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Sunday, December 15, 2013

DO AS THEY SAY, NOT AS THEY DO



As dozens of cars were towed around Hartford for violating the parking ban and hundreds of $99.00 tickets were issued, apparently the word of the ban didn't get out at City Hall.

This is probably another example of the Segarra Administration's "Leadership by Example" as the City of Hartford vehicle pictured above was left on Prospect Street, directly behind City Hall in violation of the Snowstorm parking ban. As you can see in the picture, the van was hampering snow plowing operations as the plows had to navigate around the van , instead of being able to plow to the curb.

Also, this may not come as a consolation to those who were ticketed and towed, but the press release from the Mayor's Office was incorrect. The fee to retrieve a vehicle towed is not $196.84. The car can be retrieved by paying directly to the tow company $97.84, the parking ticket fee of $99.00 is paid to the Hartford Parking Authority.. The Hartford Police Department does not collect fees for parking violations

If your vehicle is missing from the street and you think it was towed, contact the Hartford Police Department at 860-757-4000. Be prepared to give them the location where it was parked and the plate number on the vehicle . They can tell you which towing company has your vehicle.

In the meantime, next time there is a parking ban, pay attention to it. Even if the City of Hartford doesn't

Friday, December 13, 2013

GET WELL SOON, CHIEF

 
 
Hartford's Police Chief James Rovella has been going through some medical issues for the past few weeks.
 
Today Assistant Chief Brian Heavren put out the following statement in regard the Chiefs absence.
 
"As many of you know, Chief Rovella has recently been out sick.  I spoke to him today and he is feeling better and he sounded good.

He appreciates the thoughts and prayers and was very interested in what was going on here at the PD.

He  remains at the hospital and due to various procedures, visitation is limited.

I appreciate the support and your hard work during his absence."
 
Please keep the Chief and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he continues top recover.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A NOTE TO MAYOR SEGARRA'S SCHEDULER

Make a note; get out your little I-Pad and make a reservation for New Year's Eve for Mayor Segarra and a party of six. See if he can get the same table he had last year, that really worked out well. Lets skip the caviar this year though. Also check to see if the P-card is still accepted.



 


 
 
 

Enjoy a dozen oysters and a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne
(full or half bottle) at select Max restaurants
for one low price.


Full Bottle & 12 oysters: $50

CELEBRATE THE SEASON IN STYLE
Enjoy a dozen oysters and a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne
(full or half bottle) at select Max restaurants
for one low price.

Full Bottle & 12 oysters: $50
Half Bottle & 12 oysters: $35
Half Bottle & 12 oysters: $35

FROM HPD:DUI CHECKPOINT


MARG NRZ MEET AND GREET TONIGHT

 
 
The annual Maple Avenue NRZ  Holiday Meet and Greet will be held this evening at 6PM in the basement hall of Saint Augustine Church at 10 Campfield Avenue.

Come join your neighbors and community members for an evening of Holiday spirit

Santa will be arriving at 6:00PM until 7:00PM . Enjoy food and friendship. Please bring a canned item for the St. Augustine Food Pantry or a hygiene item for the South Park Inn homeless shelter.

Come early as Santa is on a tight schedule and has to head to Pratt Street for the Small Business Night Out

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BATTLES

Hartford is a City that has more than its share of issues to be dealt with. Increasingly  I am surprised by what the priorities for our community are. We seem to be plagued by incompetence and poor leadership, if there is any leadership at all.

The recent Kennard Ray uproar just seems to highlight our problems. I will say upfront, I am not a supporter of Mr. Ray and I don't believe the issue is being framed properly .It starts with the "ban the box" ordinance. This is nothing more than a feel good law that essentially has no real protections for anyone. OK, so you don't ask if the applicant has any felony convictions . Once they get hired and you find out they do, you terminate them. A total waste of time for everyone involved, not to mention demoralizing for the applicant.

Anyone that has to renew a trade license in Connecticut , electricians, plumbers, barbers, and many others have to check off a box that you have not been convicted of a felony in the past 12 months. It is a reality of life. we are thinking adults and need to accept responsibility for our actions as adults, and felony convictions typically do not open doors for anyone ( except maybe John Rowland)

And what employer shouldn't be allowed to know who they are hiring. I would think some convictions may be very pertinent to the position that a convicted felon might actually be getting hired for. Financial crimes or embezzlement might not be the best thing for someone looking for a banking job. Is an employer supposed to be prevented from knowing about that?

What would seem more important is finding an employer, or a Mayor, with a backbone that is willing to stand behind their choice to give a felon a second chance. Or in Mr. Ray's case a 5th , 6th or 7th chance. I think Mayor Segarra was caught off guard by the backlash in the Ray hiring because he never did his homework in the first place.

But when the matter started to erupt, Segarra , if he thought Ray was the right choice, should have sttod up and taken a stand on the matter. But the fact of the matter was that Ray most likely wasn't the best choice for the job, but may have been the best "political" choice for the job. I don't think any one is discounting Mr. Ray's ties to the Working Families Party  weighing heavily on Segarra's choice.

If it was about "second chances" Segarra should be one of the first people to acknowledge that and stand up for his choice. We have probably all made choices in our past that might not have been the most stellar, and Pedro Segarra is no exception. Ask him about the Cuban connection and see what kind of response you get.

And the community support for Mr. Ray surprises me when no one seems to be mentioning the name of Thomas Clark. Mr. Clark was an employee in the Mayor's Office until recently when he was for all intents and purposes driven out.

Thomas Clark is a young African American male , well educated( he holds an MBA), hard working professional and a person of faith. From what sources  have told me , Thomas was driven out of the Mayor's Office because he was perceived as not being a "team Player" . God forbid someone in the Mayor's Office actually speaks his mind.

Maybe if more people in Segarra's inner sanctum actually did speak up, many of the missteps by Segarra could be avoided. But Clark was  out in the community and projected an image for a young black man that should set him up as a role model for Hartford's Youth before they need to fight the battle for a job because they have the title convicted felon attached to them. Clark's salary was also close to a third of the salary of most people in the Mayor's Office, how is that fair?

Rather than everyone rallying behind a man that has had numerous felony convictions, why don't we actually begin the conversations on trying to end the pipeline from adolescence to prison that draws in the majority of Hartford's young men. Now there is a battle worth fighting. for.

What we really need to do is hold our elected officials accountable for their election year rhetoric. We always hear about "re-entry" programs for felons returning back from prison from candidates and how important they are. But then once the campaign is over, the talk goes away until the next election cycle.

Let's talk about jobs for Hartford people before they get into trouble. Let's talk about jobs for Hartford's young men before they turn to crime to put money in their pocket and get wrapped up in criminal cases and get the felony record.

