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Friday, May 20, 2011


Even though it seems like a lot of questionable activities are taking place at Jennings Road, there is still some good police work going on.

One such incident happened today.

Thefts of copper piping from both occupied and unoccupied buildings are becoming a huge problem as the scrap price for copper continues to rise. These thefts are negatively impacting the city's crime figures as part 1 crimes. Even the new Public Safety Complex is not immune as much of the newly installed copper pipe was stolen from the building this week.

An observant HPD officer was working a construction job today when he observed a vehicle pass him with lengths of copper pipe sticking out of the trunk of the car. A description of the car was broadcast and the vehicle was followed to a scrap yard in the North Meadows. The pipe was identified as having just been stolen from a Hartford Housing Authority apartment complex.

The copper thief and his car were taken off the street, at least for the day.


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

Thursday, May 19, 2011


As more layers get peeled back regarding the Administration at the Hartford Police Department, one thing is becoming very clear, the "independent outside investigators" will definitely have their hands full.

Looking at the problems from the outside, it seems that many decisions are being made without any regard for the City's liability or even the rights of individual employees. Below are the details of one recent incident that will eventually be landing in Court, unless the City uses some common sense first.

The details laid out below probably would never be tolerated in the "real" corporate world. I would venture to say that if any administrator or even a Human Resources director opened a private employer up to potential liability by ill advised or vindictive decisions, they would be on the unemployment line quickly.

In the case of a police officer, their biggest asset is their reputation and their integrity. Any attempt to question that had better be made based on solid information, and only after a thorough investigation has been conducted. Every effort should be made to ensure the highest level of confidentiality to protect the individuals reputation.

Whether it is an employee of the Aetna or a Hartford Police officer, professionalism should be the number one requirement when it comes to investigating allegations.That was not the case below.

Based on anonymous allegations, which eventually turned out to be not so anonymous but were actually unsubstantiated allegations made by one HPD Sergeant to another Sergeant, this incident began to snowball.

I normally don't redact names from documents, but in this case since the allegations were purely hearsay and gossip, I have chosen to redact the officer's name to avoid further damage to their reputation. The names of a Lieutenant and the two Sergeants have also been redacted until an outside investigation is complete.

The officer in question had been called into the office of Assistant Chief John Horvath and was advised that there was "hearsay" information that they were using narcotics.This is according to the officers attorney, Hugh Keefe, in a letter sent to Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts on March 30, 2011.

The officer volunteered to comply with an immediate drug test, hardly the logical behavior of a drug user. The department refused to provide a drug test and never followed through with subsequent offers to submit to a drug test. The officer has apparently had several drug tests done on their own. at their own personal expense.All of those reports have been negative for cocaine and marijuana as well as several other drugs. One of the reports can be seen after the PDF file of Attorney Keefe's letter below.

This matter may be directly linked to the removal of Internal Affairs Division Commander Lieutenant Neville Brooks. The officer apparently requested an Internal investigation into the way the matter was handled and whether Assistant Chief Horvath overstepped his boundaries in the way he handled unsubstantiated allegations and "hearsay" rumors. That investigation was apparently in the beginning stages when Brook's was removed.

At no time was the officer afforded his rights under the HPD Union Contract such as having a Union steward or Union representative present nor was he advised of his Miranda rights or his Garrity rights, basic labor law regulations that Assistant Chief Horvath or anyone else at his level of management should have been well aware of.

According to Attorney Keefe's letter, the original Sergeant contended that the information was coming to him through a "confidential source". It was later learned that the information was actually coming from another Sergeant in the Patrol Division who denied making the statement when he was confronted.

Keefe's letter claims that the Department and Assistant Chief Horvath's actions "failed to maintain confidentiality causing severe and irreparable damage to "redacted officers"reputation. If that doesn't scream out "large jury award", I don't know what does.

This is only the beginning. If you wonder about the degrees of discipline at HPD, read the letter below and make your own conclusions. Then over the next couple of weeks I will be posting about clearly documented and verified incidents that took a much different direction. Even incidents clearly documented, some actually caught by video, were hardly even noticed.

It promises to be a very interesting "immediate independent investigation".

In the mean time Assistant Chief Horvath has been informed that his last day at HPD will be July 1,2011 due to budget cuts. The money might come in handy to pay future legal settlements. As a side note, I'm being told there was an "abruptly" scheduled meeting between Chief Roberts and Mayor Segarra for tomorrow at 4:00PM, that could prove very interesting.

Atty Keefe Horvath Letter

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Numerous sources are telling me that two Assistant Chief's at the Hartford Police Department have been told that their positions will be eliminated as a result of budget cuts made last night by the Hartford City Council.

Both Assistant Chief Brian Heavren and Assistant Chief John Horvath have apparently been told that July 1, 2011 will be their last day at HPD. Although it is being explained as the result of budget cuts, it seems hard to ignore the fact of the impending "independent investigation" that is looming over the Chief's complex at Jennings Road. Both Horvath and Heavren as well as every other Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief and even Chief Roberts himself potentially will be under scrutiny as a result of allegations of wrongdoing.

Much of this has been brought to light as a result of the Internal Affairs Commander, Lieutenant Neville Brooks, being abruptly removed from his position . Allegations have been made that Brooks was conducting IAD investigations that involved members of the Chief's ranks that were coming too close to the "Exalted" class of Chief's. The Chief's paint a different picture that Brook's was discourteous in the interviews of them, although recordings made of the interviews apparently don't back those claims up.

Sources familiar with the recordings claim that the questionings were professional and in line with normal practices. At least two of the Chief's were actually given their Garrity rights before being questioned which apparently insulted the "exalted" even more.

As a side note, other sources have advised me that the "independent investigation" may be conducted by the New York State Police, the same agency that was requested to conduct a review of the Connecticut State Police a few years ago. No official confirmation is available on that yet.This could be problematic for HPD if many of the comments posted here prove true, as the investigation will not be a whitewash of the information, but will actually go where the truth leads investigators.

This promises to go deeper as the hornet's nest is poked more and the information keeps coming out.

The budget cuts aren't a definite done deal yet as the Mayor could veto the Council's resolution. It seems that there would be the necessary votes to override the Mayor's veto by the Council. The other side of the coin though is that the Mayor is most likely not thrilled with any hint of a scandal being condoned by him in an election year, and a hotly contested election at that. The selective cuts by the Council seem to be sending a pretty clear message.


According to police sources, much of the copper piping that has been installed at the new Public Safety Complex on High Street has been stolen in the last 72 hours. A large portion of the copper was found to be missing yesterday morning and more was found missing this morning.

But if nothing else, the thieves need to understand that it is not smart to steal copper from the "coppers". By this afternoon, much of the copper has been located at a city scrapyard and the perpetrators can be readily identified through video and other safeguards in place. The copper piping was also readily identifiable by the type of couplings used to join the pipes together.

A timely arrest is expected.