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Thursday, October 3, 2013


I am getting closer to making the official proclamation  that the Segarra Administration and those that are part of it have lost their minds.

The memo's below were released today through an FOI request. It seems that the full court press is on to remove Bruce Rubenstein from the Internal Audit Commission. Attorney Rubenstein was appointed to the Audit commission in March by Hartford's City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Read more about that appointment here

Although van Norden claims in his opinion below  that Rubenstein has a conflict of interest by representing clients that are suing the City, I think the answer is much more simple. The audit Commission, was essentially  a lap dog before Rubenstein's appointment. Now in the last six months the Audit Commission has been producing some very substantial reports detailing numerous City Hall problems.

Many of those reports have been critical of Mayor Segarra,  his Department heads, L.John Van Norden himself and his boss, Saundra Kee-Borges. The reports may have indirectly caused  major shakeups in the Segarra Administration as several Department heads have left City Hall after audit reports were released detailing a pattern of incompetence.

It seems interesting though that Van Norden is detailing Rubenstein's potential Conflict of Interests since Van Norden seems unable to recognize his own conflict. How is he issuing opinions that relate directly to him and his bosses and trying to shut down the people that are critical of him?

Van Norden's own legal skills are questionable as he left his previous employer, the City of Schenectady New York under a cloud of suspicion, read more here. He actually was employed by the City of Hartford his first year here, even though he was not licensed to practice law in Connecticut

I don't think Van Norden's opinion has anything to do with concerns over a conflict of interest, it is that the Audit Commission is getting too close to the inner workings of the Segarra Administration.

Several sources have confirmed that numerous red flags have been raised over the handling of CIP funds, (Capital Improvement Project) and this most likely will be the next shoe to drop when it comes to Audit reports. Not to mention those that are already in the pipeline and proving to be less than favorable to Segarra, including the City Car take home use audit.

Audit Commission Member Bruce Rubenstein

Numerous irregularities have already been identified in the CIP process and may eventually result in outside investigations being started. The questionable transactions involve both State and Federal funds according to sources

In the meantime, outside of Segarra's Office there seems to be very little or no support for removing Rubenstein as sources tell me that both the Hartford City Council and Treasurer Cloud are solidly behind Mr. Rubenstein. It is also unclear if there actually a process defined to remove a Commissioner.

One source familiar with the memo, said that they believe that the claim of financial gain has no merit. Any financial gain obtained by Rubenstein would be the result of him successfully representing his clients in their lawsuits against Hartford . The financial gain would be set as an award for damages determined by a Judge, and not as a result of any action Rubenstein could take as an Audit Commission member.

 The simplest resolution of this matter would be for Segarra to do the right thing and not give the Audit Commission an opportunity to scrutinize him. Unfortunately I think that train has already left the station.

Here is some other reading material regarding Mr. Van Norden, here, or here ,or any earlier blog posting here

Rubenstein OfficialOpinionoftheOfficeoftheCorporationCounsel09242013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


After 5 years have lapsed, most criminals might think they got away with their crime. What they might be forgetting though is that Hartford's Shooting Task Force is still working the streets.

From HPD:

Detective Blumes and Officer Shelby have been investigating a cold case serious assault with a firearm that occurred on September 30th, 2008. A victim was walking in the area of 27 Amity Street at 2230 hours, when a suspect fired six shots at the victim. The victim was struck two times in the left hip area. Detective's Blumes, Plourde, and Officer Shelby identified a suspect and corroborating information during the course of their investigation. Detective Blumes and Officer Shelby prepared an arrest warrant which was submitted to GA14. On September 27th, 2013, the arrest warrant was granted with a court set $500,000 bond. The accused is currently incarcerated on manslaughter charges stemming from a 2008 shooting at 30 Sisson Ave
Accused: Ivan Ortega, M/H/23 (7/3/1990), formerly of 273 South Street, Hartford CT, currently
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, 1153 East Street, Suffield CT.
Charges: Assault 1st Degree and Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit.

Someone tonight on Facebook said I don't post enough positive things. What could be more positive than another shooter being taken off our streets?


Sources are confirming for me that Hartford Fire Lieutenant Michael Patterson, who was arrested yesterday on numerous charges related to his stockpile of firearms, has  been on leave from HFD for over two months after apparently claiming an on duty injury.
At the same time that Patterson was out injured, he was apparently also working in the firearms department at Cabela's Sporting Goods in East Hartford.
This sounds like something that Workers Compensation Fraud Investigators might be interested in


I think I have developed thick skin when it comes to dealing with comments on the blog ( as I am sure others who have been the subject of comments have had to do also). As I approach one million hits on the blog, some days I ask myself "is it worth it"? Then I think about the change and the people that have been helped by this blog, and I sit down and write another blog posting.