A Mayor with vision would be sitting down with every Hartford employer and asking them to allocate  maybe 10% of their annual hiring to be set aside for Hartford residents. That would make a dent in Hartford's joblessness, and probably crime stats also. A Mayor with vision would be working with the MDC to leverage jobs from a huge project that is disrupting just about every neighborhood in the City to create jobs for those same residents that are being affected.

Vision requires thinking "outside the box" and then standing for what you believe in, sometimes even when that stand is uncomfortable. Right now the only job creation seems to be on the Mayor's Staff. But in the meantime, lets look for those that can serve a dual purpose as City employees and also role models for Hartford youth, I think Thomas Clark would have served that purpose. There may be a place for Kennard Ray in Hartford government, but I am not sure it is a high profile position in the Mayor's Office.

ATT&T DONATES $10,000 TO HARTFORD POLICE PAL PROGRAM



FROM HPD:

(Hartford, CT) AT&T Connecticut today announced a $10,000 donation to the Hartford Police Activities League (Hartford PAL) to support its (YES) Youth Empowerment to Success Program. The program empowers youth ages 14-18 with positive growth and development from within themselves and their community through active mentoring, self-awareness, individual leadership, team building, goal setting, career workshops, and community service.  The Hartford PAL supports and empowers Hartford youth through mentoring, education, athletics, arts and civic service, while fostering positive relations with police.   

State Senator John Fonfara was on hand for the announcement. “I commend AT&T Connecticut for supporting the Hartford community this way.  It will provide opportunities for city youth that may not have otherwise been available.  It’s important to make sure that our young people have the tools they need to succeed in life.” 

The YES Program will fuse together college educated police officers, professionals and independent specialty contractors to demonstrate implementation, outcome, and sustainability of a high school support and job readiness initiative designed to serve Hartford youth at heightened risk for violence, gang involvement and crime victimization.  

The program will employ a youth evaluation survey to measure performance and track outcomes. It will create job and educational readiness and support, gang, gun and bullying awareness, conflict resolution, mentorship support, an increase in self-confidence and a decrease in exposure to violence. 

“This donation will help PAL provide more Hartford youth with the tools they need to succeed, graduate high school, have the opportunity to go to college and be better prepared for jobs and careers,” stated David Jorgensen, Chairman of Hartford PAL. “AT&T Connecticut’s contribution will serve a great cause and we look forward to the positive impact this program will have on our community.” 

“AT&T welcomes the opportunity to help students at risk by assisting programs that are committed to helping our most vulnerable students develop the skills necessary to compete and thrive in today’s competitive job marketplace,” stated Abigail Jewett, Regional Vice President External Affairs, AT&T Connecticut.  “We’re proud to help play a role in the development of the YES Program and look forward to its success.”

Monday, December 9, 2013

TEMPORARILY OFF THE HOOK, BUT NOT INNOCENT

 
The case of former Mayor Eddie Perez continues to wind through the courts, but apparently it is not over yet. The Connecticut Appellate Court released its much awaited opinion this morning , and essentially overturned the felony convictions of the former Mayor, but that is not the end of it.

The 3 judge panel made it clear that they felt the evidence was there to convict Perez but that the trial judge, Judge Dewey had erred when she allowed both of Perez's cases to be tried in one proceeding. The case has now been remanded back to the Superior Court for two separate trials.

That would probably mean that the strongest case, the corruption charges might result in a conviction when tried on its own. The bribery charge , the weaker case might not end up in a conviction.

The Office of the Chief States Attorney in a statement issued this afternoon, appears to be moving toward either retrying Perez or appealing to the Connecticut Supreme Court, hoping that the high Court would see it differently than the Appellate Court and overturn today's decision and allowing Perez's conviction to stand.

The spokesperson for the Chief States Attorney stated "We are still reviewing the Appellate Court's decision, but is our intention to proceed with the prosecution of these crimes, either by way of appeal to the Supreme Court or by retrial in accordance with today's decision"

To read the full Appellate Court  decision, click here

To read Judge Lavine's "concurrent" opinion, click here

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

COUNCIL PRESIDENT WOODEN'S READING CHALLENGE

PRESS RELEASE FROM COUNCIL PRESIDENT WOODEN:


Council President Wooden announces winner of the 

2013 Summer Reading Challenge,
“Council President for the Day”

 

HARTFORD – Council President Shawn T. Wooden today announced that Naiya McGlamery is the winner of the Council President’s 2013 Summer Reading Challenge. McGlamery, a resident of Regent Street, is a third grader at CREC’s Reggio Magnet School of the Arts. She will serve as Hartford’s “Council President for a Day” on December 9th. 

In June, Council President Wooden, in partnership with Mi Casa Family and Education Center and Rosen Publishing, gave away 7,600 books to rising second and third grade students in Hartford.  As part of this initiative, announced at Jumoke Academy Honors at Milner on the last day of school, Wooden challenged the students to write a paragraph and draw a picture about why summer reading is important to them.  

“I launched this initiative to draw attention to Hartford high illiteracy rate and to promote early reading as a critical tool to address this issue.  Unfortunately, the educational achievement gap starts very early in our children’s lives. ” 

In addition to serving as “Council President for a Day”, McGlamery has won a Kindle eReader and tickets to the Connecticut Science Center. In addition to McGlamery, Mrs. Hickey’s entire class at Kinsella Elementary School will also be recognized for their high level of participation in the challenge.  Each participating student in the class will receive a ticket to the Connecticut Science Center, which were generously donated by the Connecticut Science Center.  

“I am grateful for the many educators, parents and students that supported this effort,” said Wooden. “Young people like Naiya are proof that Hartford’s best days are ahead, and that early literacy will be a huge part of our success.” 

As Council President for a Day, McGlamery will spend the afternoon of December 4th at City Hall, learning about the roles and responsibilities of the Council President. She will join Council President Wooden during his regular leadership meeting with Mayor Segarra, Majority Leader Alex Aponte and Minority Leader Larry Deutsch.  Additionally, she will work with Council President Wooden to prepare for the evening’s Council meeting, which she will ceremoniously open at 7:00pm. She and the Kinsella students will be recognized at the Council meeting that evening. 

 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

IS THERE ANY INTEGRITY IN HARTFORD POLITICS? MORALES ADMITS GUILT

The City of Hartford's political system seems to be intent on keeping the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission(SEEC) busy.

Minnie Gonzalez ...guilty, Democratic Registrar Olga Vazquez...guilty, Deputy Democratic Registrar Garey Coleman...guilty.  Now another Hartford politico, Angel Morales, is adding his name to the list of those fined by the SEEC for political wrongdoing..

Morales, a convicted felon has not been successful in his attempts in the political arena, but none the less he keeps surfacing as he is embraced by several Hartford politicians.

Morales has recently been employed by the Senate Democrats at the Capitol. He apparently also works occasionally for the Democratic Registrars office.

