One television reporter told me that "Hartford was the gift that keeps on giving" when it comes to material for blog posts and news stories. Boy were they right.
Today when I got the call telling me about an someone who is apparently a vendor for the City of Hartford. They explained that the vendor, who apparently is hired by Development Services to clean up illegal dumping sites in the City, was himself arrested by the Hartford Police for illegal dumping behind the Comcast Theater.
The Police reports are below, but other tan the police reports, the City is being very tight lipped about the incident. I can understand why, how many embaraasing situations can you be expected to have to address at one time> PCards, retiree issues, phony budget numbers, New Year's Eve soiree's and now the illegal dumping by the same vendor apparently paid to clean the messes up.
And now another twist, the employee in Development Services who apparently is tasked with working withe the illegal dumping "cleaner upper" vendor, has now sent an e-mail to Deputy Chief Hightower stating that, from what sources are telling me, she gave him permission for the illegal dumping.
I know that there may be enough illegal activity in the halls of Hartford City Hall, but now employees are giving permission notes for corrupt behavior? I think it might be more of a last ditch effort to save someones contract, but time will tell.
Sources at DPW are telling me that they are in the process of preparing a bill for the cleanup that they will try to collect from the illegal dumper. Maybe they should take it as a payroll deduction from the employeee that thought she had the power to authorize illegal activity.
The vendor, according to sources, is also a vendor for Manafort Construction on the MDC Clean Water's Project. It is unclear if any of the materials dumped illegally were from that project. On the day that the vendor was confronted by Police on Holcomb Street, where he was working for Manafort, Joseph Gallo, an Inspector from DEEP, shut the work down because the illegal dumper was also working illegally at the time because no "Call Before You Dig" notifications were never made and no permit issued for the work being performed.
Where are our Inspectors? is anyone in the City paying attention?
Through a request to the Mayor's Office for comment on the incident, the following statement was e-mailed to me:
As I mentioned to the police when asked yesterday, Mark Swiatowiec is the owner of New England Construction. New England Construction is an on-call City contractor that performs property maintenance services for the City. Mark has been cited for allegedly dumping construction debris on a City-owned lot on New Road. I informed the officer that I find it quite unlikely that Mark would dump on such a high profile City lot, especially when he has dumpsters at his disposal around town.
Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Senior Project Manager
Housing and Property Management Division
Department of Development Services
City of Hartford
The incident is outlined in the attached Police reports. Apparently the police were led to the vendor through a piece of unopened mail found in with the debris that had been dumped. When confronted, the suspected illegal dumper told the investigators the mail must have blown out of his window as he drove by cComcast. Sure sounds legit to me.
I hope the City has begun the process of removing the illegal dumper from any City purchasing lists and also put a hold on any payments owed to him to pay for the DPW cleanups. I will atempt to obtain the e-mail from Ms. Avallone to Chief Hightower regarding this incident through FOI, it could prove interesting from what I am told.
In the mean time, maybe Mr. Swiatowiec should keep his windows up when he drives by Comcast to avoid future incidents.