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Saturday, July 27, 2013


Check out "Face the State" tomorrow, Sunday at 11:00am.

I was invited to be a guest on Dennis House's program on WFSB, Channel 3. We discuss the blog, issues facing Hartford and "leadership" in Hartford. The leadership part was probably a short conversation since there doesn't seem to be much of that going on.

Also check out the clip below of an interview I did this week with Channel 8's Mark Davis over the controversy with the Dispatcher using the "N" word


FROM THE HARTFORD POLICE DEPARTMENTLocation: 717 Albany Ave. Time: 7/27/13 @ 0155 Hrs. Victim: male, 30 years of age, resident of Hartford Patrol Officers responded to the area of Albany Ave. at Vine Street on the report of shots fired. Dispatch notified responding units that Shot Spotter had recorded multiple shots fired in the same general area. A 911 citizen caller reported a male party shot lying on the ground in the area of Albany Ave. at Vine Street. Upon arrival a male victim was located in the front of 717 Albany Ave. suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper chest area. Officers initiated emergency medical treatment. Ambulance transported the victim to St Francis Hospital. The victim was initially listed as stabilized in critical condition, but ultimately did not survive the shooting. He was pronounced at 0545 hours. This is the 12th homicide of 2013. Major Crimes Division Homicide Detectives and Crimes Scene Detectives were immediately called to investigate. The victim’s ID is being withheld pending positive ID. HPD is looking for the community’s help. Anyone with information is asked to call LT. Brian Foley at 860-757-4463 or tips can be reported anonymously to Hartford Crime Stoppers at (860) 722-TIPS.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Yes they are still out there, Hartford's shooting task force, working with community members, developed information to make the following arrest.
(Hartford, CT) –Jonathan Percy, 26, of Berkeley Drive, Hartford, has been charged by the Hartford Shooting Task Force in connection with a shots fired incident that occurred on July 16, 2013.

The task force began investigating the incident following reports of shots fired received by the HPD on July 16, 2013, at approximately 9 p.m., at 18 Wadsworth Street, Hartford. Residents reported to police that an individual approached the location and fired multiple gun shots resulting in damage to the front screen door and a couch. The Major Crimes and Crime Scene Divisions and the Hartford Shooting Task Force began an immediate investigation.
Shooting Task Force Officers Flores and Corvino, with evidence collected at the scene by HPD Patrol Officer Chesworth and further investigation, were able to develop substantial information leading to the identification of the suspect. They sought and were granted an arrest warrant from Hartford Superior Court on July 24, 2013, charging Percy with criminal attempted first degree assault, first degree reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, and risk of injury to a minor. Percy was taken into custody by members of the Shooting Task Force without incident on the same day. Percy remains in custody on a $500,000 pending arraignment in Hartford Superior Court.
Anyone with information that may be of assistance to the investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is asked to contact Hartford Shooting Task Force Supervising Sergeant Sean Spell at 860-757-4112, or email Anonymous, confidential tips may be made by contact Hartford Crime Stoppers at 860-722-TIPS (8477) or on-line at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Blow is the link to the recording of the "N" word being used by a City of Hartford Public Safety Dispatcher. Also below is the text of the response by Andrew Jaffee , the Public Safety Dispatch Center Director.

For some reason I just find the tone of his reply as not taking the issue seriously and intending to just brush it off as no big deal. Another aspect that is troubling  is that if you listen closely to the recording, after he clearly uses the "N" word, there is giggling in the background. Apparently it is funny, and according to Jaffee's explanation, somewhat acceptable, to use such words in the City of Hartford Dispatch Center.

From: Jaffee, Andrew T.
>Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:54 AM
>To: La Luz, Maribel
>Cc: Kee Borges, Saundra
>Subject: RE: Info
>The City confirms the comment was broadcast on the Patrol-2 radio talkgroup on Monday, July 22nd.  A copy of the transmission is attached for reference.  
>The Director of Emergency Services & Telecommunications upon learning of the transmission initiated an internal review.  The investigation was assigned to the second shift Public Safety Communications Supervisor, an individual with over 30 years Law Enforcement and Public Safety experience.  The supervisor interviewed several of the dispatchers who were working when the comment was made.  Two of the dispatchers interviewed are African American and one is bi-racial.  All were within earshot of the statement when made.  The dispatchers interviewed felt the radio transmission was a mispronunciation of the word "neighbor", nor did they feel alarmed  or offended by the statement.
>The dispatcher who made the statement is a three and one-half year employee who is well-liked by his peers and has never been accused of using racist or derogatory words in the workplace.
>The supervisor concluded the comment was inadvertent and does not rise to the level of unprofessional conduct and should not be misconstrued as a raciest expression.    
>Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.        



As hard as it is to believe in this day and age, it has been confirmed, the recording exist, and yes on Monday night a Dispatcher in the Public Safety Dispatch Center did use the "N' word over a police radio channel.

Mayor Segarra issued the following comment through his spokesperson this morning:

Mayor Segarra has a zero tolerance policy for usage of the "N" word or any other words that can be associated with hate speech for that matter. He has demanded a full investigation into the incident in order to determine an appropriate course of action.

