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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Is history about to repeat itself in Hartford. Is it time for another grand Jury to look at Hartford's development deals being cooked up at City Hall. The answer might quite possibly be yes.

While the appeal is still in the works for former Mayor Eddie Perez's conviction on corruption charges, another land deal is starting to raise some eyebrow's . We  may just be looking at our next "Butt Ugly Building" in the making.

 On July 25, 2012 I posted about the difficulties of the Hartford Police Credit Union to close on a property that they wanted to purchase for the new home of the Hartford Police Federal Credit Union. You can read that post here.

It didn't seem to make sense that the City would place obstacles in the way of the land purchase, considering that the Police Credit Union would be purchasing essentially an abandoned property, investing several hundred thousand dollars in its rehab and returning a non producing asset to the City' tax rolls.

But eventually the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place as people came forward with information. It seems that Hartford's COO David Panagore had come up with a plan to physically move the Credit Union building to a property at 1391 Main Street. According to sources, Panagore had told them that there was "federal" money available for the move. That has since proven not to be the case and there is no money to move the building  unless funded by Hartford's Taxpayer's.

Now the million dollar question, actually make that the half a million dollar question, $500,000 to be exact. Why the need to move the property? Well that becomes somewhat clearer as you dig down deeper to find out who all the players in the deal are. It may be a coincidence, but since I have begun digging into this and obtaining documents, at least two of the key players are no longer City of Hartford employees, David Panagore has submitted his resignation and Roger O'Brien was officially terminated today after a 7 day suspension.

After tracking down the ownership, it still is not clear who the actual owner is, but t appears that it is a Texas Corporation represented by Hartford Attorney, political operative and former Councilman John Kennelly. TLC Properties INC is listed by Dun and Bradstreet as both a Louisiana Corporation formed in August of 1996 and a Texas Corporation also formed in August of 1996. The president and CEO is Kevin P.Reilly. Reilly is also listed on numerous filings as the President and CEO of Lamar Advertising.
According to the City of Hartford's Assessor's Office the Fair market value of the property is listed at $164,700 with an annual assessment of $115,290 . The land value according to the Assessor is $53,060.

On June 22,2012 the License and Inspection Department of the City of Hartford served the property owners and their Attorney John B. Kennelly with a "Order to Abate" which essentially meant they condemned the property, claiming that the building "is in imminent danger of failure" The billboard above the property, owned by Lamar Advertising, was immediately removed .

On June 20, 2012, Kennelly apparently applied for a demolition permit to tear the building down. That has not been completed as of this date, but a demolition contractor from Milford is listed on the permit application.

Now the interesting part. Several sources at City Hall have called telling me that there is an offer being prepared by the City to purchase the property for $500,000. A property that has been condemned and a property that the assessor says the land is assessed at $53,060 may now be purchased by the City for ten times that value. The big question is why. Is this another deal like the Butt Ugly Building where Mayor Perez was quoted in Grand Jury testimony as saying"we need to take care of Abe". referring to politico Abe Giles. Should we now list another political operatives name who needs to be "taken care" of at the taxpayers expense?

And for what, to move an abandoned building that sits perfectly fine on the lot it was built on . And a property that the HPD Credit Union was more than willing to purchase at $170,000 with no additional expenses to the taxpayers of Hartford?

As a loophole to gathering information, pending real estate transactions and negotiations are exempt from disclosure under Freedom Of Information statutes in Connecticut. So none of this would be public until after the taxpayers cut a check.

Requests for comment from TLC Properties and Lamar Advertising were not returned. Attorney Kennelly did return a voicemail message stating that he was busy.
1391 Main Assessor Record 1391 Main Condemnation Order


Horatio Alger said...

Kevin, for all the hard work and good advice that Attorney Kennelly has given to Mayor Segarra and others, I dont think that buying that building for 10 times its value is too small a price.Attorney Kennelly is a very valued member of Mayor Segarra's team and I feel that he is entitled to a decent profit,after all this is America isnt it? Just because Attorney Kennelly is super close to Mayor Segarra,Panagore and others within City Hall and just because he sits on the town committee and other boards and commissions and just because he is also super close to State Senator Fonfara,doesnt mean that there is any impropriety,or at least that is what he will tell Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane when he is called to testify before the grand jury.

Anonymous said...

I hope channel three runs a story on this. Then watch city hall go into panic mode and head for the hills. Another perez corrupt property deal......I hope the feds see this one......

Anonymous said...

Another corrupt land deal in Hartford??? what a surprise!!!!!Better baten down the hatches,c cause its going hit hard!!!!!!

the big shrimp said...

Wow, anoth half a mill for a backdoor deal, good job kevin, this will be big. I bet the bow tie flunkie knew something was cookin, so he jumped on the first bus to the imagination land......

Alfred the butler said...