The comments usually don't get to me, but one that was submitted this morning was aggravating because I know the other side of the story. I don't usually respond through a  posting to a comment, but I think this one deserves it.

Here is the posting submitted this morning, I am pretty sure I have figured out the commenters identity, which I won't post the name, but in the end, make your own conclusions. The grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are being left as submitted:

Brookman I think you have uncovered another problem at HPD. Seems in your drive to become the "Guy in the know" by all your unconventional ways you have shown that officers are violating standard operating proceedures by handing you police reports outside the FOI and records handling policies. At times you have obtained reports, such as in the Bond Street murder, that have not been redacted.

I am sure a great investigator like yourself or the guy on the second floor who gives the reports to you have an understanding of what can happen to an On Going inveatigation when all the information developed is just handed out for anyone to view.

I urge you to use the proper channels before you really mess up a case by putting things on your blog for all to see. I am sure you have never thought of that as an issue because you think your above it all.

You already have a radio and a odd thought that you are part of the police delartment with free rain to run around and tell everyone about how many times you meet the police chief and such, but the rank and file are pretty disgusted with you. Just the other day I even heard officer Secore say that he was upset that you were his friend because of the way he is now viewed at the department.

Brookman you point a spot light on many problems in Hartford and that is good, just don't be the guy who screws up a case and helps a bad guy get away with murder!

I know you think your to smart for that, but you came pretty close on Bond Street. We all know who your unconventional means are so stop being a braggard!

A watchfull eye on Deep Throat

The Bond Street case the commenter mentions is most likely the catalyst for this rant.
The writer mentions that I came close to compromising a potential homicide on Bond Street. This started when I became aware of the kidnapping report earlier in the day on Bond Street, I obtained a copy of the incident report and along with WFSB reporter Matt Campbell, went to the Bond Street scene. The officers involved earlier in the day took all of the proper steps according to the report, The initial responding officer Meg Cirigliano, took the complaint and appears to follow all of the proper steps, the suspect description was broadcast by radio and she then notified her supervisor, Sergeant Dixon Vega and he responded to the scene. Vega then notified his supervisor Lt. Robert Allan. Officer Cirigliano even went so far as trying to “ping’ the victims phone in an attempt to get a physical location for him. According to numerous sources , that is where it ended.
When myself and Campbell met up at what was or should have been treated like a crime scene, we were both surprised by the lack of any Police presence. No yellow tape, not even on Police Officer on scene. It was even more interesting as witnesses began coming out of their homes and giving us very detailed accounts of what had happened. One witness even pointed out the victim’s car which was parked directly in front of the Bond Street address he had been abducted from at gunpoint.
One witness gave us a very detailed description of the car and the female and how she put the gun into the victims face before the car raced off. I finally asked one of the witnesses if they had given their statements to the Police yet. They all replied no. Something wasn’t right here. A kidnapping that eventually resulted in a homicide and the area wasn’t even treated like a crime scene?
Witnesses with critical details right down to specific items the kidnappers were wearing approached us and no one was there from HPD. I called Lt Foley and asked him why it wasn’t being treated like a crime scene. I think I caught him off guard with the question. He was at the Portland homicide scene I believe and apparently thought the Bond Street scene was being handled. I called Sgt. Spell from the Shooting Task Force and asked if they were involved in the case. No, it had apparently been assigned to Major Crimes. 
Between the two calls to Foley and Spell, within minutes an HPD Supervisor followed by several Patrol Units arrived on the scene, lights and sirens,. The yellow tape went up and finally it was treated as a crime scene, probably about four hours too late for any evidentiary value.
Someone dropped the ball and it was probably the commenter  who was claiming I potentially compromised his case.
The truth is that this case was compromised from the moment  someone made the decision not to get up from their desk and respond to a kidnapping scene.
One supervisor who eventually responded asked what I knew and I had told them about the witnesses and the details I had been told. They made the comment “how sad is this, I am getting  my briefing from a blogger and not Major Crimes”. 
The fact is that Campbell and myself were given details by witnesses who had been allowed to slip through the cracks  when no one took the time to come out and follow leads. Lt Foley asked us not to reveal certain details and we both agreed so as not to compromise the investigation in any way. I never posted the report because it wasn’t needed and quite frankly I figured the problem and questions regarding the crime scene would cause more problems.
To address a couple other items: Yes I do talk regularly with Chief Rovella, and these are conversations you will never see in a blog post. Chief Rovella knows that and we do talk quite openly about many issues. I enjoy our conversations because the Chief is a man of vision and you can’t help but learn when you spend a little time with him. Whether it is his philosophies on drug enforcement, staffing, budgets or even David Kennedy’s books, I can spend hours talking, but more importantly listening to the Chief.
And I don’t need to go about “bragging” about the time I am fortunate to spend with the Chief because the reality is that as soon as Chief Rovella meets me in the lobby, the text messages start flying. “The Chief just let Brookman in, what’s going on?” Yes, as juvenile as that seems the word travels quick.
The reference to the “guy on the second floor” Is the Police Department’s Public Information Officer LT. Brian Foley. Lt Foley has not “leaked” me any information and every report I have posted has been accompanied by an appropriate FOI request or is e-mailed to me and probably thirty or forty other media outlets at the same time. If I ask for an incident report that I learned about first, I submit an FOI request to Foley.
Lt Foley has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to the distribution of public information, he is available 24 hours a day, has established a very professional reputation with the media, and he clearly gets “It” when it comes to transparency
As far as redactions, brush up on your FOI statutes. There is very little than can be legally redacted from police Incident reports except specific things like social security number, operator’s number or other things that could maybe be used for identity theft. Names of juveniles and sexual assault victims should also be redacted. I am not sure what information you think should have been redacted from any reports including the Bond Street report, but you are probably wrong.
As far as when the report is released or what is released is entirely up to the agency releasing it. The statutes list exemptions that may be claimed, but doesn’t require an exemption to be claimed in any case. An agency may claim that release could compromise an ongoing criminal investigation, but the fact that a report covers an ongoing criminal investigation doesn’t mean it can’t be released if the agency finds no reason not to release it.
As far as the old days of HPD where it was a fight to get information , get used to the change. There is a new Chief that understands his responsibility to maintaining the public trust by being transparent and the doors to the information bunker have been opened wide. Everything you do is open to public scrutiny.
Your comment about the Officer who wishes to deny being my friend is fine, That Officer will probably also tell you that I am one of the driving forces behind him actually getting his job back, and I know where I stand with him. He has to survive there in a childish atmosphere and it is about survival. I get that.
Maybe if you had gotten off your butt and went to a kidnapping scene, you wouldn’t have to be protecting that same butt now.
I stand behind what I have done, I would never compromise an investigation and I value my relationships with Chief Rovella, LT. Foley and many others at HPD that know how to act like adults and make Hartford a safer place and do their jobs well day in and day out

