Yesterday I posted about management problems with MDM Golf and the possibility that Hartford's two golf courses may not open if MDM defaults. Here is the city auditors report, obtained through an FOI request, outlining problems with MDM Golf
High level sources in law enforcement and at both City Hall and the Hartford Board of Education have confirmed that federal investigators armed with a search warrant seized at least four computers earlier today from the Main Street offices of the Hartford Schools.
The City has remained very tight lipped about the search, and a spokesperson for Mayor Segarra, Maribel LaLuz denied any knowledge and said it "sounded like a hoax".
Nonetheless, sources confirmed that federal investigators seized and removed at least four computers as well as documents believed to be records for Hartford High School and other School Building Committee projects. Sources also said they believed that records were being seized from Diggs Construction as well. Diggs was the construction manager for former Mayor Eddie A. Perez.
One source said they believed that investigators were also going to a basement storage area at Hartford High School that may contain additional documents.
In June of 2011, a undercover operative for the FBI , William Myles, testified to the corrupt activities involving Hartford school building projects during a trial in New Orleans , Louisiana.
A person at Diggs Construction named Derrick asked how I found out and then said "we have no comment " and hung up.A request for a comment from David Medina of the Hartford Schools has not been returned
WNPR's Jeff Cohen reported on that and his story can be found here
Much information is coming to light regarding Hartford's fiscal problems. Not all of the information is worthy of a full posting, but some items will be posted here so people can start asking questions and figuring out where their tax dollars are going.
Apparently the city is required to make a bi-weekly contribution to the City Pension fund, the city has not made those payments since last August. That should raise some eyebrows among City employees who contribute to the fund,. Are their contributions helping to fund the now-banned ESI bonuses?
Sometimes I think City hall is full of masochists who just enjoy getting slapped. All indications are that another solid slap will be on the way soon for the Administration of our City.
This one seems pretty clear but I really wonder what the motivation is or what any possible justification can be. This involves Hartford Police Officer Robert Murtha. Murtha has already won a long court battle with the city after he was terminated, wrongfully according to the State of Connecticut..
The decision cost the City hundred's of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees and back pay, interest and benefits and settlements for Murtha. Now the City is exhibiting their ignorance once again.
Murtha, who completed law school and is actually an attorney is entitled to a 7.5% pay increase as part of the Hartford Police Union's agreement with the City of Hartford..
The City grants a 2.5% bump for an associates degree, a 2.5% bump for a bachelor's degree and another 2.5% for a Master's or Doctorate degree. As an attorney, Murtha has his Juris Doctorate degree and has passed the bar and actually practiced as an attorney.
The City of Hartford is apparently refusing to grant Murtha the pay bump, even though according to sources, the raise was signed off by Chief Rovella.Human Resources Director Valda Washington, who has apparently been terminated herself, issued a terse response when questioned by the Union as to why she was rejecting the raise. "it is my decision and the decision is final"
This will most likely end up in court and will cost the city large amounts once again.
Is it that hard to actually do the right thing or does vindictiveness run the operation
Hartford's two municipal golf courses, Keney Park and Goodwin park may be in jeopardy of opening or remaining open for the entire season based upon the default of the vendor MDM Golf of Wallingford.
In a report to the Internal Audit Commission last week, acting Corporation Counsel L John van norden painted a somewhat bleak picture of the future with MDM as the city has declared them in default of their contract twice now.
Van Norden expressed concerns about the viability of MDM to live up to their end of the agreement and stated to the Commission that in his opinion "they don not have the financial where with all to do this" referring to MDM .
Concerns apparently began when the City received numerous complaints regarding the operation and management of the two courses. An audit was conducted by the City's Auditors and numerous problems were found. One of the larger problems was that numerous repairs and maintenance issues were required under the contract between MDM and the city.
In order to assure that those conditions were met, a letter of credit for several hundred thousand dollars was required by the City. Although MDM did initially provide the letter, it was allowed to lapse. When the city realized the letter had lapsed they requested a new letter of credit from MDM and that was never received.
According to Van Norden" we had some concerns about whether MDM had the financial where with all to do that (supply the letter)We were fairly convinced they couldn't, at that point we declared default again"
Ther is no indication of the amount that MDM is in default or the value of the improvements that have not taken place as required under their agreement with Hartford. According to Van N?orden , negotiations have apparently taken place and MDM was prepared to walk away from the leases The discussions were focused on not creating a lot of controversy in order to get MDM out , according to Van Norden.
Van Norden seemed somewhat critical of the entire process and claimed that much of the confusion occurred because "you had too many hands making the soup". He further stated that "my understanding of where this ultimately has to rest is with the supervision of the COO.
When asked about the process by Attorney Bruce Rubenstein, it seems that some basic practice's were not followed by the Office of the Corporation Counsel. Rubenstein questioned whether a "hand off letter" was issued by the Corporation Counsel's Office to other City Departments involved to advise them of their responsibilities on the enforcement of the contract. Van Norden said no such notification was given after the contract was complete.
The hand-off letter to the finance Department would most likely have helped the letter of Credit from being allowed to expire if the Finance Department kept track of the dates.
In the meantime, although Van Norden hopes that MDM will be capable of opening and operating the courses, it seems questionable, A of today, the phone number for Keney park has a recording that" the number is not in service, the number has been disconnected", not a good sign
HPD received reports of shots fired,
as well as reports of victims down and injured. These reports were confirmed by
the HPD Shot Spotter System. Both victims were transported to the hospital by
private vehicle. The crime scene was located near the intersection of Clark
Street and Judson Street and was
Victim #1- Kwante Feliciano 19, of
Hartford. GSW- chest Pronounced by Dr. Marshall of St. Francis
Hospital at 1724 hours on 3/25/13
Kelly Cooper, 30, of Hartford GSW- head, pronounced at 1145 hours today 3/26/13
by Dr Proshaoud Grover.
