(Hartford) - Hartford Police Detectives have obtained arrest warrants for two suspects involved in the July 1, 2011 murder of Angel Luis Gomez, which took place at 226 Martin Street Hartford, Connecticut. This investigation was conducted in a cooperative effort between the Hartford Police Major Crimes Division and the Shooting Task Force. The suspects have been identified as Jose A. Rivera, and Kahari Martin, both of Hartford. Rivera’s arrest warrant charges him with Murder and Criminal Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Martin’s arrest warrant charges him with Accessory to Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder. Both are currently incarcerated for an unrelated shooting incident and firearm charges. Rivera and Martin will be arrested on the outstanding warrants at their respective court appearances during the month of October. The Hartford Police Department Major Crimes Division is asking anyone with information about this incident to contact HPD Major Crimes Division Sergeant Brandon O’Brien at (860) 757-4089.
It looks like Mayor Segarra has possibly opened Pandora's box with the Rudewicz Report, so the next question is, what now?
Can the fact that former Assistant Chief Neil Dryfe removed IAD files from the Department just "go away"? Does Mayor Segarra intend to pursue this for the integrity of the Department or will it just be swept under the political carpet with all of the other dirt? How can the public possibly have confidence in IAD knowing that all you have to do is get an Assistant Chief to remove your case file and the investigation goes away?
Will the State's Attorney begin an investigation into why and how this happened, or is it more of the good old boy network taking care of their own? Who was the subject of the investigations Dryfe removed and what were the allegations?
And Mayor, now that the end goal has been achieved of Chief Roberts retirement, where do you go from here. Are you going to reward any members of the current Command staff for essentially undermining the Department and Chief Roberts and being part of the overall implosion of the Chief's Office? Or will you look at those who have actually consistently stepped up and done the right things?
Mayor, just read a couple of Lt. Tedeschi's memo's while he was the Department Advocate. That should tell you all you need to know about his integrity. That should also tell you why he is no longer the Advocate. He spoke out on what was ethical and right, even when it wasn't popular.
Mayor, look at Lt. Sigersmith. If the Command Staff had listened to him when he suggested some shooting initiatives last winter, it wouldn't have taken the Governor to start the Shooting Task Force. And as you are well aware, the Shooting Task Force is making you look pretty good right now to just about everyone. Lt. Sigersmith is overseeing that operation and is more than competent.I was impressed one night when I was talking to Lt Sigersmith and we were standing in the North Meadows, he looked at the downtown skyline and stated what a beautiful City Hartford was and it had so much potential. Not a bad mindset for someone to run the Department.
The list can go on, Lt. Rodriguez seems to have been able to stay under the radar, but he is also more than capable to be part of the Command staff. Just read the comments here and you should be well aware that the rank and file have great respect for Captain Buyak. Put Captain Buyak on the Command staff overseeing the Patrol Division and I am pretty sure you would see that part of HPD excel and produce even more results than they already do.
And not surprisingly, I don't think you have seen any of their names mentioned as part of the Rudewicz Report or attached to any scandals or improper behavior.
Unfortunately, none of the names I mentioned above are a** kissers, so if that's the direction you want to go, ignore the above three paragraphs. I could offer you the names of others that would more than fit that bill, but I think it might be time to take your (and our) Police Department seriously. If you want to turn around the environment at Jennings Road, these might be the people to do it.
I'll believe the Rudewicz Report was worthwhile and not just a political sham for you when I see you step up and make the tough decisions and do what you know you have an obligation to do as Mayor, and let's see if the Jello Council steps up also.
What is being called a "drug factory", run by Lincoln Culinary Institute students was uncovered today at the school and broken up today by Hartford Police. According to sources, Hartford Police Northwest Area Commander Captain Joseph Buyak and Farmington Ave beat Officer John Zweibelson uncovered what is being called a "drug factory" run by students at the LCI.
At least three students, make that former students, were arrested on various charges related to the operation of a "drug factory". The former students were arrested and held on $300,000 bond, but in true Judical fashion their bonds were reduced to "written promises to appear" according to sources.
