking to start fresh in the Land of Opportunity. And how dare they "target" foreigners without giving the same opportunity for arrests to regular citizens.

Here is the full story:


BOSTON — Federal immigration officials say a three-month operation in Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut has led to the arrest 47 of people suspected of being gang members or having ties to gangs.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Harold Ort said on Friday that many of the suspects had histories of violent crimes including attempted murder, carjacking, assault and battery with dangerous weapons, assault to rape and possession of firearms.

The operation targeted foreigners and those born abroad. They will appear before immigration judges, but their criminal status renders them removable from the country within 10 business days.

They include residents of Boston, Chelsea, Dartmouth, East Boston, Fitchburg, Leominster, Lynn, New Bedford, Randolph and Springfield, all in Massachusetts. One person who was already in custody at Hartford Correctional Center was also arrested, and others were detained in Providence, R.I., as well as Portland and Westbrook in Maine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Apparently these are the official voter turnout numbers for the August 10, 2010 primary as being reported on, where you can search by town for the results.

TOWN Hartford
Eligible Democrats 33829
Democrats Voted 7484
Democrat Turnout 22.12%
Eligible Republicans 1719
Republicans Voted 404
Republican Turnout 23.50%

Pretty dismal numbers, but the number of eligible Republicans surprises me. It looks like the Republican vote is shrinking more and more each year. A few more years and they should be non-existent.

How is the budget for the Republican Registrar of Voters justified with such small numbers compared to the Democratic numbers?


Hartford Police Officer Jason Bates passed away this evening after a year long battle against cancer.

Officer Bates graduated from the Hartford Police Academy in 2007. Approximately 18 months later Officer Bates was diagnosed with cancer and has been receiving treatments in Boston.

On August 5, 2010 Hartford Police Sergeant Jim Elliott began a 24 hour bicycle ride around the outer borders of the State of Connecticut as a fundraiser for Officer Bates.

For the ride, an account was established for donations. Anyone wishing to still contribute may send donations to the "24 Hour Bates Bicycle Ride" in care of the Greater Hartford Police Federal Credit Union at 50 Jennings Road, Hartford, CT, 06120.

I don't know anything at this point regarding Officer Bates family situation, but please consider donating if possible.



For an agency that is still using hand written index cards to keep track of time records, it might be a jump for them to keep up with this new-fangled thing called the internet.

The only problem is that we are paying for someone to maintain the Hartford Police Department's website under a special contract worth more than $60,000 per year. The person with the contract is also collecting a pension as a retired City of Hartford employee.

In taking a look at the website last night, it shows that the weekly crime statistics haven't been updated since May 15, 2010. They used to be relatively up to date, maybe lagging a couple weeks at a time, but over 3 months behind?

Much of the basic information is also outdated. It show's Lt. Luis Rodriguez as Commander of Vice and Narcotics, he hasn't been there in probably over a year. Lt. Pat Jobes is listed as the Headquarters Lieutenant for "C" squad, he retired months ago. Many other mistakes and outdated information is on the site, but you get the point.

Shouldn't we ask for our money's worth if we are paying over $60,000 a year to have someone make sure it is correct?

Another problem I have is that the City is paying a police Sergeant to function as the Public Information Officer. If information was flowing out of the Police Department it might be worthwhile. But if you go by what is on the website, there have been five press releases for the entire month of August, one on the 2nd, three on the 3rd and one on the 5th, nothing since. Ten press releases for May, one for June, and none for July. Probably a mistake on the part of the webmaster, but if nothing else, it shows that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

With the current staffing issues, do we really need to tie up a sworn police officer writng a handful of press releases a month. With all of the gun and drug arrests being made, why aren't these being made public? Would it hurt to let people know what their Police Department is doing?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


What is best for Hartford? That seems like a logical question that should be asked before important decisions are made for our city's future. Unfortunately, that question seems to be lost on some City Council members as they prepare to select the replacement for the vacant seat on the Council.

Horsetrading at its finest is being carried out behind closed doors in the Council offices. It is not about selecting the best possible candidate, it is about shoring up the foundations and political favors for some Council people and their political futures.

The promises for support down the road are being made by those with Mayoral aspirations. Comments like "I'm voting for R*** D******* on the first ballot because I promised M***** G******* I would to get her support next year" (the full names were left out to protect the identities of the horse traders). Or "if I vote for .... "insert candidate name here"...will they vote for me for Council President?"

Those are honestly questions and statements that have been made by council members, they aren't questions I am making up.

I'll admit, the choices seem pretty slim, but out of the three front runners,at least one candidate seems to stand out.

Hartford Attorney A.J. Sierra was the one that seemed to impress the audience members the most from the feedback I got. Sierra relayed how he put himself through law school by running a hot dog cart downtown at night in the bar area. He then went to law school, passed the bar and set up shop in Hartford where he has remained and lives here with his family and has his offices here also.

