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Friday, March 1, 2013


Recently, Councilman Joel Cruz requested a residency report on all of Hartford's Department Heads. Under Hartford's Charter, all department heads must reside in Hartford, with the exception of a department head who is an upward promotion within the department they were already working in  (i.e DPW Director Kevin Burnham who was promoted from DPW traffic engineer to DPW Director).

The report apparently is in and and if you are bored this weekend, it could be entertaining to see how many of their addresses are actually occupied by the department heads as they claim. I'm not sure how the Chief Operating Officer created the report, it looks like they might have just taken them on their word as to where they live. Residency  normally requires more than just a mailing address.

Important questions to ask are where are they registered to vote? Are their vehicles actually registered and taxed in Hartford? Do they have any utility bills in their name for Hartford addresses?

You can start your daytrip Downtown at the listed residence of Human resources Director Valda Washington. Don't plan on staying too long to visit though since word is most of her furniture is still in storage. The storage fees are being paid for by the City apparently.(A good question for the Audit Commission...Why?) She might be waiting to see if this whole Hartford employment thing works out before she commits to moving the couch in.

Then head south , grab a hot chocolate at the Dunkin Donuts on Washington Street and as you exit the lot onto Madison Street, look for the address of Segarra confidante and Department Head, Jose Colon-Rivas. I haven't been able to find him at home, but maybe with a hot chocolate for him you might have better luck..

Then head over to Woodland Street and the listed residence of Andrew Jaffee, Department Head for Emergency Service Telecommunications. You probably won't find him there also, I never have. You will probably have better luck waving to him from a highway overpass each day as he comes into Hartford from his real residence in West Suffield, using the HOV lane in his City car.

When you leave Woodland Street, head a few blocks west to "Little Hollywood" and the Clemen's Place Apartments to find our Director of Development Services. His residency is an act worthy of Hollywood, but most nights and weekends he is still doing his performances in Providence ,Rhode Island, his permanent home .

You don't need to travel to the residences of John Bazzano, Police Chief Rovella or Fire Chief Casares. Most people see them out in the community regularly as actual residents who take their contracts and commitment to the people of Hartford seriously. They are actually out in the community , living what we live everyday, experiencing the same things we do everyday and not fleeing to their real homes whenever they can. They all are actually registered to vote in Hartford and have vehicles registered  and taxed in Hartford

Whether eating at a restaurant downtown, smoking cigars on Pratt Street or just walking around the City, the people;e that actually care about our neighborhoods are visible. The frauds using Hartford as a stepping stone and a means for a paycheck should be shown the closest entrance to the highway and sent packing. If you can't make a commitment to Hartford, we don't need you, move on.

And the issue isn't just with Department Heads, more on Hartford's residency issues coming soon.

UH OH !!!

In what may be a worst case nightmare scenario for many, Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud    has just announced  his appointment to the City's internal Audit Commission.
Treasurer Cloud has appointed Hartford Attorney Bruce Rubenstein as his pick to act as the City's watchdog. Rubenstein, a frequent commenter here on the blog, has a reputation for getting his teeth into wrongdoing and shaking it viciously until the truth comes out.
Attorney Rubenstein  is a Hartford Attorney who graduated from the University of Bridgeport (now Quinnipiac College) in 1980 and has been in private practice ever since.Rubenstein has also been involved in both local and National politics, but seems to be able to separate politics from issues of right and wrong.
This will hopefully usher in a new era of accountability in Hartford Government as all questionable matters are looked into and investigated by the Commission and City Auditors. The current Commission has not been known for any aggressive pursuits of corruption or wrongdoing.

I have known Bruce personally for several years and I would be hard pressed to find someone more qualified or capable of protecting the best interests of the people of Hartford and question and expose wrong doing.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Yesterday I posted that Mayor Segarra had just announced the permanent Human Resources Director. I got that information from a news article someone had sent to me and I mistakenly thought it was from yesterday, not checking out the date.  She was apparently appointed in February of 2012.

Everything else in the posting I stand by. The vindictiveness , the witchhunt, misuse of city credit cards, massages...all of it.

We will see if the City Council steps up and exercises the authority given to them by the Charter and actually looks into her egregious behavior.

As of yesterday, my understanding is that the employee being singled out has retained legal counsel. Let the battle begin

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I used to get extremely aggravated in the beginning days of the blog when I would develop sources, work hard verifying and investigating the facts, post the story and then see it a few days later in the "mainstream" media.