Could his response be any more vanilla. Where is the outrage that a public servant can even have that word floating around in their mind and freely use it over the radio. I have said repeated ly that the dispatch Center under Mr. Jaffee is out of control. The main complaint at community meetings when the 911 Dispatch Center is mentioned is that Jaffe''s dispatchers are rude and seem not interested in resident's.

Now there are some good dispatchers that are great and committed to their jobs, but this incident can not be tolerated. At this point the Mayor's Office is not willing to share Mr.Jaffee's written response to the incident or the actual recording, even though they are technically public documents at this point.

I am told that Jaffee's response is lukewarm also. This can not be tolerated, the tone needs to be set right from the top, both from Segarra and Jaffe.

With Mayor Segarra, I am not sure zero tolerance means zero tolerance. Previously I had written about an employee who had made a sexual harassment complaint against a Department Head. The Department head came to work everyday for over a month, making the harassed employee have to deal with him everyday.

Only after the information and the complaint was posted here was the MHIS Director suspended. At the time Segarra said the department head was suspended due to the City's "Zero Tolerance" policy for sexual harassment. If zero tolerance means anything why wasn't he suspended the day the employee filed her complaint, not a month later?

Where is the dispatcher that used the "N"word. Still sitting behind a console in the dispatch Center ?

In a racially charged climate that recent court events have created, both the community as well as City employees need swift and decisive action from our "leaders" to send a strong message that racism or discrimination of any type will not and can not be tolerated

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Trude Mero
An era in Hartford Democratic politics came to an end today with the passing of Trude Mero. I am not going to pretend to have ever been close to Trude or anything else, but it would be extremely hard to not know who Trude was. Anyone involved in Hartford politics has come across Trude, probably many more times than just once.
Sometimes you wonder how things work. I was out last night with a couple people and we started talking about Hartford politics and Trude came up. I had to tell my favorite Trude Mero story to them. Now Trude and myself didn't normally see eye to eye, and when two strong personalities collide, it makes for some interesting debates.
After mentioning her name to someone else this afternoon , I was told that Trude had been in poor health recently. About an hour later I was told she had passed away.
Although I had quite a few "debates" with Trude , the one I remember best was after the Halloween Snow storm a couple years ago.  I was running for City Council at the time and we were in the Parker Memorial Center on North Main Street, which was being used as an emergency center for people with out power
I had asked Trude for her support, almost expecting a "no" , but I had to ask anyway. Maybe just to see her reaction to me asking or maybe hoping she would say yes. Now anyone who has been at the receiving end of one of Trude's stares and the pause while she contemplated what she was going to say will understand the feeling, but it is hard to describe if you have never been there.
After she thought about what she was going to say, she continued the stare and said " Yes, I am going to support you, I really don't like you, but I like what you do"
That was classic Trude.
A mentor to many of Hartford's politico's will be missed


 If you look at the report below, the first question would be why? Segarra, along with several others don't seem to be exercising their right to vote on the current Board.

According to the report, prepared by Achieve Hartford, Lori Hudson has missed at least 60 votes, Segarra appointee Cherita McIntyre has missed 34 votes while Segarra himself had the third worst record , missing 39 votes. Board member Luis Rodriguez-Davila is not only missing votes,43 to be exact, but he has been missing in action for several months.

Word is that Davila has moved to Puerto Rico, in which case he should be asked to do the right thing and resign if he is longer residing in Hartford.

Board President Matthew Poland appears to have the best voting record, missing only 4 votes, followed by Elizabeth Brad-Noel at 6 votes and Republican Richard Wareing with only 8 missed votes


Paula Deane is finding out that the answer to that question is no. Now we may have a dispatcher in the Public Safety Dispatch Center learning the same lesson

Sources are telling me that a dispatcher used the "N" word over the Police South Dispatch channel last night, after immediately realizing what he said he turned to others near him and asked" did I just say that?"

What would someone have to be thinking to just let that word roll off your lips? Is there no filter between his brain and his mouth. Does the "F" word come as easily in conversation.

If there was ever a time to have a heightened awareness over words being used it is probably now, not that the word is ever acceptable.

Although I did not hear the conversation, several people that did hear it have contacted me and at least one Police Sergeant already has a copy of the recording.  I am being told  All City of Hartford radio conversations are recorded, and this should be an easy one to track down

A request for comment on the matter from Mayor Segarra's office has not been responded to as of this posting


One of the most difficult portions of maintaining this blog is actually obtaining public documents from agencies that love to claim they are "transparent".

Whether the City of Hartford or the MDC, they are bound by Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act.

The reports for the property at 3311 Main Street are most likely readily available. I am pretty sure the mad rush has started to decide how to keep them private and exempt from disclosure. That most likely will not stand up to the legal challenge and eventually they will get out.

I am also pretty confident that the reports are maintained in a file that was pulled immediately after my FOI request was made. The statute speaks to unnecessary delays , and I am pretty sure, referring the request to an outside law firm for review of what are clearly public documents, might just constitute and unnecessary delay in the eyes of the FOI Commission.

