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Saturday, January 1, 2011


I received the following press release from Councilman Ritter's office:


Newly Elected Legislator To Be Sworn In Next Week

HARTFORD - Less than a week before he is to be sworn-in as a state legislator, Councilman Matthew Ritter submitted his letter of resignation to Hartford Town Clerk John Bazzano and sent an email to all City employees thanking them for their support and dedication during his three years on the Council. "Serving on the City Council has been an extremely rewarding experience, as it has given me the chance to help our families, neighbors and business owners with their issues and concerns. I would not have been able to accomplish that without you." Ritter , whose resignation is effective on January 3rd at 4:30 PM, also wrote to city employees: "As I enter this new chapter as State Representative for our city, your words and deeds will guide me in doing what is best for Hartford."

One of the youngest people ever elected to the Hartford City Council, Ritter was elected State Representative for the 1st Assembly District in November. Ritter learned yesterday that he will serve on the Connecticut General Assembly's Banks, Planning and Development and Executive and Legislative Nominations Committees. The Banks Committee reviews all legislation dealing with secured and unsecured lending. The Planning and Development Committee has oversight of housing, urban renewal and economic development programs impacting local governments. The Executive and Legislation Nominations Committee will review all executive and legislative nominations requiring action of either or both Houses, except judicial and workers' compensation commissioner appointments.

"I am honored to serve the residents of the 1st District, and excited to serve on committees that will impact issues that affect them," Ritter said. "I want to thank Speaker Donovan for these important assignments which will allow me to work on issues such as foreclosures, property tax reform and revenue diversification for municipalities."

While on the Council, Ritter chaired the Legislative Affairs and Planning and Economic Development Committees. He will be sworn in at the Legislative Office Building at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.

Now the games can officially begin to fill his vacant seat on the Council. This should be very interesting to watch, I'm sure I will have plenty of information to post on the maneuvering for this, keep the phone calls coming


As the sun rose on Hartford for the first morning of 2011, one body lay dead in the street on Francis Avenue, another lay dead in the morgue at the hospital and two more victims were recovering from gunshot wounds at Saint Francis Hospital.

Hopefully this isn't an indicator of things to come, but it is troubling to see the New Year starting in such a manner.

The first shootings came in shortly after 1:00am when a victim was shot in the chest inside the ballroom of the West Indian Social Club. He was transported to Saint Francis Hospital, and according to police sources he was immediately taken into surgery and is in critical but stable condition. The second shooting victim was actually the DJ at the club and he was grazed by a bullet and received superficial wounds.

The first and second homicides of 2011 occurred a little after 4:00am in front of 49 Francis Avenue. Two men were shot at what initially was thought to be a car jacking. A 24 year old male and a 30 year old male both received fatal gun shot wounds during the event. A female and her 14 year old daughter were also in the vehicle but were not injured. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:21am, the other was pronounced dead at St. Francis at 4:46am.

A suspect vehicle believed to be involved was found later in the morning in a neighboring town.

Due to limited staffing, many other calls for service went unanswered for hours as police resources were stripped to cover the two crime scenes, once again pointing to the need for increased numbers of officers for HPD.


It has been an interesting year and definitely a year of constant growth and readership of the blog. The "hit" counter continues to steadily rise and is over 180,000 now.

Not everyone agrees with what is posted here, but at least they are reading and getting information. And with that delivery of information, it has helped bring about change in Hartford.

Look for that to continue this year and thanks again to everyone for their comments and their information. Without that, this blog wouldn't exist.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Myself, and I'm sure many others, had hopes that with the demise of the Perez Administration a new era of honesty and integrity would take hold at Hartford City Hall. Promises were made of a new day of transparency and integrity that were going to sweep through Hartford government.It seems that very little has changed at City Hall, except the countertops aren't being installed as far as I can tell.

I posted on December 17th about the arrest warrant that was rejected by Hartford Superior Court for a city DPW employee who was clearly stealing from the City. It goes deeper though. I have filed FOI requests with the City regarding documents involving a DPW supervisor, Gennaro Sepulveda, who was responsible for overseeing the employee accused of the theft, Hiriam Martinez. Sepulveda was Martinez's immediate supervisor at DPW. If you didn't read the police report and the arrest warrant application, here it is again.
DPW Tool Theft

Sepulveda is apparently the subject of numerous internal complaints, including one that was made after an altercation between Gennaro Sepulveda and DPW Director Kevin Burnham and several witnesses, where Sepulveda has been alleged to have thrown a chair in the Director's Office. So much for Hartford's "Zero Tolerance" policy for workplace violence. The City Personnel Director has not complied with the FOI request for Sepulveda's records.

In the meantime , Sepulveda is on paid administrative leave, courtesy of the taxpayers of Hartford. According to one city source, Sepulveda recently was trying to get his paycheck ahead of time because he was going to "spend some time in Puerto Rico". Nice work if you can get it, I guess.

Sepulveda is only a small part of the problems at City Hall though. It seems that very little has changed.