The SEEC complaint against Morales goes back to the November 2011 election. The complaint alleged that Morales entered the polling place at the Learning Corridor on Vernon Street with at least 6 younger boys . Morales was not authorized to be in the polling place and refused to leave when asked by the Moderator, Carmen Cordero.

According to sources who were present at the time of the violation, Morales used the now familiar Hartford line "Do you know who I am" when he was asked to leave. Morales refused to leave the polling place and was eventually escorted out by a Security Guard.

In the consent decree , in which Morales admitted to his violations, the SEEC felt that Morales "did not show good faith" in the matter and fined him $200.00 for his violations to ensure Morales's compliance in the future.

Why can't Hartford's politicians just play by the rules? It is certain that they actually know the rules, but there seems to be a sense of entitlement that they can just do whatever they want. I think this is a large reason for chronic low voter turnout. Hartford's voters are reluctant to place their faith in a system that they know is corrupt and has no integrity.

How do both the Democratic Registrar and her Deputy have their jobs after admitting that they forged signatures on election petitions. In most towns there would have been an immediate outcry for their removal. Not in Hartford though, corruption is encouraged and actually rewarded with large salaries and the knowledge that there is no accountability for corrupt activity

Hartford's culture of blindness needs to change

GET THE DESIGNATED DRIVER READY

The eve of Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest bar nights of the year. So it is probably a good idea to find that designated driver before you head out tonight

From the Hartford Police:

The Hartford Police Department Traffic Division will conduct a DUI Enforcement Checkpoint on Wednesday , November 27, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., in the vicinity of 100 Wells Street, Hartford CT.
 
This checkpoint a part of the Hartford Police Department's ongoing expanded 2013-2014 DUI enforcement program supervised by the HPD's Traffic Division and funded through a grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation DUI Enforcement Program: For more information click   http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=2094&q=435934
 
 
 

 

WE DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER

MAYOR SEGARRA ANNOUNCES SELECTION OF DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF

--- NEWS AND COMMUNITY STATEMENT---

(November 26, 2013) Today, Mayor Segarra announced two staffing appointments: Henry Burgos as Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations and Kennard Ray as Deputy Chief of Staff. They begin work with the City on December 2.

 

Mr. Burgos, a Hartford native, joins the administration after serving as Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Capital Community College. Burgos also served 10 years as the Principal Human Resources Specialist for the State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services, overseeing labor relations for the agency’s 4,000 employees. Burgos holds a Masters in Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and graduated cum laude from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

 

“Henry is an extremely qualified professional and public servant,” commented Mayor Segarra. “As we continue to improve our processes and procedures citywide, I look forward to working with Henry and his staff to develop a new approach to human resources management that positions the City to recruit and retain a talented, diverse workforce. Throughout our search, we talked to staff and identified a need to transform and modernize the department. Henry brings the skills and perspective necessary to help us realize that goal. ” 

 

Mr. Ray, also a Hartford native, joins the Mayor’s Office after serving as the Political and Legislative Director for the Connecticut Working Families Party, where he lead regional organizing efforts in support of public education, voter outreach and minimum wage increase. Mr. Ray will work with the Mayor’s Chief of Staff as a liaison to City Council, community organizations and residents. He will lead project management, policy development, and day-to-day community relations through the Office of Constituent Services.
 
A Deputy Chief of Staff? Can anyone point out to me where that position is in the Hartford City Charter as an authorized position in the Office of the Mayor?
 
But wait, it gets worse, much, much worse.
 
Kennard Ray is a convicted felon. And before all the comments start about "second Chances" I'm not saying a convicted felon for a "mistake" one time when he was young. I am talking about an extensive arrest record dating back to at least 1998 for gun charges, drug dealing, interfering with police and at least a few years served behind bars during his adult life.
 
We have enough problems with guns on our streets, never mind bringing those people committing the gun crimes into the Mayor's Office.
 
And how did this selection get through, does no one on the Mayor's Staff know how to use Google or even check his name in the Judicial website. Those in the Mayor's Office can't get out of their own way and this seems as another example of how they go out of their way to embarrass Mayor Segarra almost daily. Note to City Staff, : he does a fine job of embarrassing himself, he doesn't need your help.

 

 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

IT IS CALLED FORGERY AND FRAUD

The State Elections Enforcement Commission today voted in Executive Session to apparently approve a finding of cause against Hartford's Democratic Deputy Registrar of Voters  in a scheme he apparently participated in in 2010  to falsify election petitions for a Hartford Democratic Town Committee primary election.

Coleman's boss, Democratic Registrar Olga Vazquez was recently fined $3000.00 for her role in the scheme

Essentially, according to the finding, Garey Coleman forged the names of solicitors and signed the back of the petition forms where the signatures had been omitted by the solicitors,.then went on to certify the signatures in his role as Deputy Registrar so that the petitions could qualify improperly for ballot positions.

It is unclear if the matter will be referred for criminal investigation and prosecution by the Office of the Chief States Attorney. Matters like this can't just be ignored if we are to protect or even convince the voters of the integrity of the process. Fraud is not something that that can be condoned

Attempts to reach Coleman for comment were unsuccessful. Coleman is the brother of State Senator Eric Coleman

NOW THIS IS FLATTERING

When you start going through documents given up as part of an FOI request, you never know what you will find. A couple of the e-mails that were provided as part of the package sent to comply with a Federal Grand Jury subpoena had to make me laugh.

A couple of the e-mails are below, but apparently someone at the Board of Education is concerned what "We the People" thinks of them. There in the file were copies of "We the People" blog postings that appear to be e-mailed to the Boards upper management team, including Paula Altieri and John Griffin.

As much as people say they don't read the blog, I am finding the opposite is true.


MORE GRIFFIN E-MAILS

More e-mails from John Griffin for your reading pleasure. Concern or a hidden agenda, what do you think?

CONCERN OR HIDDEN AGENDA-YOU DECIDE

In response to my FOI request for e-mails related to Earl O'Garro and Hybrid Insurance, a couple thousand e-mails were provided. to me. I can't post them all here, but a few of the strings are very interesting to me and what motive was behind them. I am  not going to editorialize on them because I don't want to appear as though I am siding with Hartford's Treasurer Adam Cloud .

Did Cloud make mistakes and exercise poor judgment as an elected official, I think even he would answer yes. Was there criminal intent? You (as well as a Federal Grand Jury) can make that call but I don't think so.

Below is a sampling of e-mails from those provided to me in a file labeled "John Griffin Chief States Attorney" If you have the time read the file and see if you think Griffin was at getting to the truth and identifying a problem, or was it more about accusing "an elected official of Insurance fraud".

Keep in mind, there have been no allegations of Insurance fraud, except by Griffin, at any point in this matter, but Griffin mentions  it several times, even before any investigation was even started.

