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Friday, September 16, 2011


Forgive me for sounding skeptical, but it is easy to say you are transparent, but that old saying "actions speak louder than words" seems to ring true. Here is one such incident, and unfortunately just one of many that Mayor Segarra continues to allow to happen in his "transparent" administration.

The latest is the story of Lt. Ed Dailey and the investigation into his actions the morning of February 24, 2011 related to an incident at 16 Rockville Street in Hartford. LT. Dailey was the Lieutenant in charge of the midnight shift on February 24, 2011when officers were dispatched to the are of 16 Rockville Street on the report of an "apparent assault".

As of this date it has not been determined if there was ever an assault or was it just an individual extremely high on drugs who slipped and fell down his front porch. The so called "victim" refused to cooperate with police and no witnesses or evidence of an assault was ever found.

Sometime in early April, I had received a call that charges were being brought against Lt Dailey for a department policy violation of "Failure to supervise". I know everyone has an agenda, but the caller advised that I needed to get a copy of the investigation conducted into Dailey's actions by Captain James Bernier. They further went on to say that the report was obviously a witchhunt to try to demote Dailey and it would be clear when I read the report.

SO, I decided to submit an FOI request to the Hartford Police Department for the Dailey investigation report as well as "any and all related documents". Once again, HPD is too predictable. My FOI request was promptly met with a denial. The City claimed that it was "part of an ongoing investigation" and therefore exempt from disclosure. They forgot to read the next few words in the exemption that states "ongoing investigations" in which the "records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of a crime".

After the HPD denial, apparently orchestrated by Detective Ursula Wiebusch and Corporation Counsel attorney Nathalie Feola- Guerreiri, I asked Chief Daryl Roberts if there was any potential of criminal charges against Lt Dailey. He stated "absolutely not" it was "purely administrative charges". That seemed to be in direct contradiction to the denial, so on April 28, 2011 I filed an FOI complaint with the State of Connecticut.

And yes, you read that correct, the complaint was filed on April 28, 2011 and finally on September 15, 2001, it came to a hearing before FOI. That is one of the big problems with FOI complaints. As an agency that has a large caseload, combined with cuts to a staff that was already too small to handle its caseload and now being combined with two other agencies, Hartford has learned how to play the game.

The City of Hartford knows that even if the law is in my favor, or that of anyone requesting documents, a denial is no big deal. They can just deny the release of anything they don't want the public to see or that they may feel will be embarrassing. The consequences are almost non-existent. Deny the release, go to a hearing that may take 6 or 8 months to be scheduled, then wait for a hearing officers report which could be another three or four months, and then finally the hearing officers report would go before the full FOI Commission for adoption and they could be another two or three months before it gets on the FOI Commission agenda.

So all in all, the documents could take up to a year to obtain, at which point the City knows they will most likely be useless and worse case scenario, the FOI Commission might assess a fine, typically under $200.00, which in the end the City will pay anyway and there is no accountability or penalty to the individual making the unlawful decision.

The largest fine I ever obtained at FOI was the maximum fine of $1,000.00 against former Corporation Counsel John Rose, and the full FOI Commission eventually reduced that to $200.00, which the City of Hartford paid for Rose.

So anyway, back to the Dailey report. An FOI hearing was scheduled and held on Thursday September 15, 2011. The City tried a few different ploys to defend their actions, the first was by apparently forgetting to tell Chief Roberts that there was a hearing he needed to attend, or at least they felt he didn't need to be there to answer any questions.

Although the City's defense before FOI seems to hinge entirely on the Bernier investigation report , it was clear that in my FOI request, I stated "any and all documents" related to the incident and the City did not provide one page of documentation related to the request, no memo's, no incident reports, no dispatch logs...NOTHING, not one sheet of paper.

The first tactic the City's lawyers used to defend their actions was that the report was not yet finished. That seemed odd since the Corporation Counsel's Office was already involved and had scheduled disciplinary hearings against Dailey. I'm not sure how you hold a hearing for discipline without having all the facts, but I guess that is how it goes when a real estate attorney like Feola-Guerrieri decides to practice municipal or employment law.

But, interestingly enough, I had already obtained most of the documents through "alternative means" after the City refused to provide them in accordance with the FOI laws. After the claim by corporation Counsel attorney Alexandra Deeb to the hearing officer that the report was not yet complete, I think she was caught off guard when I began producing copies of the City's own documents that I had obtained through "alternative means". ( I love that term ).