The bottom line is that the documents, according to sources, clearly show the contamination exists on the property. They will also most likely prove that the MDC broke the law by not notifying the DEEP of the contamination. The question to be answered now is why the notification never took place. Was it a political favor? Was it just incompetence? We need to know what happened when the lives and health of Hartford residents are put in jeopardy .

Another question is where are Hartford's Commissioners appointed to the MDC? Are they there to protect the MDC in a potential cover up or are they there to protect the people of Hartford? I guess only time will tell as this continues to play out.


I have received quite a few calls and inquiries today asking what the soil contamination I posted about yesterday actually means for residents in the area.

The honest answer is "I don't know" . I am not sure anyone can answer that question and at this point, since neither the MDC or the City of Hartford  are sharing the information they have.

This is clearly an incident where Mayor Segarra and members of the City Council need to step up and demand answers , immediately. If mayor Segarra is serious about turning his administration around, is there any better way than taking potential environmental contamination seriously and addressing it head on, no matter where it leads.

One source compared the potential contamination scope to that of Newhallville in Hamden. That contamination covered a large area and required huge amounts of contaminated soil to be removed.
Again, since no one is talking or revealing the test boring reports, it is hard to tell what the potential is.

Any soil contamination is clearly a  potential hazard, even as far as people that may have vegetable gardens or fruit trees growing in the area.

To read more about Newhallville and their cleanup efforts, click here

In the meantime, several others have begun looking into this matter, including the Coalition for Environmental Justice, the DEEP, and several new organizations, so answers will hopefully be coming soon

Monday, July 22, 2013


3311 Main Street, Hartford, Toxic Waste Dump?
A few weeks ago, I asked "is it time for another Grand Jury?" to look into Hartford City Hall. After information received and the ensuing investigation, I think I can say most definitely yes.

This is in regards to a property at 3311 Main Street in Hartford. The property is owned by a Limited Liability Corporation or LLC. LLC's are typically used by small businesses who don't want to incorporate as a full blown corporation. LLC"s are also used when someone doesn't necessarily want  a property or business showing up in their own name. Luckily, the Connecticut Secretary of the State has most records available on-line through "Concord", so ownership of LLC's are relatively easy to track.

The information regarding 3311 was that there were 3 10,000 gallon underground storage tanks still buried on the property. The tanks were allegedly leaking gasoline into the ground. Apparently as part of the MDC Clean Waters Project the contamination was found through test boring's and soil tests.

Sources familiar with the tests have confirmed that large quantities of "volatile organic compounds", in layman's terms, gasoline, had leeched into the soil and may possibly extend under the intersection of Main Street and Tower Avenue. The property owner was notified and no action was taken to remediate the chemicals or the environmental hazard.

The reason for a Grand Jury might be what happened next. Although both Federal and State law mandates the reporting of  toxic spills and hazardous environmental conditions, the Connecticut DEEP has no record of ever being notified of the contamination by MDC or the City of Hartford.
The City of Hartford Fire Department as well as the planning Department were apparently notified of the spills and may have actually received the MDC's documentation and reports.

Sources have also confirmed that the two MDC employees responsible for the test borings and the contamination reports have now "lawyered up". The MDC apparently stopped further excavation on or near 3311 Main when the contamination was found

Sources have confirmed the existence of the report in the Hartford Fire Marshall's Office as well as the Hartford Planning Department. Hartford's Department  License and Inspections has no records of any permits or any knowledge of the tanks or the leakage.

An FOI request to the City of Hartford for the documents is pending. A request to the MDC for their test borings and reports has apparently been farmed out to an outside law firm immediately after I made my request. That should raise some red flags that a routine request for documents had to go to an outside law firm, even though the MDC has its own internal legal department. May they be hiding something?

Another red flag that should go up when you ask why neither the MDC or the City of Hartford notified the DEEP as apparently required by law. As you can see from the CONCORD document below, 3311 Main LLC is no other than the fiancee' of Hartford's acting Chief Operating Officer Saundra Kee-Borges, Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Terry Waller. Waller, as a Deputy Chief knows that even at an accident scene any  spill, even a gallon of antifreeze is to be reported to the DEEP.

A spill from the contents of 3 10,000 gallon gas tanks is not something to be overlooked, the big question now is why and who ordered the cone of silence over Waller's Toxic Dump. A grand Jury could probably answer that better than I ever could, but I have some ideas. An investigation by the State of Connecticut DEEP Is apparently moving forward, can the State's Attorney be far behind?

We need to know why the rules weren't followed and who orchestrated what appears to be a cover up of a serious hazardous condition. Is this toxic condition in any way endangering the residents of North Main Street. The taxpayers should not be put on the hook for this cleanup. And why hasn't the MDC stepped forward on this? We expect them to be responsible stewards of our  environment by following the law, not being co-conspirators  allowing toxic chemicals to flow under our streets after they find them.

Much more to come on this I am sure.