This posting might more accurately be titled "How many laws can you break before someone starts investigating"?
In what politicians are trying to defend as a wise decision to sell a piece of property to SAMA (Spanish American Merchants Association) for one dollar in return to see it resold for half a million, quite a few things just aren't adding up.
Monica Buchannan from NBC 30 recently did a story on the deal, you can view that here.
In that interview, Mayor Segarra's Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec said that the funds from the sale were "specifically designated for repairs on the building" yet according to SAMA"s lease with the city, SAMA was responsible for all repairs on the building, not the taxpayers of Hartford
Kupiec further went on to say in the interview that the $500,000 was used for "roof repairs, elevator repairs and electrical work". That would be hard to prove though because under Connecticut law, such repairs require permits and inspections before the work begins and inspections need to take place to verify the work is being done properly by City Inspectors.
Kupiec also stated during the interview "ultimately, that building was previuosly non tax paying is now a taxable property". That statement is totally untrue, SAMA is a non-profit organization and as a result, the City of Hartford will not realize one cent in tax benefit from the property as long as they occupy the proerty.
A $25,000 building permit was taken out through Hartford's License and Inspections department for the roof repair. It appears that on March 28, 2013 after the media and others began questioning the deal, another $25,000 was added to the value for that permit for a total of $50,000. Only 10% of the half a million dollars can be accounted for and verified through the permits.
If any other work was done, besides the roofing work, it would appear to have been done illegally and was never approved or inspected by the City of Hartford as required by law.
On April 29, 2013, Daniel Loos , Director of Licenses and Inspections sent a letter to SAMA
detailing the permit violations and requesting that they account for any work that has been done. Any work done without permits is apparently subject to a double permit fee as a penalty.
Calls to Julio Mendoza for comment and an opportunity to provide documentation of any repairs have gone unanswered.
Here is the letter sent to SAMA from the City of Hartford