Let me start this post off by saying I know Frank Rudewicz and I have known him for many years. Rudewicz is a retired Hartford Police officer. Rudewicz and his firm were apparently hired today by Mayor Pedro Segarra to investigate the problems at HPD. I don't have any doubt that Rudewicz is qualified and has a good track record, but the appearance stinks.
Why don't we just save the money and ask Chief Roberts and his command staff to investigate themselves, that would appear almost as legit to the public as a retired HPD officer investigating his former co-workers. We have seen how forthcoming Chief McKoy is when he has accidents with city vehicles so I'm sure we could count on him to get to the truth.
We also know that we could count on Assistant Chief Horvath to properly conduct the sensitive interviews without opening the City and its taxpayers to any liability. Assistant Chief Heavren could be asked to catalog and record all of the evidence collected, hopefully he won't have the same "loss of memory" that occurred with the photos from the lederhosen incident.
And so that everyone has a role and feels wanted in the Chief's complex, maybe the Deputy Chiefs could be called on to handle any video evidence.
And just in case anything goes wrong or the investigation takes a bad turn, blame it on Lieutenant Brooks, he already has lawyers on retainer so that shouldn't be a problem. Well, there is one problem, since Lt. Brooks answered directly to Chief Roberts, it might be hard to insulate the Chief from any responsibility like "failure to supervise".
This decision makes no sense and really makes me question the decision making of Mayor Segarra. This is a critical decision that needs to show the public that they can trust their police department and the truth will eventually come through. This should have truly been an "independent" entity that has no allegiance to anyone and will follow the evidence where ever it goes.
Anything short of criminal charges being lodged against the individuals involved will smack of a whitewash. This decision just makes the "Blue wall of silence" appear even stronger to those people outside the police department, i.e. also known as the general public.
The Mayor should know better and from the phone calls I am receiving from several members of the public and HPD officers as well, they agree the appointment of someone with ties to HPD already smacks of a coverup. I am in no way casting any doubt on Rudewicz, but Segarra has automatically done that by his selection.
And while I'm questioning Mayor Segarra's decision making, I would like to ask him if he thinks it is appropriate to be meeting privately with someone fired from HPD and subsequently arrested by the States Attorney. It seems that Segarra had a "private" session with former HPD Officer Hector Robles at a Main Street breakfast joint yesterday. At the very least it should be raising some issues as to what was discussed, what potential deals might be getting cut in a tough election year by a police officer under arrest and a Mayor scrambling for votes.
It just seems crazy to open the doors to criticism by poor decision making.
But then again, this is the hometown of Mark Twain who through his boy Tom Sawyer made the "whitewash" famous in his writings. Maybe the final report can be released from the steps of the Twain House. The only question is whether the public sees it as a work of fact or fiction