I would think what we need now is someone with common sense who has built their own business, understands what the people of Hartford are going through and can bring some new ideas to a stagnant Council.

The horse trading "politics as usual" mindset by the current Council needs to change. I didn't name the council people involved in the wheeling and dealing, but I may after they meet Friday to make their selection.

I have a few suggestions for the possible candidates that they might want to ask. If the Robles incident means anything, they should probably not expect honest answers to their questions from some, but who knows.

They might ask the candidates "Have you ever been asked to leave or failed out of a Police Academy because of a poor attitude and a failure to respect authority while in that Academy?". Also a good question might be "Have you ever been or are you currently involved in a food stamp fraud investigation that could potentially result in your arrest?". This question might prove interesting also "Are you aware of any past or current investigations by any agencies into your law practices that may result in the loss of your license to practice law?".

I'm sure the Council members have plenty of their own questions they could ask if they really wanted to find the best candidate. For some reason though I think most of those on the Council follow the old adage "Silence is Golden"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Apparently another vote was found in Bloomfield, Matt Ritter has doubled his lead over incumbent Ken Green.

Ritter is now sitting on a comfortable 2, yes two, vote lead as of 6:30PM. Ritter's victory is almost assured now


The picture above is from a surveillance camera at the ATM at the Bank of America on Blue Hills Avenue while a 78 year old woman was being robbed on August 8 at approximately 9:38am.

If you recognize the individual in the picture, please contact Hartford Police Major Crimes Division at 860-757-4256


The numbers are still being finalized for the official results, but unofficially with the recount complete it looks like Matt Ritter has taken the 1st District State representative primary by one, yes one, vote.

Monday, August 16, 2010


As usual, tonight was another eye-opener in Hartford. I had planned on attending the 6th District Town Committee meeting for a while and then run over to City Hall for the Cotto ordinance public hearing to protect Hartford's "lily white" folks (his words, not mine) or whatever he was trying to accomplish.

I never made it to the hearing but from what I hear, it was about 50/50 split with speakers in favor or against. One observer did tell me that the majority of the speakers against the ordinance were actually Hartford residents, while many of those in favor were from outside Hartford.

The 6th District Town Committee was like watching a train wreck that you knew was inevitable, but you just couldn't turn away from it. Hartford politics being what it is, the fact that the meeting was called in the first place was surprising enough. There was probably 15 or 20 people there and Jan Appellof, the 6th District spokesperson hosted the meeting at her home. Appellof as well as many others in attendance seemed to feel betrayed that Robles had apparently lied directly to them only a couple weeks before the IAD report was released

First up was Marie Hamilton who claimed the meeting was a "witch hunt" and she would not participate. Before leaving the meeting she vowed to work against the members supporting the meeting at election time as she had done to get them elected in the first place. As she started to leave she stopped in front of me and I thought I was the next one to suffer her wrath. Instead though, she told me how much she loved the blog and that was the only way she knew the meeting was being held because she read it here.

The cast of supporting characters continued to trickle in, Al Marotta, Lou Watkins, Jean Holloway, Alyssa Peterson and I can't forget Hallie Jackson from Channel 3 who was already there when I arrived. (Hi Holly)

Next up was Al Marotta who voiced the typical "innocent until proven guilty" defense as the proposed reason for taking no action. He perfected that during the Perez trial, I hope he will notify us when the first prayer vigil for Hector is being held. Marotta was also indignant that outsiders were in attendance. How could they possibly conduct a meeting with members of the Public and the media present. I guess that whole open and transparent idea is beyond his comprehension.

The focus of the meeting quickly turned to the perceived impending arrest and all of the "what ifs" that an arrest would cause. I made a comment at that point that I thought it would evolve into a witch hunt if they started to consider , as the lawyers say, facts not in evidence. I do believe that if the justice system does actually work and the facts are even close to those laid out in the IAD report, an arrest is 99.9% coming sometime soon. The focus should be on the IAD report which seemed pretty clear as to what Robles had been accused of and admitted to already.

I listened to the conversation though and began to think when is enough enough? What degree of criminality do we need before we feel that our trust has been violated enough to ask a public official to step down? Does it take a conviction on a Class A felony or just an arrest? Is a conviction on a misdemeanor enough or can we ignore an arrest or two? Maybe a DUI? Maybe possession of crack cocaine? Or once we feel as though a public official has violated our trust, damaged the integrity of the system of democracy and disgraced himself and their office can we call for their resignation?

Innocent until proven guilty is a cute catch phrase, but if no charges should arise does that mean people like Robles or Perez or other untrustworthy politicians be allowed to remain because they never faced a jury. Aren't we the voters allowed to determine their fate when they violate our trust?

For me the decision regarding Hector Robles was clear after he lied to me twice regarding the accusations. As a friend, he spouted off to me the same misleading statements and lies he has given to the media and others. He stated it is all administrative and he had actually been cleared and it was a misunderstanding. He was right in one aspect, it was administrative to a certain degree. All IAD investigations could technically be called administrative, those "administrative" investigations many times unfortunately evolve into criminal cases.