There are many more e-mails I will try to post to paint a clearer picture of the motivation behind this matter. I don't think it began with concerns over  a wire transfer

AS REQUESTED, THE ALTIERI E-MAIL

Earlier today I posted about the Paula Altieri e-mail between her and Board of Education member Richard Wareing in which she stated her displeasure with the hybrid matter being played out in the media. She stated that her "brief" was only supposed to be for Siperintendent of Schools Kishimoto and Mayor Segarra. Altieri was upset that the document was "leaked" to the press.

She stated that she "did as directed to do in this matter".

Below is the e-mail as several people e-mailing me today have requested

RUBENSTEIN ELECTED CHAIR OF AUDIT COMMISSION

What is that saying about karma?

In an interesting twist this afternoon, Hartford Attorney Bruce Rubenstein was elected as Chairperson of the Hartford Internal Audit Commission. This move followed the welcoming of the newest Audit Commission member Ted See, a Hartford resident and retired attorney. The vote was unanimous in favor of Rubenstein taking over the Chairpersons position


 Hartford Deputy Corporation Counsel L. John Van Norden is most likely in his office at this very moment drafting an opinion that Rubenstein's vote was illegal and proposing  an ordinance change to prohibit the vote

Rubenstein has been relentless in digging into City issues since his appointment to the commission earlier this year

ALTIERI: "I DID AS DIRECTED TO DO"

The issue regarding the actions of Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud and the wire payment to Hybrid Insurance is now playing out through the media and potentially a Federal Grand Jury.

How the matter originally came to light and what the motivation was still seems to be a looming question for many. Through e-mails obtained through a Freedom of Information request to the Hartford Schools, some pieces of the puzzle may be coming together.

 The timing of the incidents involved may lay some of the groundwork These are only my opinion but as we try to make sense out of this matter, a lot of things are starting to add up.

Sometime during the late summer, the attorney hired as the City of Hartford's Bond Counsel raised concerns to Treasurer Adam Cloud as to how Bond money, specifically "CIP" dollars ( Capitol Improvement Project) were being used by the Segarra Administration. CIP dollars were apparently being used to offset spending for items and purchases out of the City of Hartford General Fund.
These purchases were the subject of Finance department e-mails and warnings were also issued that they could potentially be violating Federal law in doing so.

In a string of e-mails between Hartford Comptroller Leigh Ann Ralls , Treasurer Cloud and India Cicero from DPW, the matter was discussed.

In one e-mail Ralls states that "He (Molleda) was told that we can't allow operating expenses in the capital projects. Bond money has to be used for the intent purpose stated in the bond documentation" According to sources , this had become a regular process to balance Hartford's General Fund Budget by floating CIP money to cover everyday expenses.

In one e-mail from DPW's Cicero to Comptroller Ralls Cicero states "I wish he knew this before the budget was adopted b/c now we have so much that isn't funded, where will the money come from now/" . Apparently floating the CIP money had become a regular budget balancing process at City Hall.and was counted on to facilitate everyday purchases such as truck tires and transmissions and supplies.

After being advised of the potential problems by his Bond Counsel, Treasurer Cloud requested an investigation into the use of the CIP funds. The Internal Audit Commission is apparently investigating the matter at this time.

It didn't make a lot of sense how the Hartford Schools and Altieri figured into the CIP matter until I began reviewing the e-mails I requested through FOI. These same e-mails were also requested by the subpoenas for the Federal Grand Jury.

In an e-mail from Board of Education member Richard Wareing to Hartford Schools CFO Paula Altieri, Superintendent Kishimoto, and Board Chair Matt Poland., Wareing states that "My sources inside City Hall tell me that the City is going to ask us for $3-5million to close out FY-13"

Further e-mails explain how the Hartford Schools would be asked to give over $3 million in General Fund money from their budget back to the City to allow Mayor Segarra and COO Saundra Kee-Borges to balance the City budget.

In return,  Segarra and Kee- Borges would provide the Hartford Schools with approximately $3 million dollars in CIP money to make up for the money they gave back. Again, CIP money is only supposed to be used for the specific intent it was received for, not to float around to offset budget gaps in the General Fund.

One source familiar with Bond law and Federal Regulations stated that such use outside of the intended usage could be a violation of Federal law and jeopardize the tax free status of bond sales which would severely hamper the City's ability to obtain funding in the future.

The swap plan to balance the City budget moved forward. and Paula Altieri apparently spoke with Kishimoto about the scheme "about her comfort level with exchanging operating dollars for CIP dollars. she was on board" according to Altieri's e-mail. Altieri went on in her e-mail to call the scheme a "win win" "it gives the City some flexibility to help aid in the budget gap"


Another e-mail from Wareing to CFO Altieri refers to unused payroll questions raised by former Finance Director Julio Molleda. Apparently Molleda was questioning their budget numbers for payroll and the possibility that the Board may have a "secret surplus of "millions" of dollars.
After the matter became public, CFO Altieri was apparently very upset that the matter was being played out in the media.. She expressed those concerns in an e-mail between herself and Richard Wareing on October 14, 2013. Altieri stated that " I , as well as John, ( John Griffin) did as directed to do in this matter" .

I think an important question would be "what were you directed to do?" and by who? Altieri claims in the e-mail it was to "prepare a brief". She apparently also claims that after the "brief' was released", she received anonymous calls at her home stating "you are in danger". Wareing replied that he was "sorry that this got into the press , I have suspicions but no evidence". We probably won't know what the motiviation is or was until hopefully the Federal Grand Jury is done. In the meantime it seems pretty clear that there is enough blame to go around for the original Hybrid mess, but it may just have uncovered far greater issues at City Hall.

Much more to come on this.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SET THE DVR TONIGHT

NBC Connecticut photo


Persistence pays off. NBC Connecticut reporter George Colli was able to get the interview that many have been trying for. Tonight at 11:00PM  George's interview with Earl O'Garro the target of a Federal Grand Jury Investigation that is drawing in Hartford City Hall, may answer some questions that many are asking as to how this mess began.

They sat down in Bushnell Park yesterday for the interview, a short distance from the now vacant offices of Hybrid Insurance, O'Garro's company. Tune in to NBC Connecticut tonight at 11:00

Monday, November 11, 2013

REMEMBER OUR VETERANS TODAY AND A BELATED 238TH BIRTHDAY

My father, who served in the USMC during the Korean Conflict
 
One of the reason's I have the freedom to write this blog is because of those who have served our Country, many of them who have given their lives in that service. Please remember our veterans and their service to our Country today, Veterans Day.

Also, this past weekend, November 10th, marked the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corp. This was a day that was always remembered in our household by my father who proudly served as a US Marine during the Korean Conflict. He would always remind us "Once a Marine, always a Marine.

