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Friday, May 27, 2011


Yes, there is a park in there somewhere, maybe we can offset the City deficit by selling hay bales

I received a call today from Donna Daniels-Thompson who was frustrated with the condition of a small neighborhood park at the intersection of Cornwall and Lyme Streets in Hartford. Daniels-Thompson is the President of the Blue Hills Civic Association and the Blue Hills NRZ.
Sit down, relax, enjoy all that Hartford has to offer. Check yourself for ticks when you are done, and yes, that actually is a park bench being overgrown by the grass

She said she was frustrated because the grass was so high in the park that no one could use it. She said she and others had repeatedly been calling 311, the Mayors Office as well as Council People to get the area mowed and cleaned up. The problem arose because no one wanted to lay claim to the property. Public Works apparently said it belonged to the Board of Education and guess what...the Board of Education said it belonged to DPW.

The park sits directly across from the former Mountain Laurel School which was apparently closed down last August.According to Daniels-Thompson, when the school was open the Board actually did maintain the park since it was used by students . Once the school closed, no one bothered to continue maintaining the park, and by the looks of it they forgot about the school also.

According to Daniels-Thompson, even people she spoke with in the Mayor's Office admitted how bad the park looked. Even Daniels-Thompson friend, Council President rJo Winch, admitted she knew how bad it was. Why nothing got done is a good question, but today Donna took a stand. She started making her phone calls early this morning and told anyone that would listen that she wasn't leaving the park until the grass was mowed.

I guess the bottom line is that this sounds like high school nonsense. It is all city property, get it cleaned up, end of story. In the end, as the complaint made its way up the ladder, DPW Director Kevin Burnham showed up, surveyed the problem, and the grass was mowed. Maybe one of his high priced supervisors should have seen the problem and addressed it before it rose to this level. As a side note, I am being told that almost 40 new employees will be hired over the next couple of weeks specifically to address maintenance and parks issues.

She then decided that she needed to call me. I must be getting a reputation because things progressed rapidly this afternoon after the Mayor's Representative and DPW officials were told I was on the way. It could be a coincidence but just as I arrived to take some pictures, the lawnmowers showed up, the rotted trash barrel that fell apart when they picked it up to empty it was replaced by a newly painted one and the park was getting cleaned up.

Even one resident came over from Chatham Street, somewhat surprised that anyone was paying attention to the park. She said she couldn't even walk her dog in the park because the grass was so high. She even said that she had considered coming over with her own mower if it got much worse.

She said that she believed that some of her neighbors had been repeatedly calling 311 without any success. But finally, just in time for some great weather and a holiday weekend, hopefully these neighbors will once again have a clean park to relax in and the children can enjoy the playscape.

I have a real problem with the number of high priced employees and supervisors, City Council people included, who can drive by an eyesore like this and just accept it. Unlike the Capitol West building, mowing the grass won't take $5 million dollars, but it also impacts the blight of a neighborhood. Why can't we focus on the little things that make a big difference?

And as if the condition of the park wasn't aggravating enough, as I spoke with Daniels-Thompson and the Chatham Street neighbor, my eye kept going to the vacant school right behind us. I started to wonder why we let a city school, that was usable until last August and according to Donna was in pretty decent shape, sit empty while at the same time we are renting space for millions of dollars annually for the Board of Education at 960 Main Street, rather than move them to an empty school?

I guess our present Council is too busy debating the war in Afghanistan or french fries cooked in trans-fat than to actually focus on change for Hartford.


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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Channel 30 just reported at 11:00PM that Hartford is the 14th most violent City in America based on recently released FBI crime statistics. New Haven is listed as the 4th most violent.

Haven't we been told repeatedly that crime is down in Hartford? Good thing, otherwise we might have been number 1.

Hartford had 1,293 violent crimes per 100,000 people. There were 21 murders per 100,000 people, more than double the national average.


It seems that HPD is starting their spring cleaning prior to a possible larger scale housecleaning, depending on the "independent investigation" that is about to commence.

Boxes and boxes of payroll time cards were incinerated yesterday, just days before investigators are scheduled to begin looking into possible irregularities at the Hartford Police Department. The payroll cards may have also shed light on activities similar to those that led to the arrest of former Hartford Police Officer Hector Robles.

Robles, through his attorneys, has a rather extensive Freedom of Information request with the HPD and the City of Hartford currently pending.

The City had requested permission from the State of Connecticut to destroy the records, as required by state law. That request was granted on May 10, 2011.

The records were transported to an incinerator in Wallingford and the entire operation was overseen by a Hartford Police Captain who also followed the trash truck containing the records and watched as they were burned.

I'm not sure if this is the normal procedure, but it all seems interesting in light of the current state of affairs at Jennings Road.


As you can see from the above video, Mayor Pedro Segarra speaks quite often about transparency.The clip is edited, but during a three minute speech at the Legislative Office Building recently, he used the word transparency quite a few times. But is "transparency" really the case?

Last Thursday my phone started ringing early in the day about the breakfast get-together of Mayor Segarra and former Hartford Police Officer Hector Robles who is also the State Representative from the 6th District. Robles, in the true style of Hartford politics, is also currently under arrest on larceny charges where the States Attorney's Office alleges that he stole over $10,000 from the City of Hartford.

The calls were mostly from the "political" types questioning whether it was proper for Segarra to be be meeting privately with someone who was terminated from the City, was facing a possible trial and in turn could be contemplating legal action against the City. All valid points, and I would think it would have been wise for the Mayor to bring a third party along to, as they say, "have his back" if any questions of impropriety arose.

The original parties that called me could only confirm the meeting though, they didn't hear any of the conversation. Then I received another call Friday night from someone who is not political and was upset over a conversation they had claimed that they heard that morning between Robles and Segarra while this person was having breakfast at Ashlee's on Main Street.

UPDATE 9:00pm

I just received a call back from Mayor Segarra regarding this meeting and I am doing something that I don't think I have ever done since I started this blog.

Although I am 100% confident with the information provided to me by the sources that called, there was something that bothered me about the post. I have to feel comfortable with what I write here and after speaking to Mayor Segarra, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one and edit the details of the conversation.

I still think the meeting was inappropriate, and the Mayor should have shown better judgement. Eventually the truth comes to the surface and if nothing else all of the candidates should realize to stay above the fray because you never know who is watching, and in this case listening

Sunday, May 22, 2011


In response to the posting regarding the upcoming Hartford Police Internal Affairs Investigation, I received the following e-mail from Frank Rudewicz whose firm will be conducting the investigation.

I think it is important that I post the e-mail address Frank has set up for anyone that wants to provide information. In addition, I will be more than willing to forward information that is provided to me to the investigators if you prefer to not have any link back to you or your e-mail or IP address.

I have also been told that some of the investigators are expected to be either current or former Investigators from the Boston Police Department Internal Affairs Division and that Rudewicz will essentially be playing a supervisory role.

Here is Frank's e-mail:

Kevin, this is Frank Rudewicz. While I appreciate that individuals have their own opinions on the upcoming review of HPD, I will be ensuring the integrity of the process by seeking all relevant information from any sources.

In that regard, I have set up a confidential email address at I request that all relevant information be forwarded to me, either anonymously or otherwise.

This email will only be opened by me or my assistant, Kati Allison in Boston. Content will be shared with my investigative team as required. I will respond to all emails.