It seems like just a couple short months ago Hartford Democrats were standing on the steps of City Hall about to break into a flash mob version of "KUMBAYA". Oh for the good old days when Governor Malloy was able to pull together "Team Segarra", to bring about unity for the good of Hartford, calling on Democrats to put their differences aside and join behind Mayor Segarra and Council candidate Shawn Wooden.
All for the good of Hartford, all to make Hartford a better City, it was the right thing to do.
Then on to the Convention and more "Kumbaya". Pedro Segarra pulled off the nomination for Mayor. Shawn Wooden who went into the Convention with a handful of support came out at the end of the night with the majority of the votes of the nominee's. Thank goodness for behind the scenes arm twisting, it worked out well for Wooden.
Sean Arena and rJo Winch were blindsided and Kate Kowalshyn was left spinning wondering what the 1st District politicos had done to her. No female candidates were selected for the endorsed slate, and Kate was left out in the cold to gather signatures. The hope was she would be able to do it, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Even though she would have probably been one of the most sensible Council members to sit on the Council dais in recent history, she was led down the wrong path by the HDTC brain trust from the 1st District.
If only there was a GPS unit available to give Kate correct political directions, she might not have run into the brick wall that ended her chances.
Luckily for the HDTC, Governor Malloy was able to get everyone to see the light and unify behind "Team Segarra". Except for one problem apparently. Governor Malloy came from a town that apparently had political integrity and people that realized "your word is your bond".
Welcome to Hartford politics Governor.
Apparently the Governor's help wasn't enough to ensure Segarra's election. The support of a handful of Republicans apparently was needed to put Team Segarra over the top and the negotiations began to solidify the last living Republicans in Hartford to support the Democrats. Well at least some of the Democrats.
It seems that the Republicans only wanted part of team Segarra and left half of the Council slate on the edge of the playground, not picked for the big game. Sorry Governor, only the best get to be chosen for the Republican Team. Well, not really the best but they already had three "R's" running so they could only allow three more to fill out the Republican row. And since GOP Chair Mike McGrayy ended his sham run for Mayor to open the line for that loyal Republican Pedro Segarra, I mean Democrat Segarra, oh I'm confused, who stands for what anymore.
So anyway, only three "D's" could be on the "R's" line with the Segarra "D" as the Republican "R" ,a choice had to be made. The Mayoral candidate "D" who dropped out of the Mayor's race at the request of the "D" Governor for "D" party unity also was the high vote getter in the "D" primary. So that kind of sealed his fate. Since he was a threat to Mayor Segarra in the Mayoral race (which he dropped out of for party unity) he now was threat to the "D's" operation if he actually could eventually gain the top position as Council President.
Luckily Hartford's version of Jurassic Park, I mean the Hartford Republican Town Committee, was willing to wheel and deal for their survival. The conversation probably went something like this.
Republicans: "Let's cut a deal here. No countertops though, we both already got in trouble for that. We will cross endorse you and fill our line with Democrat's, even though you have doubled Hartford's taxes, increased the budget over $150 million dollars in the last decade, are financially reckless and go against just about everything the GOP stands for, but as you know we are desperate".
Democrats:" We have over 30,000 voters, not to mention 10,000 unaffiliated voters citywide, why would we need your endorsement?"
Republicans: " Because we need to stop the Working Family Party, they are a threat. Look at what they have done already, they knocked out two Republican council seats, they got their own Registrar of Voters who makes both of our Registrars look bad by actually doing her job and earning her salary. We need to stop them, not to mention Brookman, who knows what he is capable of if he ever got inside City Hall, it's bad enough with him working from the outside"
Democrats: "OK, makes sense, but we don't want to include Wooden, we already have it worked out for Council President and he is not part of our plan. Minnie can cut her own deals to get deJesus on and the other guy, what's his name, is on his own. Besides, look at what they are doing in Waterbury with altered test scores, we don't need anyone looking at that here"
Republicans : "Yeah. that's the last thing we want is anyone finding out about this sweet deal until it is too late, by that time we can change all the ordinances we want and no one can do anything, especially since the Mayor is solidly behind this"
And finally the whole scene ends with a 3 Musketeer cheer, "All for one and one for all, off to the polls"
For the actual version of what was supposed to be Democratic Party unity in Hartford, take a look at the video below:
According to an e-mail sent today by Hartford City Clerk John Bazzano, the three Democratic Council candidates being endorsed by the Hartford Republican's have rejected the endorsement. Democratic Treasure candidate Adam Cloud, also rejected the endorsement.