Kevin, you are truely the dark knight, look at all this filth and corruption you uncover....Keep it up, I cant wait to hear the excuses on this one.....Better call Maco for this train wreck!!!!

Capitol Toliet Duck said...

10 times the profit, wow what a score, I hope its all legal like Eddie the felon Perez... I don't see a judgeship in the near future for pedro after this one.....Governor Malloy is gonna be pissed.......

Prison Love said...

"Im Busy" will be the term used when the correction officer tells Kennelly and Eddie Perez to turn off their prison cell light!!!!!

And by the way EDDIE FELON PEREZ, YOU will be serving your one year in prison very very soon...

City Hall Employee on break said...

Im sure Governor Malloy is quite pleased with the job and antics of the Mayor of Hartford. No judgeship for you Pedro.....Panagore was smart to take the train to candyland and leave you to cook in his cheeseburger greese!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go City Hall. Set your buddy up for a big profit while screwing the city employees who are the share holders of the HPD Federal Credit Union, then screwing the tax payers for the cost of moving that building and wasting an opportunity to redeveloped a blighted building and adding to the much needed tax role for the city for years to come.

Shame on you City Hall.

Do the right thing Mr Mayor! it is what you were elected for. Not to pad the pockets of your buddies

peter brush said...

O'Brien was named in a lawsuit filed in May that charges that he interfered with efforts to develop land at 1400 Main St. The property's owner, Sharon Shapiro, sued O'Brien and the city, charging that O'Brien blocked efforts to develop the site, where Shapiro had planned to build a McDonald's restaurant.
There is a bunch of stink, but it's damn difficult to follow the story line. Which building was to be moved? In your June post you refer to a city-owned property. You report that 1391 is owned by TLC. The Courant refers to 1400 owned by a Shapiro.
In general, it would appear that Hartford's taxpayers are paying folks to make development difficult. Why on earth would they object to a McD's (or any other outfit)in that relatively forlorn district?

Anonymous said...

Nice work Kevin on sharing the info. I heard O'Brien was suspended/terminated because it was finally uncovered that some of his academic credentials that he used to get the job (NYU) were false.

Unhappy Taxpayer said...

Kevin, I am surprised that you did not mention the following Mayor's press release on August 31, 2012. As it is outrageous, that he has a plan to layoffs at least 12 employees; but yet he is giving his friends a 5% increase as well as letting his interim C.O.O Borges double dip(she's allowed to received($150,000)with a new 5% increased,a pension($72,000)check, perhaps if he lays her off and a few of his friends, it won't be necessary to layoff twelve employees.

Segarra Says Layoffs Loom
You’ll recall our post earlier this week about how the city’s efforts to win concessions from its unions was flagging.

In a press release today, Mayor Pedro Segarra says that means layoffs are likely. The release is below.




$1 Million Dollars in Employee Concessions Part of FY 12-13 Consensus Budget


(August 31, 2012) – Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced today that there will likely be no less than 12 city-side layoffs in order to meet his obligation pursuant to the City Charter and the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget that was unanimously adopted by City Council in May.

Additionally, the Mayor indicated that all non-unionized classified and unclassified city-side employees, including Police, Fire Command Staffs and non-sworn personnel, who make more than $45,000 per year would be required to take furlough days. A majority of layoffs would come from middle-management ranks and the average per employee savings will be approximately $80,000, including fringe benefits.

“To contemplate layoffs is very difficult for me. I do not like – nor do I want – to lay any one off, but I have an obligation to every taxpayer to meet a balanced budget and I intend to do just that. I want to remind everyone that we faced a more than $50 million dollar deficit in FY 12-13, more than $30 million was a result of revaluation, and working collaboratively with Council, we closed that gap and reduced overall spending by more than $7 million dollars. At this time I anticipate a large majority of the layoffs would come from the mid-management ranks as is consistent with my philosophy of continually looking at ways to minimize bureaucratic red-tape and increase efficiency and accountability among front-line staff,” said Mayor Segarra.

In addition to layoffs, the Mayor announced that 2 positions in the Office of the Chief Operating Officer will be eliminated from the budget.

While the schedule is subject to change, it is expected that those being laid off will be notified on September 21, 2012 and their last day of work will be October 7, 2012.

The Mayor’s Office will have no additional comment on this matter until the third week of September.

Concern Citizen said...

I agreed with you "Unhappy taxpayer" , something really stinks ... Pedro is not showing to be a good administrator when he is laying off people at the expense of keeping his so called friends to which he pays outrages salaries. I wonder if one of Pedro's friend is accommodating into this COO position to be next Mayor. Watch out Pedro greed can turn friends into traitors! Protecting friends not always pays off!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin,

As I was driving through the area of Main and Albany earlier this week, I noticed that this building has been demolished. I wish they took that convenience store building down with it though. Do you know what is planned for this location?