For regular readers here, you are very familiar with John Rose and his antics as Corporation Counsel. I had hoped that with Mayor Segarra and his quick termination of Rose, that would be the end of the Rosie era. Nope, not the case at all. Shortly after being terminated by Segarra, Rose landed a job with the Crumbie Law Group. The Crumbie Law Group is a law firm that Rose paid several hundred thousand dollars to as an outside law firm used by the City while he was Corporation Counsel.

Most people would immediately question the ethics and the "revolving door" implications of such a move, most people that is except Rose and the Crumbie Law Group. Only one member of the City Council has taken the time to question the move and the potential violations of Hartford's Ethics code. Councilman Deutsch has filed complaints with the Ethics Commission requesting they look into the Rose matter, as well as others.

Ok, I'll take a break for a moment to allow those of you in a fit of laughter to calm down. Hartford and ethics in the same sentence, it is laughable it seems.

Just to change track for a moment, I would caution Councilman Deutsch not to hold out much hope for a decision based on any integrity by Hartford's Ethics Commission. The members were all appointed by the corrupt, now convicted felon, Eddie A., Perez. This same commission has not once addressed the issues of corruption, double dipping or even the ethical issue of a corrupt Councilwoman taking advantage of a "retirement incentive" moved forward by the very body she served on to benefit herself.

But now Rose seems to be even more obnoxious than usual. Apparently Rose is taking on a case that proves to be allowing himself to line his pockets even more at the taxpayers expense.

The updated Connecticut Judicial website now lists John Rose and the Crumbie Law Group as the law firm representing the City of Hartford in their appeal of the Labor Board decision in favor of Hartford Police Officer Matthew Secore. As Corporation Counsel, Rose was able to stall and delay the case for almost two years in motion after motion and delay after delay. The listing of the activity is attached below. Judicial Crumbie Update

If Rose continues the gamesmanship as he did at City Hall, this could prove a huge windfall for the Crumbie Law Group as they bill the taxpayers for hundreds of dollars per hour. All for what most attorneys I have spoke with agree will be an eventual loss for the City and a win for the Hartford Police Union and Secore.

The only one who will come out ahead in this one will be Rose and Crumbie, and probably Secore when he eventually sues the City. There should have been a simple solution to this two years ago: abide by the Labor Board decision and hire Secore back with his agreement not to sue the City and everyone walks away.

Not Rose though, he needs to be generating revenue to secure his job and the cash cow known as the City of Hartford is job security for Rosie. If Rose were a stockbroker, I think his actions might be called insider trading. He is benefitting from information he developed as an employee of the City of Hartford.

It seems as though decisions like this would not be made without the consent of Mayor Segarra. But surprisingly that apparently is not the case.
When I contacted Mayor Segarra tonight for his comment, he stated he "was not aware of it and I will look into it and discuss it with Sandy and see where we go".

I believe the Mayor, but I also find it very troubling the constant decisions that are being made day in and day out by people that are supposed to be supportive of Segarra. Decisions that are a regular source of embarassment for Segarra. Do you remember the electrocuted birds and squirrels press release, just as an example.

For anyone to make a decision to turn this case over to Rose is inexcusable. To do it without running it by the Mayor first is at the very least incompetence.

Another big problem under Perez was the constant abuses of the Freedom of Information statutes and the lack of transparency when it came to the release of public documents. I had honestly hoped that under Mayor Segarra that would all change. Apparently the Mayor's "transparency" message hasn't trickled down through City Hall though.

As I mentioned above, the Sepulveda FOI request has gone unfulfilled. I can see why they are reluctant to release the info. If what my sources are telling me is contained in those documents is accurate, they will most definitely prove to be embarrassing,but there is no exemption in FOI for denying release of embarrassing records.

I recently had another source tell me that the Human Resources Director, Santiago Malave, had documents relating to furlough days that were supposed to have been taken by City employees to help balance the budget. Apparently there is some interesting information contained in those documents, especially the names on the list who have not complied with the order to take the furlough days.

Malave started the City Hall e-mail dance with me this week to avoid the release of the list. Malave started off by saying the list was a work in progress and he wouldn't release it.In his e-mail he wrote"The list is a working document that contains numerous inaccuracies that we are in the process of flushing out....".

I told Malave he was free to forward me any corrections as they came about, but I still wanted the original list. Once a document is created it becomes a public document, with very limited exemptions, whether it is accurate or not. The greater question is who are we paying at City Hall to generate "inaccurate" documents? Maybe that could be a position for a budget cut.

Santiago Malave is not a newcomer to City Hall and FOI and almost definitely knows better. If he doesn't know better he should not be in that position, he is also one of the employees who has taken the early retirement incenctive. Malave has been kept on after the December 31, 2010 retirement date though since his "expertise" is needed at City Hall.

I'm not quite sure why the Mayor accepts these performances since in the end, it all rests in his lap. But at least his competitors for the Mayor's Office next November must be watching with interest.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I've been a little slow with posts trying to stay caught up with Christmas, but now New Years is almost upon us.

Although the Festival of Light was somewhat of a dud, one event that hasn't been tinkered with promises to satisfy those that make the trek to downtown Hartford Friday.First Night Hartford is ready to kick off Friday with numerous events planned, including two fireworks displays.

For more information and a full listing of the scheduled events, click here