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


It seems like this is almost a daily occurrence. A convicted felon is arrested for illegal possession of a firearm on the streets of Hartford. And not just the possession, they are using them for illegal acts. Our courts need to step up and get these criminals off our streets. I would  not have a problem with  non-violent criminals convicted of drug offenses released to make room for a felon who has no problem using a gun in our community.


On June 5th, 2013, at 2106 hours, patrol units were dispatched to the area of 72 Seyms Street for reported shots fired with a shot spotter confirmation. Patrol units did not locate any victims, suspects, witnesses or anything of evidentiary value. This incident was assigned to Officer Corvino and Detective Verno (CSP).

The officers developed investigatory leads and developed a suspect by the nickname of "Kik". "Kik" was identified as Craig Godwin. Accused Godwin shot at the rear of 51 Seyms Street after a disagreement with residents. An arrest warrant was prepared and submitted to GA14 and granted on 9/27/13 with a court set bond of $250,000. On 9/30/13 at approximately 1500 hours Godwin was apprehended without incident by members of Hartford's Shooting Task Force
Accused:Craig Godwin, M/B/26 , of 59 Center Street, Hartford CT.
Charges: Criminal Possession Firearm, Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit, Unlawful Discharge of a firearm and reckless Endangerment 1st Degree



Hartford Police responded to a domestic violence complaint earlier today at a Canaan Street address. Upon arrival of officers it was determined that   Michael  Patterson, 43,, a Hartford Fire Department Lieutenant, had apparently been involved in a domestic dispute and was being accused of making physical threats.

During the course of the investigation , it was determined that Patterson had over 69 firearms registered to him. For the safety of the individual receiving the threats  and as required by law, HPD Officers  asked to view the weapons and attempted to seize the weapons. Upon being shown the weapons, HPD officers became concerned over the way the weapons were being stored.

According to sources, the majority of the weapons were laid out on a bed in the same bedroom that Patterson's seven year old slept in an adjoining bed. Sources also said that children's toys were in the same area as the loaded weapons.

Patterson also apparently had an empty gun safe in his basement. Why it was not being used is unknown

Patterson was arrested on numerous charges and according to sources, the case will be referred to DCF for child endangerment issues.