Mayor Pedro Segarra has not rejected the endorsement. According to sources, it may be difficult for Segarra to back out now since he was apparently the "architect" behind the deal with McGarry.
Also word is that Segarra fired all of his campaign staff last week and that most of the campaign's funds have been depleted. The next campaign filings are not due until shortly before the election November 8, 2011. Apparently John Kennelly was nominated to do the "dirty deed" and took the ax to all of Segarra's staff. Maybe extra security should be implemented at the Hartford Public Library now that at least one of Segarra's campaign confidants is back on the street.
Here is Bazzano's e-mail below:
From: Bazzano, John V. Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 9:02 AM To: Bramante, Salvatore A.; Petit, Urania; Vazquez, Olga I. Subject:
Kyle Anderson, Councilman Alex Aponte and Councilman Kenneth Kennedy have declined the endorsement from the Republican Party. Copies of their letter/emails have been hand delivered to your respective offices.
John V. Bazzano Town and City Clerk 550 Main Street Hartford, CT 06103 (860) 757-9755
Early on the question was asked of me if I thought Frank Rudewicz was being "set up for failure" when he was contracted to investigate HPD. I'm not sure if he was "set up", but the answer seems clear that the report was pretty much a failure no matter how you look at it. I responded to that question that I guessed the report would be the only answer to that , one way or the other. The answer to that now seems pretty clear, the scope of the report was so limited that it really won't change much, other than maybe the Chief of HPD.
The questions that drew the report into question for me, and the agenda behind the report, are more in what it didn't say and maybe the way that it seemed to present one sided facts.
I had hoped from the beginning that the report would be legitimate and a hunt for the facts. Once I heard that the report was sent back to Rudewicz a couple weeks ago for "changes and clarifications" I began to lose hope. The report should have been submitted as completed without any interpretations or "corrections" submitted by the City or Mayor Segarra. That was not the case.
Rudewicz took the report back to make the changes requested by the City. What those changes were we will probably never know. Shouldn't it have been up to the City and Mayor Segarra to present their side if they thought the report was inaccurate or if they wanted to make clarifications?
And it also seems odd to me that depending who was being discussed, they almost went out of their way to "bury" certain individuals, while giving others a free pass.
Why is it that out of over 45 people interviewed the only one that seems to be clearly identified and actually quoted through documents he submitted was Sergeant Gabe Laureano? Was there a need to identify Laureano as the "IAD snitch" to add emphasis to how bad IAD supposedly was? Where is the record of the other 45 interviews? If IAD was so bad, was Laureano the only one who felt it?
I know I mentioned this in my original posts, but where was the mention, other than here on the blog, that Lt Brooks was battling cancer during the period that they called his attendance into question? Without all of the facts it paints a negative picture of Brooks. It also seems quite ironic that Lt Brooks was just given an "Exemplary Service Award" for the period 2000 to 2010, in part for his excellent work attendance record.
Why were the Dryfe's, both former Assistant Chief Neil Dryfe and his wife, retired Sergeant Cindy Dryfe, just brushed over as "former officer" who removed reports from HPD. Might it have been noteworthy that Chief Drye was a previous Commander of IAD and should have known better. If Dryfe was so concerned about the operations of IAD in his memo to Chief Roberts, shouldn't he have returned the missing files first?
And just out of curiosity, the files that the Dryfe's removed from HPD pertained to what? Whose cases were they and what were the allegations? Were they friends of the Dryfe's that were being protected from investigation? And from what sources are telling me, the reports still have not been returned. Is there another investigation into that matter now or is it just water over the dam?
The mention of these missing reports in the Rudewicz report was so brief it seemed like a "non-incident" . To me though, files removed by a former IAD commander, who would later become an Assistant Chief and eventually the Police Chief in Cheshire is more troublesome to me than any personality conflicts Sgt. Laureano may have had or how many times Lt. Brooks scanned his keytag to get into the office.