The claim that the investigation was not yet complete was met with my document, below as "claimant's exhibit C". (That's me claimant). It is the Command Review form that accompanies the investigation as it is forwarded up the ladder for discipline. As you can see in the document below, Deputy Chief Scott Sansom signed off on March 4, 2011 "INVESTIGATION COMPLETE, I CONCUR WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND INFRACTION".

INVESTIGATION COMPLETE, it would seem pretty hard to then claim the report was not released because it was "incomplete" or ongoing. That Command review sheet was also signed off on the same day by Assistant Chief Brian Heavren and Chief Daryl K. Roberts.
Dailey Command Review Form

When I introduced the Command Review form, it seemed to create a problem for the City's claim that the report was not complete, Deputy Chief Sansom's words seemed to pretty clear, and also very legible "Investigation complete".The City's attorney regrouped quickly though and tried a new approach.

It was the City's contention that in their view the investigation was not complete until the disciplinary process had completely run its course and Dailey was either found liable or cleared. Their point is that it wouldn't be fair to Dailey for information to get out about the charges before he was disciplined. If you read the report, and Dailey's rebuttal, it should become pretty clear to you that the last thing Captain Bernier or the City cared about was fairness for Lt. Dailey.

It also seemed less than genuine on the part of the City's attorney to grasp at that small thread, if the hearing officer bought their claim that the report was "technically" not complete, they would also have to meet those couple little words for the exemption to apply..."records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of a crime". They then stated on the record that criminal charges against Dailey were a possibility, though that seems to surprise everyone involved that I have spoke with.

But to point out the ridiculousness of that argument, I said that we go against that everyday in the Courts. If we went by the City's standard , no arrest report or arrest warrant would be made public until after a persons arrest was completely adjudicated through the courts with either a conviction or a dismissal, and we know that is not the case.

The City introduced a copy of a department policy, but I'm no lawyer, but I seem to recall that State Statute takes priority over any City Policy and because HPD may or may not have "a policy" that does not release them from complying with lawful state statutes.

Attorney Deeb from the Corporation Counsels office also did not seem thrilled that I had the full report and the documents I had and she tried to insinuate that Lt. Dailey had provided them to me. That was not the case, and I'm not sure what bearing that had on anything, other than the fact that it proved that the City was being less than truthful in their actions.

The FOI hearing officer also seemed to question why Chief Roberts was not there to defend his actions and those of his department. Eventually she ended the hearing, continuing it to another date and explained to the Corporation Counsel Attorney's that she expected Chief Roberts to appear or the FOI Commission would issue a subpoena to Roberts compelling him to appear. She stated that she would prefer to have Chief Robert's appear voluntarily rather than have to issue the subpoena.

The FOI Hearing Officer, Attorney Tracie Brown, explained that she would prefer the voluntay route rather than the subpoena because it might appear that the Commission was coming down on Hartford "like a hammer". Maybe it is about time that they do though, coming down on Hartford "like a hammer" might just send the message that the game playing with public documents is not going to be tolerated by FOI.

Below is the investigation report submitted by Captain Bernier, dated February 24, 2011, almost two months before I requested it through FOI, even though the City claims through its convoluted claims, that the report is incomplete.

And I know that sometimes these HPD postings may tend to become a means for bashing some through the comments, but I would ask for those reading, compare the Bernier report with Dailey's response and let me know if you think Bernier's report was fair or if Daileys response has validity. Is it proper in an investigation to leave out documents that show all of the facts or is it acceptable to only present the facts that would lead to a finding that Dailey was wrong?

A lot more to come on this, but enough typing and scanning documents for one night.

The charges against Dailey, please note there is no mention of any "criminal charges" as the City's attorneys claim there "may" be as an outcome for the investigation:
Dailey Disciplne Review Form

The Department Advocates letter to Dailey detailing depertmental charges, again no mention of potential criminal charges
Dailey Advocate Memo of Charges

And this is one of the reports omitted from Captain Berniers report, an interview conducted by Detective Fowler
Dailey Fowler Supplement Report

And Lieutenant Dailey's response to the allegations:

Dailey Respone Memo

And finally the Bernier "report",note the date on the cover page, even though the City contends the report is not complete:
Dailey Bernier Report


Anonymous said...