I remember the pride I felt, amid the sorrow of his loss, the day of his funeral when a Marine in his dress blues presented my mother with the American flag at my fathers funeral.

I don't think they let them smile in their photos like that now


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TONS OF TOYS GIVING TREE AT ARCH STREET TAVERN

 

A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME

 
Sources familiar with Hartford's Golf Course Task Force have confirmed for me that Keney Park Golf Course has been closed and will remain closed until at least April 2015. The source stated that the decision was made due to the "deplorable" conditions of the course,
 
Apparently it will take at least a year to get the course back in playable condition after the neglect under MDM Golf, the course manager contracted by the City.
 
I have not been able to find a record of any legal action being initiated by the City of Hartford Corporation Counsel to recover any losses or any legal action against  MDM to protect the interests of the taxpayers of Hartford.
 
 The source also stated that the rehabilitation process has begun as both Hartford DPW workers and Knox Parks have been working on the grounds aerating fairways and greens and applying fertilizer before the winter sets in.

ABYSSMAL

 
Not many of those stickers were handed out in Hartford yesterday
 
 
The official results for yesterdays election are in, including the ballot question numbers. The turnout was terrible and was probably less than 5% for the entire City. One of the troubling things though has to be a question regarding the accuracy of the numbers, I find it very hard to believe that not one person voted in Hartford Voting District number one, not one, that just seems impossible.

 District one , according to my list , is at the Liberty Christian Center at 23 Vine Street. I recall in years past that is normally a pretty busy polling place. If that is true, it definitely shows that Hartford's overall number of polling places should be cut to a more realistic number. It just seems crazy to be staffing polling locations if no one shows up.

The list of Polling Locations is also below so you can see how your area measures up



IT IS NOT JUST STF

Hartford's Shooting Task has done a great job taking illegal guns off  ofHartford's Streets but there are still may other officers doing a great job day in and day out. Two of the unsung hero's happen to be Community Service Officer's in Hartford's South End. Officer's Teddy Sposito and Carlo Faienza  are two officers that epitomize community policing.
 
Sposito and Faienza are two officers that have built solid relationships with the Community and the business people in the areas they are assigned to  and those relationships have shown big results.
 
The information below is one example
 
.FROM HPD;
 
On the listed date and time, Officer Faienza and Officer Sposito attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of an unregistered Oldsmobile Alero color white bearing CT registration 531XSF, in the area of 130 Preston Street. As Officer Faienza exited his marked cruiser, the operator of the Oldsmobile sped off.
 
Officer Faienza radioed to dispatch that he had a vehicle fleeing and refusing to pull over as he gave the suspect vehicle's location. Officer Sposito advised dispatch that the suspect vehicle blew out a rear tire while striking a curb and was traveling on three tires. The pursuit was terminated by a supervisor as the fleeing vehicle continued south on Fairfield Avenue towards the town Wethersfield
.
 
Officer Sposito advised dispatch the vehicle was smoking heavily, traveling on three tires, last seen on the Berlin Turnpike in the area of Jordan Lane. Dispatch immediately notified the Wethersfield Police Department via the hotline.
Officer Lawless of the Wethersfield Police observed the vehicle traveling south on the Berlin Turnpike in the area of Nott Street. Officer Lawless followed the vehicle south on the Berlin Turnpike from a distance. Captain DePinto was traveling north on the Berlin Turnpike at Prospect Street in Newington and observed the fleeing vehicle go off the road and crash at 2303 Berlin Turnpike.
 
The operator of the vehicle, Jeremy Kelly, fled on foot as Captain DePinto maintained a visual. Captain DePinto directed Officer Lawless as he arrived on scene and immediately apprehended accused Kelly. In accused Kelly's pant pocket was a loaded Beretta 9mm magazine. Kelly immediately admitted to Officer Lawless that a gun was in the vehicle.
 
 Further located on Kelly's person was one ounce of crack cocaine and $593.00 in U.S. currency.
Located in the vehicle on the drivers side floor was a loaded 9mm Beretta handgun (serial # BER266439Z) with a magazine and a chambered round . Two magazines and twenty-two (22) rounds of live 9mm ammunition was seized.
Officer Faienza and Officer Sposito were directed to the scene by Lt. Allan. Officer's Faienza and Sposito arrived and assumed the investigation with assistance from the STF who also responded. Officer's Faienza and Sposito arrested accused Kelly and seized all related evidence. Kelly was transported to the STF for de-briefing.
Great job by Officer's Faienza, Sposito, Lawless and Captain DePinto!
 
Accused; Jeremy L. Kelly, M/B/27 (09/09/1986), of 19 Summer Street Apt 1, New London CT.
Charges; Operating Unregistered M/V, Illegal Tints, Operating M/V w/o Insurance, Operating Under
Suspension, Engaging Pursuit, Interfering w/ Police, Possession Narcotics, PWITS Narcotics, PWITS > 1oz Crack Cocaine, Weapon in M/V, Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit and Criminal Possession of a Firearm.
 
 
 
  
 
.

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE

 
Mayor Segarra in the Hooker Day Parade, followed by his "scheduler" Jalmar DeDios walking alongside


Apparently now it is not just enough to invite the Mayor to a Community meeting, now you have to explain "Why" as well as prepare talking points for the Mayor. I think the answer to the question "Why?" should be because we elected him, we pay his salary and he answers to us.

I am not sure what goes through this Mayor's mind, he has insulated himself with a Secret Service style detail and even travels with his detail on out of state trips. This is not the same person that many were hoping would turn this City around after his divisive and felonious predecessor was forced out of office.

 Now a form has to be completed to invite him to meetings and events. I honestly think Pedro has lost sight of who he represents and why he is there. This is a small City yet Segarra thinks he is on the level of our Governor or greater . As I write this, I am told Segarra is in Chicago, travelling once again for the same organization that sent him to Puerto Rico recently.

We need a leader for this City who is in touch with his constituents.  A Mayor that understands the difficulties his residents face day in and day out, and is in his City fighting for change to attain a better quality of life for his residents.

Put down the caviar spoon and get out and talk to the people in this City that are struggling to make ends meet. In the meantime Pedro, you don't need a screener before you visit in the community, get out there and listen to the honest truth.

According to the City Charter the Mayor may appoint a Chief of Staff, legislative assistant, research assistant personal secretary and receptionist or equivalent positions for which the Council may appropriate  sufficient funds. I don't recall any request to the Council recently for the new position of scheduler. But then again, when has the Charter mattered

IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THIS GOES

The latest UCONN Party House
 
 
Last month I posted about an effort by some, including Mayor Segarra's partner, Charlie Ortiz, who were attempting to shut down a food pantry at a West-end church on Prospect Avenue. The main objections seemed to be that the operation brought increased traffic to the neighborhood and that the operation was possibly perceived as a misuse of the property in violation of local zoning laws.