That is the situation that Hector finds himself in now as his fate is being considered by the Office of the Chief States Attorney.

Unfortunately, as evidenced at the meeting tonight, people that may have stood behind him if he had told the truth are now calling for his resignation. Anyone who has read the IAD report can read that Robles was very aware of the facts and that he admitted his actions constituted larceny, he knew he was "double-dipping" and he readily admitted to providing false time records.

It is not a matter of if or when he is arrested or convicted. It is a matter though of how willing are we to tolerate the violation of our trust by a corrupt politician. The cloud of corruption was just beginning to lift after the Perez trial and conviction. Mayor Segarra had just begun to restore some confidence in the operations of Hartford government. Now Hector Robles has made that dark cloud over the city even darker by not only blemishing the image of the Police department but calling into question his integrity as an elected official and a member of the Hartford Legislative delegation.

It shouldn't be only the 6th District Town Committee calling for Robles's resignation. Any member of the Hartford delegation who hasn't benefited through corrupt activities should be calling for his resignation. That might be difficult for some, you know that old "people who live in glass houses" thing, but there are others who actually have integrity and should be offended by Robles's activity.

Most importantly all of us who get out and vote should be leading the charge for Robles to resign. This is another slap in the face to every voter who takes the 5 or 10 minutes to actually vote and it contributes to the increased sense of voter apathy and the feeling that all politicians are corrupt. By the 6th District taking swift, yet fair and thought out action, they can start sending a solid message of their own. To do nothing sends the message that it is "business as usual" for corrupt activity in Hartford.

The old style politics that have contributed to Hartford's increasing apathy need to end. It is our system, we need to take it back and we need to actually find the leaders that are willing to take a stand and confront corruption head on. Corruption will not go away if we continue to allow those that tolerate it to be our "leaders".

Those that remain silent or oppose action are the ones getting the bus contracts, the do-nothing City jobs, employing their relatives or have greatly benefited by a corrupted government.

It is time to speak up and say enough is enough. Let the Democratic Town Chairwoman and the members of the 6th district DTC know you are fed up and want change. Feel free to post your comments here, I know most of them read the blog.

And Hector, I know you read the blog also. Remember the words I spoke to you that you told me kept running through your mind for the DTC vote the second time around? I hope they are running through your mind now and you pay attention.


Although the Hector Robles report was posted here a few days ago, it might be interesting to some to see how the investigation actually began.

A short time before August 13, 2009, Lieutenant Paul Ciesinski, was promoted to the rank of Captain and was assigned as the commander for the Southeast District. Ciesinski in his review of his newly assigned area apparently looked at the performance of the personnel assigned to the Southeast area of the City.

As part of that review he checked into the performance, or lack thereof, of Officer Hector Robles who was assigned as the Community Service Officer for the South Meadows area.

Prior to being promoted to Captain, Ciesinski was assigned as the Lieutenant in charge of HPD's Internal Affairs division. A thorough review was conducted of Robles's performance and it looks like red flags were shooting up in every direction.

Ciesinski's internal memo to Deputy Chief Paul Hammick is posted below, it makes for some very interesting reading. Although Ciesinski was new to the district, it raises some very serious issues regarding the level of supervision before his arrival. Is Captain Ciesinski's memo the first time anyone noticed Robles's performance?

Also included is the Department's advocate, Lt. Bernier's recommendation for "termination of employment as a Hartford Police Officer"

Ciesinski's Robles Memo

Robles Advocate's Report


Two important meetings will be taking place tonight and they both could prove to be very interesting.

The first meeting at 6PM is being held by the 6th District Democratic Town Committee. The meeting has been called to discuss the fate of 6th District State Representative Hector Robles. The meeting will be held at the home of Jan Appellof at 687 Broadview Terrace. THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Robles is caught up in a "double-dipping" scandal at the Hartford Police Department where he is being accused of stealing almost $10,000 through fraudulent time cards. According to the Internal Affairs report Robles admitted to knowing that his actions constituted larceny, he was "double-dipping" and provided false information for his time records.

The Office of the Chief States Attorney is reported to be in the process of reviewing the IAD report and an Inspector has been assigned to potentially prepare criminal charges.

The second meeting will be a Public Hearing held at Hartford City Hall in the Council Chambers at 7:00PM. That will be for the public to comment on proposed ordinances. One of the ordinances has caused a lot of discussion and comments here regarding Councilman Cotto's proposal to limit the actions of the Hartford Police when it comes to immigration and intelligence gathering. The ordinance was posted here previously under "Is it time to disarm the Hartford Police?".

Show up and feel free to speak your mind.


It appears the recount numbers are complete for the 4th District Democratic primary. Due to the closeness of the vote last Tuesday a recount was required and that was done today.

Kelvin Roldan apparently retained his seat by a five vote margin over his challenger Angel Morales.