The issue of access to the IAD complex is also a red herring. It is pretty much wide open, but that is not the doing of Lt. Brooks or anyone else in IAD. I have gone to look at FOI requests and they took me into IAD each time at the conference table in there. Security at HPD has never been a priority and until something drastic happens, it most likely never will be, IAD is no exception.
Back in 2006 the City contracted another report on HPD by a buddy of then Chief Patrick Harnett.m Gordon Wasserman was hired for a study entitled "POLICE DO MATTER" which was submitted in July of 2006 to former Mayor Eddie Perez. It was a more wide ranging scope of HPD, but it touch briefly on IAD.
One of the objectives mentioned was the "IAD Steering Committee" and stated "in keeping with the Department's new emphasis on accountability, the entire complaints investigation process, including the various time limits, is now monitored by a new IAD Steering Committee, which meets twice a month. Chaired by the Chief of Police personally, the committee includes the Chief of Detectives, the Chief of Patrol and the Lieutenant in charge of IAD and his investigators. The meeting reviews all open cases and monitors progress in much the same way as COMPSTAT meetings monitor progress relating to crime in the streets. The IAD investigators are held personally accountable for the status of their investigations and for ensuring that these are handled expeditiously, fairly and professionally.".
If that was the case, the blame seems to be much more wide ranging than just dumping on LT. Brooks. Where was the Chief of Police, the Chief of Patrol and the Chief of Detectives during the time period that IAD, according to the Rudewicz report, became such a mess. When was the last time the "IAD Steering Committe" met. And if they were meeting regularly as the Wasserman report states, shouldn't any management issues have been identified in weeks, rather than months?
Also, according to the Wasserman report, on January 1, 2006, "IAD upgraded its computer systems significantly by implementing a new software package, IAPRO, which both the New York City and Philadelphia Police Departments use to handle their inernal affairs cases." The Rudewicz report does mention IAPro and its "red flag" component. To the best of my knowledge, Lt Brooks was not the IAD Commander in 2006, and it might have been interesting to note if thjose "red flag" components were ever enabled at the time. If not why and who was the Commander at the time, and if they were enabled, who disabled them, or were the "red flags" just being ignored when they popped up?
If nothing else, maybe it is time to start listening to people who have suggestions inside the HPD, rather than shutting them down as "malcontents". If all of these things just happened to slide by all of those on the Command staff, do we really need all o those positions on the second floor. The Wasserman report, if I remember correctly, was well over $200,000. The Rudewicz report probably will be in excess of $100,000. It might be cheaper for the City to just commission an "outside independent investigation" every couple years and eliminate a few Chief's positions. It looks like the reports keep identifying the same issues and nothing changes, so why the top heavy command staff.
Add into that amount the money being spent by the City defending poor management decisions as well as the likely six-figure settlements that come out of these complaints and lawsuits, and you have to definitely question the management decisions, or more likely their inability to make decisions.
Maybe it is time for a position of Public Safety Commissioner who has management experience and can run the Department as a manger , not as a cop. Daryl Roberts is someone I consider a friend, but you have to look at the facts. He went from the rank of Lieutenant to Assistant Chief and then Chief. The size of the organization does not allow for little or no management experience, other than maybe a squad of 10, 15, or even 20 officers. It requires knowledge of budgets, labor laws, community issues, purchasing requirements, FOI laws and the list goes on and on. Quite frankly, there aren't a lot of people that have that wealth of knowledge, Daryl Roberts included.
The only saving grace would be someone that was smart enough to surround themselves with the best and the brightest they could find, and even Daryl Roberts has admitted to me he hasn't done that.
The report was a disappointment, but in the end, I think it accomplished the original goal. Mayor Segarra won't have to terminate or refuse to renew the Chief's contract. Daryl Roberts will be gone as of December 31, 2010 as he retires.
The next big test will be the choice for "acting" Chief and the new permanent Chief. I have some ideas for the Mayor, but since I encouraged him to give Chief Roberts a chance last year, I'm not sure how well my suggestions will be taken this time around. I still stand by giving Chief Roberts a chance to run with the leadership of HPD, unfortunately he didn't come out like I thought he would and make a difference.