Ortiz and members of the West End Civic Association had apparently held meetings with City Officials in their attempt to shut the operation down. You can read more on that here
Grace Seventh Day Adventist Food Pantry


Now it seems that less than three blocks east of the food pantry another zoning violation as well as increased traffic may be taking shape. The word came out yesterday that the UConn Foundation has just purchased a party house for UConn President Susan Herbst on Scarborough Street. According to news accounts, the primary function of the mansion listed at $660,000 would be for fundraising events and cocktail parties at the house  in one of Hartford's most affluent neighborhoods.

The secondary use would apparently be as a part-time residence for President Herbst who may use the house half a dozen times a month when she is in Hartford.

Scarborough Street is far less equipped to handle parking and traffic than Prospect Street is, but only time will tell if there is a push to enforce zoning regulations on Scarborough Street the same as there was on Prospect.

DAN NOLAN IS AT IT AGAIN

When it comes to fundraising and compassion for charitable causes, Dan Nolan is the go to guy.  I think he has been involved in raising funds and awareness for just about every charitable event known in Hartford. Nolan is able to juggle his time between his position as Deputy Chief of Training for the Hartford Fire Department and his military commitments, having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dan recently contacted me for assistance in getting the word out for his latest charitable act. As someone who has a nephew that lives with Cerebral Palsy, I can definitely appreciate this cause and the challenges faced by the parents of children with CP. The flyer below speaks for itself and if you are interested in making a donation , the information is in the flyer.

Monday, November 4, 2013

AUDITORS ISSUE HYBRID REPORT, MORE BAD NEWS

An Internal Memo issued today by Hartford city Auditors painted a picture of very lax or nonexistent adherence to City Policy in the release of over $800,000 to the Hybrid Insurance Group. The wire transfer has most likely become the subject of a Federal Grand Jury Investigation.

In the memo, Internal Auditor Craig Trujillo states that  numerous policies were either mot followed or were totally ignored. The memo, posted below, speaks for itself, but it seems to show that City Hall is a free for all with no regard to policy or using sound business principles for the operation of city government

   HYBRID AUDIT

Thursday, October 31, 2013

WINTERFEST COAT DRIVE KICK-OFF TOMORROW

WinterfestLogo_blue

 

MAYOR SEGARRA JOINS OTHER CITY LEADERS TO ANNOUNCE

SKATE, COAT, HAT & GLOVE DRIVE FOR

WINTERFEST HARTFORD

 

---NEWS ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013--

 

WHAT:          Skate, Coat, Hat, & Glove Drive

WHERE:       Hartford City Hall Atrium

WHEN:          1:00 p.m. – Friday, November 1, 2013

 

Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, iQuilt Chairwoman Bonnie Malley and Bob Crawford of Champions Skating will join East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc and West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka to announce that the City has teamed up with the towns of East Hartford, West Hartford and Simsbury to collect gently used figure skates, coats, hats and gloves for the fourth annual iQuilt Presents Winterfest Hartford.

 

Winterfest Hartford, a free, public ice-skating rink under the canopy of historic Bushnell Park, will officially open with a festive celebration the evening of Friday, November 29,, 2013 and will run daily through Saturday, February 1, 2014.

 

At this news conference, donation sites will be announced. Also, an updated skating schedule, additional corporate sponsorships and business support will be discussed.  

 

Last year, over 100 pairs of skates were donated and 58,000 skaters enjoyed the rink. More than 55,000 others visited the park and participated in Winterfest festivities.

 

Contact:         Mary Coursey                        

Cell: 860-305-0476

Email:  mary@courseyco.com

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HARTFORD POLICE SERGEANT FAILS TO REPORT SHOOTING INCIDENT AT HIS HOME

Some days it just seems like Hartford's Police Chief James Rovella just can't catch a break.

The latest incident just seems to defy common sense.

On September 25, 2013 a Windsor resident called the Windsor Police Department to report that his 12 year old daughter found a metal item in her bed that she thought was some sort of "capsule". The father, Marc Simpson recognized the "capsule" as the spent round from a gun. Simpson also found a hole in the outside wall of his daughters bedroom that appeared to be a gunshot hole.

Simpson called Windsor Police to report the incident and turn the round over to the Windsor Police . They conducted an investigation and determined that the round was fired from the home of Simpsons next door neighbor , Hartford Police Sergeant Eric Smith. Although Smith knew he fired the round, according to the timeline in the Police report, he never notified the Windsor police or the Hartford Police department that he had fired his weapon.

Smith only admitted to firing the shot from his Glock 40 caliber weapon after being confronted by Windsor officers.

The Hartford Police Department was only made aware of the incident apparently after a Windsor officer called Hartford IAD Sergeant Marty Cunningham, who assured Windsor that the matter would be handled "internally". Windsor Sergeant Spencer then  informed Cunningham that if they were "handling" it "we" , Windsor, would not be taking any further action.

The report also mentions that Hartford Police Union Vice president Nazario Figueroa was at the scene, but mentions no other response by any HPD supervisor.

The amount of time between the shooting incident and the actual reporting by Simpson is unclear. At one point in the report, Smith states it was the day before and at another point states to Sergeant Spencer it "was a couple days ago"

The troubling part is that Hartford Police Sergeant Eric Smith, despite his experience and training, did nothing after the shooting. The fact that the round was found in the bed of a 12 year old girl could have been disastrous if she was actually laying in her bed sleeping at the time. Smith apparently made no efforts to check on his neighbor and make sure that no one was injured or even make an attempt to apologize for the bullet hole in his neighbors home.

According to sources, in the report it mentions  Smith's wife Betty Perez, she is a Hartford 911 Dispatcher Other sources have also confirmed that Smith apparently has a friendship with Windsor Police Sergeant Spencer.The incident was provided with the complete addresses, I have chose to redact the house numbers.

Also, according to sources, the HPD Internal Affairs report has just recently been completed and is making its way though the chain of command for Chief Rovella's review and potential discipline.

Here is the Windsor Police incident report:


THE PLOT THICKENS

Much attention has been placed on subpoenas served by the FBI at Hartford City hall last week. For whatever reason, the Segarra Administration had apparently tried to avoid releasing the actual subpoena. Although it appears that City legal experts from the Corporation Counsel Office were apparently advised on Friday by FOI Commission employees that the subpoenas were public documents and had to be released. 

The dog and pony show continued, but earlier today, the City released the actual subpoenas. Those documents are below.

More interesting though are documents obtained through sources late this afternoon. The Hartford Public Schools were also served with the federal subpoenas for documents. The cover letter for the subpoena is also interesting in that it specifically states the subpoena is for "a Federal grand jury into the possible commission of a felony".

