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Friday, May 27, 2011


Last week the Hartford City Council touted their huge accomplishment, at least in their minds, of shaving about $1.7 million dollars off of a $550 million dollar budget. That comes out to roughly less than 3 tenths of one percent.

But fortunately, I have a suggestion for the Council to be able to shave a lot more than that. Hire some attorneys in the Corporation Counsel's Office who actually know what they are doing, especially in the area of Labor law.

Huge amounts of money each year are spent defending and appealing the City's stinker cases when it comes to wrongful termination of employees. Much more has been spent, I'm sure ,on defending losing cases that most likely should have never been brought in the first place. Let's see what the Dan Nolan case costs the City of Hartford taxpayers in the end just for legal costs, not to mention what I'm sure will be a rather large Jury award in Dan's favor also.

Add onto that Willie Edwards, Robert Lawlor, Robert Murtha and others that have already been silently settled behind the scenes.Hartford has a terrible track record when it comes to apparently violating employees rights and then trying to defend their actions.

The latest Court decision came today after the City of Hartford decided to ignore an arbitration award in favor of Hartford Police Officer Matthew Secore. Secore was terminated from HPD, went through the appeal process with the Labor Board and they decided in Secore's favor.

The Board agreed that Secore's actions were wrong, but that the termination was too severe and ordered a 90 day suspension instead. The City and the brain trust in the Corporation Counsels Office decided to appeal. Today Judge Satter resoundingly affirmed the Labor Boards decision and threw out the Corporation Counsels argument.

To read more about the Secore case from an earlier post, click here

That decision is below. In true Hartford fashion though, most likely egos will win out over common sense and I would bet that another appeal will be on the way. What does Judge Satter know compared to the legal geniuses in Corp Counsel?

Secore Decision 5-27-11


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Officer Secore. Come back soon, and come back proud!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many times the city has to get beaten until they wise up, and follow a judge's order. It's obvious that the Judge would know mire about the law then some former real estate attorney who knows nothing about labor law or the FOI statues.

Since the city council cut approx 200 k from the Corp. Counsel they would be wise to pay up now and reinstate Matt instead of later.

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, who is responsible for these decisions? Who the "F" is making these decisions.

You have to wonder; is Corporation Counsel being misled by HPD? Are they getting the whole picture? Look, Roberts and friends submit their witch hunt findings to Corporation Counsel. It is common practice for the Roberts team to leave out exculpatory evidence and facts. So, if Corporation Counsel never gets the whole story from the HPD one-sided attack investigations, then they proceed based on what they know. Just a thought...

Although that would not explain the crazy appeals. However, at anytime, Roberts and McKrash could ask to have Secore reinstated. What a mess, anyway congrats Matt.

I hear there has never been any investigation on any McKoy matter??? No paperwork at all on anything McKoy related? So many incidents, yet no investigations, gee whiz… That’s weird, no? So let me get this straight, complaints on McKoy arise, then there is no official investigation conducted, nothing on paper at all? Wow, it's almost like the chiefs have an exalted status... I bet Frank will find that at least one or two of McKrash’s incidents occurred and were intentionally undocumented. I bet Mr. Halloran esq. will be very interested.

Lester, the code 3 hair cut is coming out of the closet.

Anonymous said...

Would an arbitration panel let a West Hartford officer who walked into a holding cell and hit a prisoner because he was mad at him back onto the force? Or does this award just reflect the lower expectations for Hartford? If we've made mistakes in the past, the panel's ruling says we have to make mistakes in the future because of past sloppiness.
I think the city was right to challenge this award. We who live in Hartford have the right to expect the same standards of behavior from our employees as the people in the towns where those employees live have to expect from their employees. If this kind of behavior wouldn't be tolerated in the suburbs, and I suspect it wouldn't, why do we have to accept it in Hartford?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11:37. Yes an arbitration panel would rule in favor of a West Hartford cop doing what Officer Secore did that night. The panel weighs all facts and circumstances surrounding a discipline hearing. If I recall, wasn't the prisoner related to Mayor Perez. I'm sure much of this case was politically motivated and twisted. Look at Officer Campbell's case. Outright lies were made in reports just to fire him.

