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Friday, August 19, 2011


The simple answer is maybe, but it points to a much greater issue overall I think.

Just as a little background, accusations were made previously by a ranking HPD officer, Lieutenant Brian Foley, that Chief Daryl Roberts had made comments directed at him that appeared homophobic. Foley's claims were that Chief Roberts had stated something to the effect of his haircut "looked gay", referred to him as Lt. "spongebob" which I guess has a gay connotation and at one point questioned Foley's marriage as to whether his spouse was a man or a woman.

Regardless though, whatever Foley's orientation is, comments such as those alleged to have been made by Chief Robert's have no place in the workplace, especially if they are being made by the highest ranking officer of the Hartford Police Department.

The problem seems to have escalated in the last few weeks unfortunately. Accusations have been made against another HPD supervisor, Sergeant Dennis O'Connor after he allegedly texted a homophobic message to another HPD officer during a training class. The officer on the receiving end of the message from O'Connor was apparently offended by the tone of the message as well as the homosexual act mentioned in the message that he made a complaint to Internal Affairs. That complaint is currently under investigation by HPD.

Now the latest incident involves another high ranking supervisor, Captain James Bernier and an alleged comment he recently made to another officer. Bernier, a probationary Captain, apparently used a slang term as a retort to an officer suggesting that the officer perform a sexual act on him. The comment is something that typically you would expect to hear in a drunken party at a frathouse or in a locker room, but has no place coming from a senior officer, a Captain, who should be setting the tone for his officers, not promoting a gutter mentality.

The major problem is that there seems to be a real lack of leadership and accountability in HPD. There are many good officers there that are looking for leadership and fairness, but incidents like this, all of them by supervisors must be raising questions. If O'Connor is disciplined for his comments, then why not the Chief or the Captain?

I can remember back to the days of a Chief like Bernie Sullivan, and hopefully that is not showing my age too much. From what most people told me Chief Sullivan was a fair man and a good leader for HPD. You could be his best friend, but if it came to discipline you knew that you would receive the same treatment as his worst enemy. Right was right and wrong was wrong and favoritism played no role.

That's what "leaders" do, and once the tone is set you either fall in line with the program or else step aside. It is definitely time for Mayor Segarra to step up and show us if he has what it takes to be a leader. Will he remain silent on issues facing City government, including the issue of "homophobia" and favoritism inside HPD, or will he do what leaders need to do and set the tone. HPD, the Dispatch Center, DPW,HFD, MHIS have all had real issues, valid issues pointed out here and they can't be overlooked .

Leadership isn't always easy, but usually it becomes much easier when the rules are established and adhered to equally.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I received this message earlier today and it is perfect example of why people post anonymously. And yes, it was sent through a "real" e-mail address with a "real" name attached. If this doesn't make it clear why "Anonymous" is important, I'm not sure what will.

I am writing this letter under the name of "Anonymous" because I fear retaliation from my supervisors. Management, namely the Director of the Dispatch Center Andrew Jaffe will not do anything to protect me. The communications division was once a proud Department that served the residents of the City of Hartford. Now because of mismanagement it is one of the worst departments in city government.

- The dispatch Center has the highest "sick abuser" in City government
- There is no discipline for employee or supervisors
- Employees routinely "walk out" effectively abandoning their post leaving the center short staff impacting public and officer safety with no repercussion or discipline
- Supervisors threatening subordinates with physical harm, again with no repercussion or discipline
- Training is nonexistent. Only training is training that new hires get. No ongoing training to staff or supervisors. There is a training budget that goes largely unused. When used it's for the useless "Fred Prior"
- The Director routinely instructs the supervisor not to follow the "PD" policy and often gives instructions that conflict with the "PD's" policies
- The operations manager made it difficult for the supervisor's to supervise his "girlfriend". When this was brought to the attention of Director Andrew Jaffe, he took no action
- The operation manager does not manage the center schedule, training or administrative issues
- Calls for service not being entered or dispatched properly (Goodrich Street)