Major Crimes Homicide
detectives are working to identify suspect(s). The preliminary description
available is that of a H/M, 5'06", 180 lbs., wearing a black hooded
Detectives do not believe this was
a random act of violence. Hartford Police are seeking and requesting the
Anyone with information about
Monday's shooting is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 860-722-8477
or Sgt. Brandon O'Brien at 860-757-4089. Callers will remain
It usually isn't a good thing when my phone rings early in the morning and wakes me up. Friday was one of those days. My phone rand and it was a firefighter from Engine 5 on Sigourney Street, ( I have to apologize here for not getting his name , but I was still half asleep.)
Any way, he said that he had been cleaning up papers outside the firehouse and found a binder that belonged to me and it had my business card in it. Now since i used that leather binder for business, I kept it in my car, so as the fog started to clear, I realized that my binder being on the lawn of Engine 5"s house wasn't a good thing.
Someone had broken into my car.
Surveillance video of Denzil Nurse throwing a wrench at my car's window repeatedly until the glass finally broke so he could climb into my car. When confronted with the video by HPD Detectives, Nurse apparently admitted to upwards of 25 car breaks over the last few weeks
Sure enough, I went outside and the pile of glass on the driveway of what used to previously have been my driver side rear window wasn't starting my day off.well. Several electronics items were missing and i walked over to Engine 5 and got my binder back.
Then the process of being a victim began. Call the police, call the insurance company, being told by the GEICO claim rep that they could have someone out in a week, next Friday to repair the glass right in my driveway so it would be convenient for me. The thoughts started running through my mind, why? why? why?
My walkbeat Officer for the area, Officer Zweibelson, showed up and took the report, took a blood stained hat ( the thief apparently cut himself pretty good as evidenced by the blood in the car and on the hat)and the wrench the thief threw through my window to break the glass as evidence and took the necessary information they routinely get from victims .
I knew that the blood DNA on the hat wasn't going very far, even DNA from homicides is backlogged at the lab. But it did make me feel a little better that somewhere out there a thief was not only running around with my electronics, but hopefully he was feeling a little pain from his lacerations.
Fortunately I have security cameras watching my driveway and the video clearly showed him committing his crime at 5:16am. He wasn't very skilled, it took him several attempts to break the glass, (the wrench kept bouncing off the glass) but there he was, clearly making me Hartford's latest victim.
I found a local vendor who was here a lot quicker than GEICO's convenient one week to repair the glass(Pete's Auto Glass from Grant Street in Hartford 860-543-2337) They were here quickly and did a great job of repairing the window. The thief was smart enough to know that the alarm would have gone off if he opened the door, so he just smashed the window out. Unfortunately when he climbed through the window, his belt buckle left a few deep scratches in the paint. Oh well, at least I got him to leave some blood behind as payment.
I figured that was the end of it until about 1:30PM when Officer Zweibelson called me and said they had just apprehended a suspect at Main and Gold Streets downtown. They needed a copy of the video to be sure, but he felt comfortable the clothing matched and it was the right guy.
Apparently, the thief was observed breaking into another car at the Mark Twain House and their security people followed him to the bus stop where they called the police and gave the police the bus number he got on.
Zweibelson, Officer Adam Demein and Officer Chanaca were waiting for the suspect as he stepped off the bus near City Hall. He had several cell phone car chargers and electronics cords in his possession
None of my property was on him, but apparently he was a suspect in upwards of a dozen car breaks around the City. A one man crime spree, really affecting the quality of life in Hartford.
The suspect was taken to the Major Crimes Division where he was being interviewed and when confronted with my video, he apparently began talking to investigators.
I am still not thrilled that I was a victim, but I am extremely impressed by the response from everyone involved and the cooperation from all parties involved to get this slug off the street . All of the Officers I dealt with were either walkbeats or CSO"S which just shows the importance and the impact these Officer's have on our Community
A great job by all, My sincerest thanks
HARTFORD POLICE PRESS RELEASE
Hartford Police in the Central District have made an arrest
in numerous car breaks and electronic thefts in the Downtown, Asylum Hill and
West End neighborhoods. The suspect was captured this afternoon after a security
guard witnessed him smash a car window on Asylum St. downtown, enter the
vehicle, steal an iPod and flea. The security guard followed the suspect and
contacted HPD. Central District Officers quickly apprehended the accused: Denzil
Nurse, 41 of Hartford, on Main St. Several members of the community have come
forward with video and security footage of Nurse over the past several weeks and
HPD Deputy Chief Neville Brooks, of the Central District
(Downtown, Asylum Hill and West Neighborhoods) would like to thank the community
members who have stepped forward to assist in the investigation, as well as the
dedication of the officers assigned to the Central District and private security
Nurse has 27 arrests in the City of Hartford and an extensive
Burglary history. Investigators believe he is responsible for a significant rash
of car break thefts in the three neighborhoods. Investigators estimate he is
responsible for 25-35 car breaks over the last several weeks. Nurse is
immediately being booked and charged with Burglary 3rd, Criminal
Mischief 3rd, and Larceny in the 6th. The Major Crimes
Division is assisting in the investigation. Officers and Detectives will be
applying for several more arrest warrants in the next few days. Call Foley with
inquiries, Garcia available.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.