Although the subpoena's served on City Hall specifically identify Mayor Pedro Segarra, Treasurer Adam Cloud and former Finance Director Jose Molleda (Molleda's name is actually Julio) and requests for specific documents from the three, in addition to general legal wording for any and all related documents. The Hartford Schools subpoena is less specific and no individuals are named. According to sources, only Hybrid insurance's CEO Earl O'Garro has been notified that he is a "target" of the Grand Jury at this time.

The Hartford Schools subpoena's are below, including the cover letter for "possible commission of a felony"

Friday, October 25, 2013

WHO IS EARL O'GARRO? ENTREPENEUR OR CON MAN

A few weeks ago, most people in Hartford had never heard the name Earl O"Garro. Now it is the name that is sending shock waves through Hartford City Hall as FBI agents have descended with Federal Grand Jury subpoenas looking into the dealings of Hartford's City Treasurer Adam Cloud and others with O'Garro's company Hybrid Insurance.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are now unaccounted for as O'Garros' dealings with the City of Hartford and others begin to unravel. This appears to be the beginning of the end for O'Garro's quick rise in the Insurance and business community

As you watch the video, I think you might agree, he would have been better served if he actually took his mothers advice.

Click here to watch directly on you tube if the embed below doesn't work



THE 2013 HOOKER DAY PARADE VIDEO


FEDERAL GRAND JURY TO INVESTIGATE HYBRID PAYMENT

According to sources , the City of Hartford has been served with subpoenas requesting documents related to payments to Hybrid Insurance and dealings with Earl O'Garro. Numerous City Departments, including the Treasurer were apparently requested to provide documents ordered by the Federal subpoenas.The letter to City Departments was distributed by the Corporation Counsel, according to sources. More on this as information is made available

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DEMOCRATIC REGISTRAR VAZQUEZ SETTLES ELECTIONS COMPLAINT FOR $3000.00 PENALTY

An Elections Enforcement complaint filed against Hartford's Democratic Registrar of Voters, Olga Vazquez has been settled after a lengthy investigation. Vazquez was fined $3000.00 for her involvement in the scheme.

The allegations surrounded Vazquez illegally signing petitions that were improperly filed with Vazquez in her capacity as Registrar of Voters. According to the complaint Vazquez and her Deputy Registrar Garry Coleman had signed off the improperly filed petitions to apparently keep the petitions from being thrown out as not being filed properly under Connecticut law.

For me this raises several questions that have to challenge the integrity of the Registrar of Voters Office. In a democracy, voters need to know that the system is beyond reproach. In this case it is not. We wonder why Hartford suffers from such low voter turnout and voter involvement in the system. Might it be because they just don't trust the process and have no confidence that it is above board?

Any one that reads this decision would have to agree with that mistrust. In an office that has three Registrar's , why was Vazquez and her assistant anywhere near these petitions in the first place . Vazquez was actually a candidate on the same petitions she was illegally signing and should have been smart enough to stay away from them to avoid any sign of impropriety or tampering. Clearly she was not.

For another story on Registrars behaving badly, click here

It is time for the Secretary of the State and the legislature to overhaul this system.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

INEFFECTIVE, INEFFICIENT AND PRONE TO ERRORS



 
The City vehicle of  former COO Saundra Kee-Borges after it was crashed. Hartford's Auditors had concerns how she obtained the vehicle in the first place
 
That is how the Hartford Internal Auditors described the City of Hartford's  Take Home Vehicle policy , from the report "In addition, we found that the current process of accounting for and controlling City vehicles is ineffective, inefficient and prone to errors and omissions. " Surprise , surprise on that one.

Although the City of Hartford apparently does have a policy, it was never implemented due to Union objections.
"Although City Administration had developed and documented a "City of Hartford Vehicle Use Policy" (COH Vehicle Use Policy), which included provisions for City vehicles with commuter privileges, it was not formally authorized, issued and implemented. According to notations on the COH Vehicle Policy, it was effective August 1, 2011, however, after it was implemented by the City Administration a number of unions objected, took exception to it and it was subsequently retracted by the City Administration. " according to the report


 The report shows the lack of control and at one point states there wasn't even a process to determine that City Vehicle drivers even had valid drivers licenses. Another eyeopener in the report was a vehicle that logged almost a half a million miles, although the operator of that vehicle was not identified specifically in the report "We noted that the annual mileage on two of these vehicles totaled 90,927 and 495,865, respectively. " the report stated

The report also questions the process by which the vehicle used by COO Saundra Kee-Borges was obtained. That vehicle was recently crashed and was  totaled: From the report 
" A number of issues and concerns were raised regarding how a vehicle that was originally purchased and used by the Police Department ended up being assigned to and used by the Chief of Staff of the Mayor. We obtained a "Transfers or Deletions of Fixed Assets’ form from the Police Department relating to this vehicle. Based on our review of this form and related matter, we noted the following:

a. The vehicle was reported to be transferred to City Hall as of October 10, 2012. There is no indication on the form who requested the transfer of this vehicle. According the Police Department management, the Chief Operating Officer initiated the request for this vehicle to be transferred to City Hall.

b. The form was approved and signed by the individual responsible for managing the Police Department vehicle fleet on October 12, 2012. We believe that the transfer of assets from one department to another should be reviewed and approved by a higher level of management. As noted elsewhere in this report, related policies and procedures were not documented.

c. The form indicates that the vehicle was received by DPW ESD management on October 12, 2012. Police Department management informed us, however, that they personally delivered the vehicle to City Hall.

Police Department management informed us that this vehicle was transferred to the COO at her request and for her use. They also indicated that they were not involved in how this vehicle was assigned after the initial transfer. This represents an example of the policy, procedure and control issues relating to the management, oversight, assignment and use of vehicles with commuter privileges noted throughout this report.


The full report paints a complete picture of incompetence and mismanagement when it comes to City vehicles, it details almost 200 missing license plates that had been issued by DMV to the City.

Read the full report below


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

IT HAPPENED, 1 MILLION PAGE VIEWS

 
 
As of 4:30PM today
 
Thank You for reading

STF CLEARS ANOTHER ONE ALONG WITH HPD PATROL DIVISION

 
 
Members of the Shooting Task Force have been investigating a shots fired incident that occurred at 75 Orange Street on August 14th, 2013, at 1305 hours. No victims were struck, however the shooting sent a playground full of children diving for cover.

Hartford Police patrol units were dispatched to the area of Capitol Avenue at Orange Street for reports of shots fired. Responding officers located (11) Ruger 9mm shell casings in front of 75 Orange Street. Officer Suarez developed information that a male in front of 75 Orange Street may have been involved along with two unknown vehicles. Numerous children were playing in the George H. Day playground on Orange Street.
 
