Word is that the much awaited "Rudewicz Report" may be in the hands of Mayor Segarra by the end of the week. The reports author, Frank Rudewicz, may be suffering from a case of writers cramp though since he also released his independent investigation into the Windsor Locks Police Department and their handling of the fatal accident involving an off-duty Windsor Locks Police Officer.
From what sources are telling me, the same type of problems that were detailed in the Windsor Locks report may also be affecting the Hartford Police Department, except on a larger scale. In a nutshell, the Windsor Locks incident resulted from a lack of leadership. Hartford's problems appear to be the same, a lack of leadership by the HPD Command staff, except on a larger and more widespread scale.
Apparently the Command staff was given a briefing on the results of the investigation last week and it doesn't appear that it will be flattering to Chief Roberts or his Assistant or Deputy Chiefs.
Interestingly though, shortly after the briefing, more shake-ups of HPD Lieutenants took place. The most notable was another transfer of Lt. Neville Brooks. The original transfer of Brooks was the impetus that caused the Mayor to call for the outside independent investigation. Lt. Brooks was the Commander of the Internal Affairs Division and apparently was overseeing several investigations that involved members of the HPD Command staff, including Assistant Chief John Horvath and Deputy Chief Scott Sansom.
Most indications are that once the investigations came too close to the Chief's Complex, pressure was put on Chief Roberts to remove Brooks to keep the investigations from moving forward. Chief Roberts initially told me that he moved Brooks "to protect him".
According to sources familiar with the matter, two Sergeant's working directly under Brooks in IAD were instrumental in working with the Command Staff to try to build a case against Brooks. So far that investigation has apparently produced no information resulting in any type of charges against Brooks.
For his "protection" , Brooks was moved to the Special Events Division. After the briefing last week of the Command staff, Brooks was once again transferred. I'm not sure why another change was necessary, especially before the report is released, and even more so knowing that it would appear to many observers as retaliation once again. Brooks has hired the law firm of Halloran and Halloran and is pursuing legal action against Chief Roberts and the City of Hartford.
Apparently when Chief Roberts called Lt Brooks in to advise him of his transfer, he informed Brooks that his previous transfer to Special Events "wasn't working out" and "for the good of the Department" he was transferring Brooks once again, this time to Headquarters. Brooks will be assigned as the Lieutenant on the midnight shift.
From what sources inside HPD are telling me, Lt. Brooks's supervisor, Captain William Long was very satisfied with Brooks's performance as the Commander of Special Events and the latest transfer was orchestrated by specific members of the Command staff.
In addition to Brooks's transfer, other changes were made also. Lieutenant Marco Tedeschi, who was the department advocate, is also being transferred to be a Headquarters Lieutenant. The Department advocate is responsible for reviewing department discipline and making recommendations directly to the Chief as a result of IAD investigations. Tedeschi is being replaced by probationary Lieutenant Mike Manson.
It seems somewhat troubling that the two key HPD positions responsible for investigating and discipline of HPD officers are both now probationary Lieutenants.
Lt Rob Davis replaced Brooks when he was originally transferred out as the IAD commander. Probationary Lieutenants can be demoted and returned to their previous ranks which gives the opportunity for the Command staff to exert a large amount of influence over their decision making if used.
In addition, Lt. Kevin Martin who was previously a midnight Headquarters Lieutenant, will be re-assigned to Special Events. Lt Bruce Roy, also a Headquarters Lieutenant, will be re-assigned to Zone 3, which is part of the Northeast area of the City according to HPD sources.
Another transfer which does not seem to be a direct result of potential fallout from the Rudewicz report is the impending transfer of the Lieutenant assigned as Commander of the Traffic Division. Lt. Chris Mefford, according to sources, had an IAD complaint initiated against him by Chief Roberts for an alcohol related incident. That allegation has apparently been sustained by the Department as a charge of "conduct unbecoming an Officer". This complaint follows at least two other "on-duty" accidents in a City vehicle where alcohol was determined to be a factor.
In the mean time, some HPD union members are apparently pushing for a vote of "no confidence" in Chief Roberts and Mayor Segarra. HPD officers have been working without a contract for over a year and apprently negotiations are moving at a snails pace.
Apparently Chief Roberts also had some comments to make about comments posted here. During an interview with WNPR's Jeff Cohen, Roberts referred to some posters here as "cowards" . According to Jeff's report "the chief says personnel matters have been made worse by anonymous comments on a local, well-read blog."
Here is Roberts quote, "The blog is a venue for the weak, it's a venue for cowards, it's a venue for people who don't have the fortitude to put their name and stand behind what they're saying. Some of these guys are cops who've either been disciplined by me or who don't like a decision I've made."
Chief, might I suggest that it is easy to throw stones to deflect attention. Your lack of conviction for right and wrong is what will prove to be your legacy as Chief. Bowing down to those that you know are intent on undermining you can not be considered leadership. In the end, you will not be able to deflect attention from the lack of leadership and the vindictiveness of your command staff , no matter how many tranfers you make.
And just a question Chief, if the "cowards" who post were to sign their names, would they be the next Lieutenant Brooks? Would the "cowards" suddenly also suffer retaliation from the Command Staff?
You can read Jeff's report by clicking on the link to the right
The Rudewicz report promises to make for some very interesting summer reading when it is released any time now.