I could fill several pages with problems with the Public Safety Dispatch Center. Director Andrew Jaffe does not have the background, training or experience to run the center.
- His rank when he retired from the Police Department was Sergeant. He was primarily and administrative supervisor who never supervised more than two or three people
- Jaffe was able to compile a $90,000 plus pension without working one road job, bar job, concert, civic center concert, etc
- He earned his pension doing administrative duties. He is now making $130,000 as Director of the Dispatch center
- He is now the highest paid employee in the City. He does not live in the City and does not plan on moving here.
- He was and is a political appointee from the Eddie Perez regime

Director Andrew Jaffee lack of management background is the problem. Political appointees generally lacks the experience or training for the job that they are appointed to. In two years Director Jaffee will be eligible for the embers package ( life time paid medical) for mismanaging the Public Safety Dispatch Center

Postings like this may not portray the full picture, but it seems to at least identify a problem that helps point in the direction for more research. Do you think the "writer" would be welcomed with open arms by the Administration for identifying problems ?

As a sidenote, I have heard Mayor Segarra state in public on several occasions that as a condition of Jaffee's appointment, he agreed to move into Hartford within six months of his appointment. Mr. Mayor, has that happened?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A regular reader of the blog, Thom Page, posted the following comments earlier today: "Kevin : Here we are with the pros and cons of anonymous comments again. I think you would do yourself, the City and everyone a favor if you just stopped them and instead let those anonymous commenters tell you what information they have, and you post it yourself under your own name - that would instill some accountability. If your commenters won't put their names on things they say(and be accountable), you can get the information out to the public easily by putting out these presumably valuable pieces of information as regular postings on your blog, just like print journalists.

It's time for all this legitimate and necessary information to have at least a semblance of credibility, especially since it is so relevant to the City's health and future. Chief Roberts and everyone else who complains about anonymous postings have a legitimate point."

Thom, I have to totally disagree with you. When I asked myself "where do I begin?" to reply to your comment, I decided to begin at the very beginning of the reasons that resulted in the creation of this blog. I never had a strong desire to get into the realm of "journalism", and I still don't, although I have been told by "real" journalists that by default I guess I am now considered a journalist.

The reason for this blog being created was a direct result of the Perez investigation and Grand Jury. During that time I guess I developed a reputation as someone that could be trusted with confidential information and capable and willing to protect the identity of my sources. Once people were comfortable with that, the information began coming to me on a regular basis.

Although I had a good working relationship with the investigators from the Law Enforcement community, both state and federal, that were working on the Perez case I was still concerned with being able to protect my sources. I felt first hand the retaliation from Perez and his camp and I was set on protecting those providing information to me from suffering any retaliation.

A close friend of mine, who is actually a professional journalist, attended a conference regarding investigative journalism and when he returned he immediately told me I needed to start a blog. I thought he was crazy and I told him I had no desire to get involved with a blog. He knew my concern for protecting my sources and as a safety factor, he also knew who many of my sources were as well as the information they were providing to me.

He was also provided with copies of documents that were provided to me so that there was always a second copy. Since I trusted him, we had an arrangement that none of the information could be used for any story or for any other reason other than an extreme emergency. I know that sounds like James Bond cloak and dagger, but it was the reality of dealing with a situation like this.

So getting back to the reason for the blog. During his semainars, apparently it was explained that bloggers are now considered legitimate journalists and because of that, Federal rulings have protected bloggers and their sources under the "shield laws" extended to "real journalists". In some ways, that would prevent me from being forced to divulge my sources.

So the blog was started. The information continued to come in during and after the Grand Jury, through the trial and even after the conviction of Perez. By that time I had developed a reputation, I guess, as someone that was not afraid to put his neck on the line as well as protecting the identity of those that were providing information to me.

You have to understand that Hartford Municipal Government is still in a bunker mentality, corruption is still alive and well, and people are willing to protect their part of the corrupt operations at almost any cost.

Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts once remarked to me that he would love to know who my sources are. I replied back "that's the beauty of it Chief, you never will". I didn't mean that to be obnoxious, but that is why people talk to me, because I understand the great personal risk they are taking to both their careers and their reputations by trying to do what is right and expose issues that are damaging our City.

Thom, although you assume that all of the comments are anonymous, I have actually suggested to posters that have posted under their real names or e-mail address that they let me post it anonymously. In a perfect world, people would be free to speak their mind and if it exposed a problem, you would hope that they would be thanked for their efforts to make Hartford a better place. You know as well as I do that is not the mindset in Hartford.