BUILDING CLEANERS AT HARTFORD COURANT WILL RALLY TO SAVE THEIR JOBS
-- Protest Aims to Keep Courant’s Unionized Cleaning Company, Protect Good Jobs --
Building cleaners at Connecticut’s largest newspaper will rally Wednesday to protest their expected job loss if the paper terminates its long-time contract with a unionized cleaning company. The workers learned recently that the Hartford Courant could end its contract with Capitol Cleaning as early as October 1, which would throw the building’s eight cleaners out of work. Some of these men and women have been at the building more than 20 years. The workers have reached out to the Courant to apply to continue working under any new contractor. The company has not responded to their requests.
Kurt Westby, Connecticut State Director for SEIU 32BJ, said it is significant that all of the workers are full-time and have health benefits as well as a retirement plan. “These are good jobs that have given these workers and their families a toehold in the middle-class,” Westby said. “Hartford needs its employers to help in creating more good jobs, not destroying them. We call on the Courant to retain Capitol Cleaning, and not throw hard-working members of our community out on the street.”
WHAT: Rally to save good jobs
WHO: Building cleaners at the Courant, their supporters, other members of 32BJ SEIU, and area labor leaders
WHEN: 12 P.M. on Wednesday, September 28, 2011
WHERE: On Flower Street, across from the parking lot of the Hartford Courant at 285 Broad Street, Hartford
Isn't this the way Hartford should be every weekend?
Saturday started as a cloudy, overcast rainy day. The day began as we prepared to bury a good friend to us and to Hartford, former Councilman John O'Connell. The funeral mass was a time to recall anecdotes about John, some shared by the priest who apparently knew John well. His son Jay's euology drew on many pleasant memories and even a few comical stories, similar to those John used to love to tell. Many of them brought smiles and nods from the people in attendance as we recalled the John O'Connell we knew.
I was honored to be asked to be one of the pall bearers and thought about the many things I have learned from John over the few years we have been friends. I used to always laugh it off when people referred to me as the "young John O'Connell" when they would see me stirring things up at City Hall, especially the last couple years when John's health didn't always allow him to be as involved as he loved to be.
If I could make the change and contribute to Hartford as well as John did, I would be honored to be compared to him any day. As anyone who knew John can attest, Robert's Rules of Order was sometimes the strongest weapon he had in his artillery. Well, that combined with his intelligence and his strong presence. I was grateful when John's wife Carol gave me permission to put my personal copy of Robert's Rules of Order in the casket with John to be buried with him (along with a piece of my campaign literature folded inside for good luck). It's the Irish thing I guess.
I won't go into detail at this point, but the police escort became a big deal Friday evening for all the wrong reasons.Thank you to Chief Roberts, Mayor Segarra and Captain William Long for getting it done The police escort provided for the funeral procession was impressive and I'm sure made John's family very proud of the respect that was shown to him on the way to his final resting place. I especially want to thank Sergeant John Bremser from the Traffic Division for pulling it all together and making the escort happen. Sgt. Bremser, Lt. Kevin Ahlquist and Officer Kevin Nesta were all very impressive as they escorted the procession along I-84 and I-91 on the way to the cemetery.
John would have been very proud knowing both 84 and 91 were shut down temporarily for his procession, although he probably would have also been questioning the cost and were the cops being paid overtime and where was the money allocated in the budget.
It was also ironic that downtown Hartford and the Riverfront were bustling with Irish spirit Saturday for "Pipes in the Valley" , held at Riverfront Plaza. John was always extremely proud of his Irish heritage and to see the large crowds celebrating the Irish spirit would have had John beaming with pride in both his Irish culture and the hospitality of the City he loved.
You couldn't help but realize the potential that John always saw in Hartford and realize why he fought so hard to make our City a better place when you stood on the plaza and look at the Marriott, the Convention Center and the great lines of the Connecticut Science Center.
For some reason , I think John was right there with us enjoying the sounds of the bagpipes spilling out over Hartford, the Connecticut River and beyond.
The awaited report is in , and I'm not really sure how many questions it has answered. What it does seem to depict though is an almost "junior-high school" type of mentality that seems to permeate the department driven by personality conflicts and gossip.