Most often, with the exception of WFSB and Jeff Cohen at WNPR, the media cut and paste reporters don't give credit to the blog. It has now become flattering to me that I have sources and can gather information when the people who are supposed "professionals" and actually get paid to do it are days behind me and usually start investigating after they read it here.

In the latest story regarding the Jamaican Fire truck, a lot of work went into that tracking people down and getting the information. When I realized the scope  I went to WFSB Len Besthoff for help. He is a master at finding information and has definitely taught me a lot.Right from the start, Len insisted that "We the People" would be mentioned in his story, since that is where the story came from. Anytime Jeff Cohen has used information from me, he has said so and linked back to the blog..

Jeff was the first to break the Perez corruption story when he was still at the Hartford Courant. His efforts lead to the creation of a grand jury investigation into Perez's Administration and Perez's eventual conviction and prison sentence on corruption charges

Jeff and Len, without question, are  two of the best Investigative reporters by far in the Hartford area, and their professionalism and ethics show it. Most of the information posted here are original pieces, not something I rip from a wire service or copy from other blogs, and in the rare occasion I do, I say it.

I no longer get aggravated by the "rip and read" reporters because I love the calls and e-mails when people tell me they know where they read it first. And I do it all for free.


 Mayor Segarra today announced the appointment of Valda Washington as the permanent head of Hartford's Human Resources Department. This  couldn't have come at a more opportune time.

Quite frankly, the HR Department at City Hall is a mess under her leadership or lack thereof.
But now she must face the Hartford City Council to answer questions before she is approved by them. Where should I start the list of questions that hopefully we can have asked?

What experience does she have negotiating Union contracts, it would appear little or none if what Union reps are telling me is true. Why are people in her department going out on Medical leave due to stress? Why is she so concerned about the media reviewing her City credit card expenses that she would actually put her fears in writing through e-mails? And what's up with the West Hartford Massages?

And does she understand progressive discipline? How do you place an employee on paid Administrative leave and charge her with Gross Insubordination just because Washington believes she leaked e-mails to me? I can't wait to see that one before the Labor Board. How will you document what she did wrong, if anything at all.A clerical error on a payroll report? Clearly a mistake and far from anything warranting termination. It happens all the time .

 The hearing officer should love that one. "Sir I believe she leaked my e-mails about the abuse of my City Credit card, she had to go". Immediately on to Superior court for award of damages I would imagine

And who sends out"2 hour early dismissal vouchers" as a Christmas  present to City employees, another unwarranted expense on the City's dime. And if you want to present employees with a gift, pull out your own credit card and buy  them something.

The treatment of the employees under Washington, is the exact reason I have asked members of our legislative delegation to look into a bill that would provide "whistle blower" protection to Municipal employees.

Employees wishing to point out malfeasance by municipal officials should not have to be in fear of their jobs for doing the right thing. Hopefully the Hartford City Council will ask the important questions before another hiring mistake  is approved by an outsider who sees Hartford as a good paycheck and the next step on the career ladder

Hopefully Valda Washington will realize I will go to the mat for something I believe in. And that includes exposing a witchhunt to terrorize employees into keeping their mouths shut  and trying to terminate someone for doing the right thing. I realize she is new to Hartford, but she may want to go through the archives here to read about some of the fights and the outcome.

Dan Nolan is back, Neville Brooks is now a Deputy Chief and Darryl Roberts abruptly "retired" as a result of the Rudewicz report which came about because of the blog. Female employees in MHIS are no longer the victims of Sexual Harassment and a change in leadership occurred there when the Director was shown the door.And don't forget a lot of the information that was provided regarding our former Mayor Eddie A. Perez, who is now a convicted felon. The list could go on and on,  I don't even know the identity of my source from HR, but I am more than willing to fight for anyone that is wronged when they try to do the right thing.

That is how corruption flourishes, when good people with a conscience are threatened to keep quiet. Like the television ad says " If you see something, say something", and Ms. Washington, people are saying a lot, with or without your threats.

Game on.


pictured above, 130 New Britian Avenue, site of the new Hartford Police at Trinity College substation
When you look at Hartford's crime statistics and the decrease over the last two years, you have to realize that it isn't happening by luck.

Much of the decrease can be gauged by the calendar and the arrival of James Rovella in Hartford and his support and leadership of the Shooting Task Force. His eventual appointment as Hartford's Police Chief also has brought about much change.