You're putting your personal feelings before the law. Something I think Hartford's leadership often does. Feelings aside, the law is the law and once arbitration takes place there's only two major legal reasons it can be reversed. Any freshman lawyer can look up those reasons, and neither were present in this case, so the city is wasting our tax dollars fighting it.

Hopefully now that Perez is gone and heading to prison, Mayor Segarra will be putting and end to some of these wastefully personal legal battles. After all, it's our tax money being used to fight these stinker cases.


Anonymous 11:37pm,

I have to admit that initially I probably felt the same way you seem to be leaning. Eventually after a long battle with John Rose and the City of Hartford I was able to read the documents and actually look at the facts, minus the emotion and preconceived thoughts.

If you look at the totality of the facts, Secore's punishment didn't fit past practice at HPD. Numerous officers have done far worse and actually lied about their actions and received very little discipline, one case cited was actually an officer who shot a suspect with a less than lethal weapon, lied about it, and has since been promoted to Lieutenant.

Secore never lied about his actions, was remorseful as soon as he hit Perez, and took full responsibility for his actions. As I said before, if you look at the photos of Secore's brother after he was beat by Perez and others, I know I would have probably gone after Perez also, just not in the Police lockup.

Secore's honesty as well as HPD past practice and most importantly the law, resulted in Secore's "win" at the Labor Board and also in Judge Satter's decision.

I doubt that the Labor Board or Judge Satter made their decisions based on the geographics of Hartford vs. West Hartford and any assumption that the people of Hartford deserve lees consideration under the law than those of West Hartford residents

Michael Georgetti said...

Matt Secore is good person and a good cop. Yes he made a mistake in judgement. He admitted the mistake from the beginning and was prepared to accept just, equal and legal punishment. His emotions that day overcame his common sense. Unfortunately within the police department different officers are treated differently for the same transgressions. The Board of Mediation and Arbitration and Judge Satter recognized this. Hopefully Mayor Segarra and the administration will also. Put Matt back to work immediately and bring some closure to this tragic event.

Anonymous said...

Anon. @ 1137
You state "we who live in Hartford" deserve better from their employees, then what about the allegations shiner Rob "the fabricator" Ford for his lies in the Officer Campbell case. I think that's a lot worse than what Matt did. Notice there was no quick claim by DKR to jump out in front of that one in the media like he did for Matt and Rashim denouncing thier actions before an investigation is started. See if you do DKR's dirty work and don't question him you get rewarded ( Rob Ford going to "PERF"). Hopefully this will all end soon with the down sizing if the command staff and the Chief sent packing.

mr x said...

Secore made a mistake, we all have made them. S he hit a career criminal relatedto the felony convicted former mayor. who cares. He deserves another chance. Roberts has gotten several second, third, fourth, and fifth chances.
M c Coy should be fired immediately for his bugs bunny cartoon adventures ....;

Anonymous said...

There's different kinds of mistakes too. Secore's mistake was emotional and could be considered a "crime of passion." He admitted to it and accepted responsibility for it. That's much different than sitting down and intentionally writing up a false report like Ford did, or going code 3 to get a hair cut, or burning time cards right before an investigation is about to take place, or firing Robles and not the dozen other cops who were doing the same thing, or hiding the video tape from the civilian review board, or the dozens of other issues I missed.

mr x said...

i am happy for Secore, but a victory in court does not mean that he will get his job back. What about mirtha and rashim?

When are the members of city council going to wake up and realize that zeros like Mc Coy and others are costing the city millions in wrongfull termination suits.

Anonymous said...

Not true Mr X., Secore's victory does in fact mean the city has to take him back. Hartford can stall at best but he's going back.

Rhashim and Murtha have not reached the stage in the process where the court has ordered the city to take them back yet, but they will. The court process takes a long time.