The report did seem to accomplish one of ,what I believe, was its main goals. Chief Roberts has submitted his resignation/retirement as of December 31, 2011. It also seems to point out what most likely is a need for a complete housecleaning at the top. Highly paid administrators are paid those salaries to avoid, or at least deal with, the issues outlined in the report before they rise to the level of attorney battles.
As I have mentioned here before, Neville Brooks and myself have been friends since grammar school. Although much of the blame in the report seems to be placed on him in the narrow scope that was addressed, there is a much greater problem that needs to be addressed. A couple details were left out of the report that may have clarified a few things.
First off was the issue of the "5 month absence" and his sporadic attendance during that period. I am not defending Neville Brooks here, but what's fair is fair, just don't cast a cloud of doubt and then not explain it. During that period, Lt. Brooks suffered a bout with cancer and underwent surgery, chemo therapy and a difficult recovery process. It wasn't that he was hanging out at the casino or just didn't feel like coming to work.
This was common knowledge among the Command Staff and the responsibility to fill Brooks' void during that period was squarely with Chief Roberts, the direct supervisor of the IAD Commander. That wasn't done, and the responsibility for a division running without any direction, or very little, belongs with the Chief.
It was also interesting to note the issue of the missing reports. Although the report did not mention "the former officer", sources have told me that two individuals had IAD reports in their possession after they left HPD. Former Assistant Chief Neil Dryfe and his wife, former IAD Sergeant Cindy Dryfe both had taken reports with them.
It seems interesting that Dryfe expresses his concern over Brooks' leadership in the memo listed as an exhibit to Chief Roberts, but he may have also contributed to the problem by removing reports, for whatever reason.
The issue of the security and access into the IAD complex was actually addressed in the early 1990's when a security system was installed in the IAD Complex. This was done after the IAD office area was allegedly broken into by a police officer climbing over a wall from an adjoining bathroom. The system was eventually cancelled because under Mayor Perez the City didn't want to pay for its maintenance and monitoring.
Another interesting part is how the complaints apparently were started. The complaint from Sergeant Laureano to Assistant Chief Horvath details claims of a hostile work environment and allegations that Brooks was seeking retaliation against the Chief's. Even though no one else seemed to have issues, Horvath moved forward.
As a side note, Sergeant Laureano claims he was unable to sleep because of the stress Brooks' behavior put him under. That might explain a lot since many wonder when Laureano does sleep. He is one of HPD's highest money earners as of this time because of his private job and overtime schedule, working in excess of 18 or 20 hours many days.
Sergeant Laureano has recently landed a position as Commander of the Northeast Condition's Unit.
The report does seem to point out many management issues, but this report only hits the tip of the iceberg. It claims morale is poor because of inconsistent discipline and the potential intimidation of officers fearing underhanded or uneven handling of discipline.
It is up to Mayor Segarra now as to whether this report will sit on a shelf like so many others, or will it actually be implemented. It reminds me of words Mayor Segarra spoke this past Saturday at the funeral of John O'Connell. "To remain silent is cowardly" Segarra said. So far the silence has been deafening from City Hall, much of this was known before any report was ever commissioned
Hartford City Council candidate Ken Kennedy has become the first to reject the "cross" endorsement supposedly struck between the Hartford Republicans and the Hartford Democrats. The deal has struck up controversy on both sides and has left many voters unhappy, from those I have spoke with.
Even among Republicans most have questioned McGarry's choice to endorse the Democrats. It raises some interesting issues for Republicans who typically believe in smaller government, reduced spending , lower taxes and small business support. The endorsements were given to individuals that have shown the extreme opposite in the way Hartford has been run for the last decade. Hartford's mill rate has doubled, city spending has increased over $150 million dollars and Hartford's small businesses are being taxed out of existence.
Here is Kennedy's e-mail rejecting the McGarry endorsement:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: FW: Republican Endorsement
From: "Kenneth Kennedy, Jr." >
To: Ramon Arroyo >,Adam Cloud >,"
Hon. Pedro E. Segarra" >," Hon. Alexander Aponte"
>, Kyle Anderson >
I have informed the republican party that I will not accept their endorsement in
the interest of Democratic Party unity. I hope this settles the issue as the
Council seems to be the real problem as we have 6 candidates and are not running
by ourseleves as the other offices.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.