Patrol Officer John Suarez located a witness that later proved extremely valuable.
This shooting incident was assigned to officers Mastroianni and Corvino. Members of the STF developed a suspected shooter and located additional witnesses.
The shooter was identified as Ocsiry DeJesus. DeJesus fired multiple gunshots at one or more vehicles. An arrest warrant was submitted to GA14 and granted on 9/20/2013, with a court set bond of $750,000.
On October 16th, 2013, at 0800 hours, Fugitive Detective Jose Perez apprehended DeJesus without incident.
Great initial response, investigation and documentation by Officer Johnny Suarez.
 
Accused: Ocsiry DeJesus, M/H/25 (3/23/1988), of 831 Capitol Avenue, Hartford CT.
Charges: Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Reckless Endangerment 1st Degree and Criminal Attempt Assault 1st Degree.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

THIS ISN'T GOOD

 
 
According to the Hartford Police Department, Hartford Police Patrol Officers responded to 416 Franklin Avenue , apartment B-3 yesterday at 6:30am on a complaint of a stolen/missing firearm. Upon arrival, HPD Officers spoke with an off duty Springfield Police Officer who stated that his Springfield Police Department issued weapon had been stolen from the apartment . Officers also said he gave inconsistent statements regarding the incident.

 The weapon was a Smith and Wesson M&P 40 caliber

The Springfield Officer was identified as Kevin Merchant

Sources familiar with the Incident said it might be interesting for Springfield PD"s Internal Affairs Unit to establish where Merchant was prior to the theft and how he ended up in B-3 at 416 Franklin Avenue at 6:00AM. It was definitely an interesting story.

THE START OF THE OTHER SIDE

This will eventually be a very detailed posting as their are so many aspects being uncovered. The documents will spell out the details and I have obtained a small portion so far and I am awaiting many more to come.The situation started with an Internal memo that was written by the Hartford Schools Chief Financial Officer, Paula Altieri. That memo is below:

It is unclear what started this chain of events or why Altieri launched her Investigation, but after you review the facts, it will probably be clear that the Accountants should stick to accounting and leave the investigations to the investigators.

Altieri begins her memo and also her "Investigation" regarding a payment that was supposed to have been made to Segur Insurance, the City's Insurance Agent, for a payment that was in excess of $600,000. The payment was about to become past due when the Broker for Segur, Hybrid Insurance, operated by Earl O"Garro, emailed Hartford 's Treasurer Adam Cloud.

As you can see from the e-mail O'Garro e-mailed treasurer Cloud on July 18, 2013 requesting the wire transfer and also submitted copies of the invoices to Cloud. The invoices were apparently copies that were originally sent by Segur to the City of Hartford. The invoices that O'Garro submitted to cloud appeared very generic in nature with no logo or distinctive markings, the original invoices from Segur contained the Segur Logo . it appears that O'Garro created a second set of invoices to send to Cloud

Upon obtaining O'Garro's invoices , Cloud, by e-mail, forwarded them to former Finance Director Julio Molleda. Molleda replied that the checks would be cut and included in the next days check run .According to sources, somewhere along the line in the Finance department, City Comptroller Lee Ann Ralls instructed Finance department staff person Ellen Mcreary to wire the money as mentioned in the O'Garro e-mail rather than mail a check.

This is apparently where some of the problems began. Segur was set up in  MUNIS, the City's computer program, as a vendor. Hybrid was not. If the proper protocols were followed, a payment would have never been able to have been processed to Hybrid and a check cut, but apparently when the wire information was provided, that allowed the process to be violated and the money was sent to Hybrid electronically rather than a check being printed to Segur.

It doesn't appear that Adam Cloud had input on that process , other than the e-mail to Molleda requesting payment for the outstanding invoices. So far it appears that the breakdown was entirely in the Finance Department. The normal process is that for any vendor payment, the finance Director has to apply a "warrant" for the payment and is then sent to the Treasurer's Office to authorize the payment. The way it has been explained to me is that the Treasurer's Office can not simply cut a check or process a payment without the Finance Department warrant



In Altieri's memo she also makes the claim that there is no proof that the Insurance is in effect in her September 24, 2013 memo, yet her own Risk Manager, John Griffin, who apparently answers directly to Altieri sent an e-mail on September 10, 2013 stating that "National sent confirmation that coverage is in place" National is one of the Companies that provided the policy. The other company, Starr, was apparently reluctant to confirm that the insurance was in effect , but the e-mail stated that Starr was  "awaiting approval from legal" before sending any confirmation

Although on face value Altieri's accusations seem serious, once you start peeling back the layers, you might want to ask yourself what is the motivation for the memo in the first place.
 The claim that cloud moved an Insurance Policy without bidding doesn't appear to be accurate. Quotes were solicited from numerous companies for the Fiduciary Liability Policy for the Pension Commission. The policy had been in place for years. According to sources, the policy was never intended to cover the Board of Education

The changes in vendor's was approved by a vote of the Pension Commission before any changes were made

Griffin, the Risk manager began asking questions and if the policy was in effect. It is unclear what his concerns were or why the Board felt it necessary to have the policy. Somewhere along the lines , Cloud and the pension Commission solicited proposals to attempt to save the City some money on the Policy. During that process, apparently O'Garro (Hybrid) proposed a company that would save the City and the Pension Commission approximately $3,000 annually. Below is a list of companies that apparently rejected the City's proposal offer and the reasons for the rejections

.CLOUD Fiduciary Policy Rejections0001 There is much more to come on this as numerous FOI requests are hopefully complied with by the City and the Board of Education. Sources are telling me that a string of e-mails between City Hall, Altieri and Griffin may lay the groundwork for the motivation behind this and it may have nothing to do with Cloud and his relationship with O'Garro. In the meantime though it seems that not just the City of Hartford was duped by a slick operator. Earl O'Garro is being chased by numerous entities who also apparently fell for his smooth talk. Included are the State of Connecticut who are calling O'Garro's loans in default and due in full. For more on O'Garros defaults read Jeff Cohen here

One source who spoke on the condition of remaining anonymous said he felt pretty confident the City's Insurance payment is gone along with O'Garro. He further stated that he believes O'Garro got caught up in a "High roller" lifestyle and in the end the bills caught up with him. O'Garro's homes are apparently headed into foreclosure, the restaurant he opened for his wife in Middletown was apparently suffering losses of over $30,000 per month in operating costs and many other losses that are public record now.

Since the payment was made to the City's broker, the City will suffer no loss. Under Connecticut law, it is apparently up to the Broker and the Agent to battle out who suffers the loss, but it won't be Hartford

Among those losses are the Cloud Family as well, Chris Cloud is apparently owed a large past due amount from O'Garro for his lobbying fees and the Cloud Family hasn't apparently seen a rent check from O'Garro for the 30 Lewis Street Office in some time.

Much more will be developed on this as time goes on