Individuals who address problems openly and through proper channels, face almost immediate and definite retaliation from their supervisors in many cases. How much do you think the "outside investigation" currently underway at HPD will cost us as taxpayers, not to mention the resulting lawsuits and claims from those who it will most likely show were retaliated against.

I realize there are those that have no problem spewing venom under the title of "Anonymous", but I also realize the importance of good people being able to provide valuable information to affect change under the moniker of "Anonymous". Would it make a difference if I still allowed the "crazies" to post as "Anonymous" but ask those sane people with valuable information to post as "Mark Twain" or some other name. This is the internet and any adult with any common sense has to wiegh the value they put on "Anonymous" comments.

I could have 50 people posting tomorrow under the name of "Thom Page", "Richard Nixon" or "Thomas Jefferson" and unless all posters are required to purchase a verified membership and be provided with a password or some other security measure, let me know how to correct that or verify that they actually aren't "Anonymous" capable of typing another name. That is the reality of the Internet and the age of technology we live in.

But, when I weigh that against the value of the change that has been brought about by the information uncovered by this blog, I will decide in favor of allowing the postings "anonymously". I will continue to provide a venue to force change.

Think back about the change that has been a direct result of this blog. Let's start with the removal of a corrupt Mayor and his eventual conviction on criminal charges. Jeff Cohen was the first to report on that when he was still with the Courant, but as the Grand Jury proceeded, much of the information provided to investigators was a result of "Anonymous" posters who were put in touch with State's Attorney Inspectors.

And don't forget the antics of John Rose and information posted here that warranted FOI requests that Rose refused. Several of those requests and subsequent FOI hearings resulted in fines against Rose and others. The issue of City credit card abuse was was given to me by an "Anonymous" source. Although they had tried to go through the proper channels, nothing was done and nothing changed. When I got to work on it, it proved to be a huge embarassment to City officials. The end result was that it was estimated that in the first year after exposing the problem, the City of Hartford saved at least $1.5 million by addressing the misuse of City credit cards.

The "Anonymous" source that originally exposed that probably would have been out of a job if they posted under their real name.

More recently do you recall the sexual harassment aleegations that resulted in the removal opf the Director of MHIS? That would have never happened if the affected City employess did not have the confidence in theis blog to reach out to me and ask for help after their request through the proper channels fell on deaf ears for weeks.

The "anonymous" poster that turned me on to $2.7 million in bonuses paid out to Board of Education employees probably would not have been rewarded as the employee of the month if they posted under their real name.

We see the retaliation everyday throughout City governmwent.

Ask Willie Edwards what happens when you do your job and question someone dumping at the landfill transfer station without a permit. The retribution is swift and prompt.

Ask Lt. Marco Tedeschi, the Advocate at HPD, what happens when you voice your opinion and refuse to railroad another Lieutenant into a demotion through a sham hearing orchestrated through the Corporation Counsel and Command staff at HPD. A transfer will be swift and prompt.

Ask former Deputy Chief Dan Nolan from the Hartford Fire Department what happens when you refuse to buy into hirings forced by a corrupt Mayor for politically connected "recruits" who apparently aren't qualified to perform the duties required. That one is simple since it has already played out. You get fired, the Labor Board decides in his favor and the City is still willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect and preserve corruption.

The list could go on and on, but for you and I Thom, the answer is simple. We work for ourselves and it is not an issue to identify ourselves.It is not so simple for the others who still work in what remains a corrupt system and where they are not routinely rewarded for doing the right thing, but instead almost certainly will face retaliation. It saddens me, but unfortunately it is a fact of life in Hartford.

In the meantime, I will continue to accept "Anonymous" comments, I will continue to accept e-mails from Donald duck, Mickey Mouse or anyone else and I will continue to accept calls from blocked numbers. As a reasoning, thinking human being, I can make my own determination as to those I think have value and those that I think do not.

Every reader of this blog has the same ability. I will still continue to moderate postings as I see fit. And until such time as we have an Administration that realizes the importance of "whistleblowers" and actually protects them rather than allow them to be retaliated against, I encourage them all to keep contacting me

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


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.