Is that how the Poilce do there investigations on eachother? I found it seemed like a lot to do about nothing. The report by C. Bernier seemed mostly one-sided, that does not seem fair to the employee.

When you read Daily's response it makes the picture much clearer. It is almost like Bernier ignored keys facts. Poor little fella, probably gonna get some trouble for that.

Anonymous said...

Bernier's report seemed a little "Short-sighted". He should "stand up" and do the right thing. This incident is no "small" occurence....

Kavanah pumpkin patch said...

Wow. What a bunch of bullies with rank. Time to start earning the respect. Like back in the 80 s. All the past chiefs. Except harnett would not put up with circus. How many work hours were put into this nonsense. Lt salary too. More money down the toliet. Since the command staff wants to waste resources. Pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

The city should be prepared to offer Ed's attorney a lot of money and Bernier should be demoted back to LT. for this witch hunt. How is the command staff who signed off on this going to back track and point fingers, it should of never made ut past the first review and Bernier should of been brought up on charges for at least negligent performance of duty.

Anonymous said...

Join the club, Kevin. I put in an FOI request for a copy of one of DKR's famous "I-Files" that was denied almost 4 months ago by Det. Weibush/DKR and Corporation Counsel, despite the fact that my attorney (Tracy Brown) from the Freedom of Information Commission informed me that the City was ordered to physically hand me said documents a week ago last Friday, at the latest. I'm sure that the fact that I haven't received a single shhet of the paperwork yet has NOTHING to do with the fact that the boss that I filed the charges against is the best friend of assistant Chief Brian Heavren, who (in case anybody conveniently forgot) got caught by former IAD Commander Lt. Neville Brooks lying to Internal Affairs when they questioned him about the complaint that I filed. (As an aside I worked under Lt. brooks for several years in the Vice and Narcotics Division, and I don't know anyone in the PD with more integrity)...Hmmm.... can anybody say "coverup?" Maybe I'm painting DKR's administration with the wrong brush, though. Not. And just to silence the peanut gallery who claim that Officers who post anonymously on your blog are cowards (if you haven't yet figured it out) this is Ed Foster, badge #B60 for those of you who are interested.



As I am sure you are aware, with the City of Hartford, especially Corp. Counsel, it is not about the law but rather a pattern of ignoring the law to avoid embarassment. In the end they usually lose, but it is a long and tedious process. Until FOI begins fining those involved the maximum $1,000 every time, to which they have to pay out of their own pockets, nothing will change.

And as far as those at HPD, I'm not sure how Detective Wiebusch could understand the "red book" in order to make an arrst if she can't even comprehend a few FOI statutes that are pretty basic. Maybe that is why she is inside handling FOI requests, rather than enforcing the real laws like a real cop.

I'll check for you, but as I said, Corp Counsel knows how to play the game. I think after a FOI Commission ruling , there is an appeal period during which everything goes on hold to allow the City to file an appeal to the commission decision in Superior Court. I think that is 20 days.

If you don't receive your documents as ordered, you can file a contempt complaint with FOI against the City. I've done that before in the Secore matter and I can help you file that in your case. Just a matter of "cut and paste".

I guess "transparency" has a different meaning in the Mayor's office

Anonymous said...

Bernier is a tool. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Put the FOI stuff aside. I just read the Capt. Jim's investigation, and then I read Dailey's response.

I would like to ask Capt. Bernier how somebody can be "extremely receptive" to counseling. "extremely receptive"?! What a joke Bernier. Obviously a cover-up for Rivera, and hard line attack on Dailey.

And why would Captain Bernier leave out all of those facts in his investigation? That’s not very impartial. The intentionally omitted facts certainly were relevant. Or to use Captain Bernier's word; the information or facts he left out were "Extremely Relevant" Mark the score book now, the city will lose that battle. But IA will cover-up any wrong doing, or any intentional misleading by Bernier.

The problem now is if IA finds him at fault, Bernier is burned for any further investigations. His credibility is shot, so look for IA to take care of Bernier. Either way, Bernier certainly has some serious credibility issue in the future. He has set the bar high for all other supervisors- when doing an investigation on another employee who you don’t like, just include whatever facts you want to prove your case, and leave out any that you don’t like.