Rovella is becoming extremely well respected by both Hartford's residents and the Corporate Community of Hartford. I know the Chief understands that the success or failure of HPD does not lie entirely in his hands. It is all about partnerships and relationships to continue his successes.

Whether it is Insurance Companies providing meals for PAL participants, the Faith based community being asked to step up and do their part to control violence or just asking for everyone to help make Hartford safer. Rovella isn't afraid to knock on doors or pick up the phone and ask for help.

One of the most visible partners will soon be Trinity College. Trinity has committed to the renovation of a building on the outskirts of the Trinity Campus at 130 New Britain Avenue. The building , which is slated for opening April 1, 2013 will be known as the Hartford Police Substation at Trinity College.

The location is a strategic one for several reasons. it sits right in a neighborhood that drives much of the Part 1 (most serious crime) in the area. The building sits at an intersection that has had more than its fair share of carjacking, shootings and other serious crime. Similar to the drastic reduction in crime on Edwards Street when the Shooting Task Force set up  shop in that neighborhood, it is expected the new sub-station will offer the same degree or greater level of stability to the  Trinity neighborhood.

The renovations, being orchestrated by Lieutenant Robert Allan, commander of the southeast zone, has been a great partnership between HPD and Trinity. In a cash strapped City with limited funding, according to LT Allan, the effort would have never happened without Trinity stepping up.

The efforts will also provide Trinity with a much more visible police presence around the Campus.

The substation will have a large Community Room for the use of the public and neighborhood groups. It will feature much needed office space for burglary and auto theft detectives who have recently been moved out into the "field" rather than centralized at the Police Department. Robbery detectives may also eventually be moved out into the field as well.

A large area with 3 workstations will be available for police officers assigned to the area around Trinity to do their paperwork and reports, which will keep the officers in their respective areas , rather than going to headquarters to do their reports, which is not only time consuming but reduces police presence in the neighborhoods where they are needed.

Administrative offices will also be available for police supervisors  to maintain a presence and be available in the community for the public to meet with them.

In an effort of full disclosure, I have had a business relationship with Trinity College for over 20 years and I will be donating a video surveillance to HPD for the building also.

I have tried to convince Chief Rovella to conduct a fund raising drive to have a bronze statue of him made so that we could place at the intersection waving to everyone as they go by, he hasn't committed to the idea yet.

Thank you to Trinity and all of the other partners, corporate, religious and neighborhood groups working hard  everyday to make Chief Rovella's vision a reality.


When State Rep. Doug McCrory called me yesterday to get out information about his forum tonight , he also said that he had an unusual request to ask of me.   He said that he wanted to praise a couple of Hartford police Officers publicly for ma job well done.

The request came at a good time because I also got another call yesterday telling me that a Hartford Police Officer had been bad mouthing me  and the blog yesterday during roll call, upset that I had made HPD look bad when I post about wrongdoing by HPD officers. The downtown officer, who shall remain nameless, was upset by the Jamaican Fire Truck story and the possible involvement of an HPD Sergeant .

I asked the caller if maybe the unnamed Officer had gone to the subject of the posting and asked why he would put himself in a position, allegedly. to embarrass HPD.  I guess it is a case of "kill the messenger" don't question the one who committed the action, allegedly.

Anyway, I think I do praise HPD and their positive actions as well as report on the negatives when they are justified to be out in the public. I often get accused of being the PR agent for Chief Rovella and HPD. I guess it is what it is.

So to satisfy the request of my State Rep, here is his message of appreciation. Apparently Monday night, McCrory's I-phone was stolen. He reported the theft to HPD. Officer's Jeff Morrison and Johnathan Carroll  responded and according to McCrory did an outstanding job locating the phone through GPS. The phone was located and recovered for Representative McCrory.


Hartford State Representatives Doug McCrory and Brandon McGhee will be holding a community forum on gun violence tonight.

The  town hall-style meeting is set for 6 p.m. tonight at the Faith Congregational Church at 2030 Main Street in Hartford. According to Rep. Mccrory, Governor Malloy, Hartford county States Attorney Gail Hardy and Hartford Police Chief James Rovella all are expected to attend the discussion which is open to the public.

 It is anticipated that the discussion will focus on urban violence in Connecticut's capitol city. Over 300 people have been murdered in Hartford in the last decade, most by handguns, and very few by assault style weapons.

According to Rep McCrory, this is a discussion that most likely should have been held years ago.

Monday, February 25, 2013


The Suthpen Telescopic Aerial Platform (ladder truck) sent to Morant Bay , Jamaica by the Hartford City Council. Hartford Police Sergeant Andrew Lawrence of the Caribbean Trade Council, 2nd from Left.

The equipment above, including turnout gear, Hurst Tool, 3000 feet of hose, 15 Air packs and 30 spare air bottles, amongst other items, were part of the missing shipment that never made it to our Sister City of Morant Bay Jamaica as per the Council's resolution

In July of 2008, at the request of Hartford's Mayor at the time, Eddie A. Perez, The Hartford City Council passed a resolution to donate a surplus fire truck, pictured above, to Hartford's sister city of Morant Bay, Jamaica. The council resolution is below.

Through e-mails obtained by "We The People" it appears that the truck and the associated equipment was shipped to Jamaica, apparently under the supervision of Andrew Lawrence of The Caribbean Trade Council. Lawrence is also a Hartford Police Sergeant assigned to the Internal Affairs Division currently.

According to an e-mail obtained by "We the People" sent  from Hartford Fire Department Equipment Superintendent Michael Smith to , at the time Assistant Chief Edward Casares, the need to send the truck to Jamaica was questioned by Smith. He stated that "(former Chief) Teale got us into this" and states "this will cost you...I told him(Teale)the truck was to be junked". Smith further states that "this was all to make Andrew(Lawrence) look good to his peeps".

Smith also apparently expressed frustation with the demands to refurbish the truck for shipping. In the e-mail he state " I don't want to start repairing a truck we junked.He( Lawrence) thinks I can just walk away from my job and go do what I want, like he does

In other e-mails it appears that Casares tells smith to make the truck "safe" so that Hartford is not embarrassed. Eventually, it appears that the truck was shipped to a dock in Philadelphia at a cost of $3,000 to be put on a boat and shipped to Jamaica.

In addition, according to various e-mails, it appears that both Lawrence and Walter Benjamin of Caribbean Travel Agency were instrumental in getting the necessary paperwork to ship the truck to Jamaica.

Now here is where the story takes a few unexpected turns.

In the fall of last year, Mayor Marsha Francis of Morant Bay, Jamaica was in Hartford at the invitation of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. During a dinner reception, sources overheard a conversation between Segarra and Francis in which the Jamaican Mayor, made a request of Segarra for a fire truck. The source, realizing we had already sent a fire truck per the 2008 Council resolution, questioned what happened to the original truck.

Again, according to sources, the response was that the truck had been sold in Jamaica and never made it to Morant Bay. It apparently did arrive at the dock in Saint Mary , Jamaica and then was diverted to a private entity.According to sources on the ground in Jamaica as well as newspaper accounts, the truck is most likely at Ian Fleming International Airport in Saint Mary Jamaica, not Morant bay , where it was supposed to end up.

Link to article outlining the vehicle obtained by the Jamaican Fire Brigade, believed to be Hartford's donation intended for Morant Bay

In a phone conversation with Morant Bay Mayor, Marsha Francis  by telephone, she confirmed that the truck never made it to Morant  Bay, she had agreed to answer questions through e-mail regarding the vehicle. After sending the e-mails, I never received a response.

On January 15, 2013, the Hartford City Council passed another resolution to send another truck to Morant Bay. It appears that Mayor Segarra may have been made aware that the first vehicle never arrived, but that information apparently wasn't relayed to the current Council before they voted on the new resolution. Segarra was a member of the Council when the first truck resolution was approved. Councilman Ken Kennedy and Dr. Larry Deutsch were also on the Council at the time.

It appears that no one questioned the need for the second truck to Morant Bay, at least not publicly.

 The second truck has not been shipped to Jamaica as of this date. According to Police sources. Lawrence is currently the subject of an Internal Affairs Investigation into the matter and other agencies may  potentially be investigating the case.

When I realized the scope of the matter, WFSB Investigative reporter and Hartford Bureau Chief Len Besthoff worked on this also and his story can be seen on Thank you Len for your help. Click here to view the I-Team Report


Through e-mails obtained by "We The People" it appears that the truck and the associated equipment was shipped to Jamaica, apparently under the supervision of Andrew Lawrence of The Caribbean Trade Council. Lawrence is also a Hartford Police Sergeant assigned to the Internal Affairs Division currently.