Accused: Michael Patterson, 43 of 25 Canaan St. HTFD


Breach of Peace 2nd


29 Counts of Risk of Injury to a Minor.

$500,000 Bond


The investigation is ongoing, Major Crimes Division- Domestic Violence Detectives are still attempting to track down and account for firearms at addresses in Hartford, Bloomfield and South Carolina. Detectives are working with the State Firearms Unit to review this incident as well as locate and account for all firearms registered to the accused. The accused is cooperating with investigators.


It took some work, but here is the full accident report as well as the HPD Unusual Occurrence Report.

Monday, September 30, 2013


It is pretty easy to tell the difference between transparency and a cover up, and this one has cover up written all over it.

A lot of things just aren't adding up with the Saundra Kee-Borges City car Accident, including her statement of apology.

One of the first things that raised red flags for me was the quickness that the HPD press release came out saying that Kee -Borges and the unauthorized operator of her city vehicle fiancée/boyfriend/significant other Terry Waller had  a green light and the accident was caused by the other driver. I e-mailed the HPD Public Information Officer, Lt. Brian Foley and asked how that determination was made. Was it from independent witnesses, maybe some video in the area or was it just Waller telling the officer he had a green light.Lt Foley was unsure and told me he would look into it

 The releases were quick to say that Waller and his fiancée/girlfriend/significant other Sandy Kee-Borges were the innocent victims at 2:17am as they were hit by an evading driver who ran a red light. Call me suspicious , but I just don't accept what a press release says as the truth.

The red flags were raised even more on Monday as I tried to get the incident reports regarding the arrest that Kee-Borges claimed as the reason she let Waller drive her car. I wanted to see the time lines and try to figure out where she was from the time of her sons arrest until the crash at 2:00am.

As I started pushing for the arrest report as well as the accident report, the barricades went up, mainly FOI reasons not to release the report. I called a staff attorney at FOI and got the other side. Their claims for exemption were not making sense.

I eventually received the arrest report for Garrett Borges, through alternative means, as well as the accident report and the attached supplemental reports from all officers involved, none through my FOI requests. I was told that the requests were being forwarded to Detective Wiebusch , since she was the FOI person at HPD.

When I spoke to the FOI Attorney, she offered to call Detective Wiebusch to clarify the matter. She called me back a short time later to say that Detective Wiebusch's voice mail said she was on vacation until October 14th. How convenient.

The time line and excuses are important to painting the full picture, but first, here is Saundra Kee-Borges statement she released earlier this morning.

“Last Friday night while attending the NAACP dinner, I received a call from the Hartford Police Department regarding one of my children. I left immediately and drove to the Public Safety Complex on High Street in my city vehicle of which I have full commuter privileges.  An accident occurred as I was on my way home from the police station with my fiancé Terry Waller, a Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Hartford just after 2:00am. While driving through a green light, another vehicle struck us and then fled the scene. Terry and I were taken to the hospital, where he remained until late Saturday morning.  Thankfully we’re both OK and the police captured the individual responsible for the hit and run. 

I want to thank the Hartford Police and Fire Department, the ambulance crew for their quick action and I want to thank the staff at St. Francis for treating us with such care.  I also want to apologize to Mayor Segarra for any inconvenience or speculation this incident may have caused. Although Terry is a city employee, I should have driven myself. At that moment, I was deeply concerned for my child as any parent would be.”
Does anyone else find it interesting that the Mayor's office could release a statement on a Sunday night that he was cutting ribbons at 2 Hartford parks today, but not a word about his COO crashing her city car in a questionable accident?
As you can see, Kee-Borges also mentioned that green light again. The fact is that there apparently was no independent determination as to what happened, no video, not even other witnesses. The accident report says that Waller told the investigating officer he had the green light. Surprise, surprise. But apparently when a deputy Fire Chief says he has a green light, that is good enough to cite the other operator.
Now I will concede that the operator of vehicle #1 didn't help his credibility  when he ran from the scene, but does that increase Waller's credibility?
Sources have also confirmed that Kee-Borges received a phone call at the NAACP dinner sometime around 10:00PM. They said she appeared to be somewhat upset and her and Waller had some tense words before they left the dinner, supposedly to go attempt to bail out her son from the HPD lockup.
It appears they had to arrange for a bondsman since Garrett was not released until 5:00am Saturday morning, long  after the crash occurred. Sources have also confirmed that Kee-Borges and Waller had left the public Safety Complex before the midnight shift began arriving at 11:00PM. I have FOI'd the Police Department video to confirm this timeline as the front lobby area is recorded.
That then raises the question of where Kee-Borges and Waller were until the time of the crash at 2:17am the question. It potentially leaves over 3:00hours unaccounted for as to where the City Car was as well as where they spent the time and doing what?
Considering the crumpled up coupon from J's Crabshack that I found on the ground in the name of Saudra Borges, that might be a good spot to start.
Transparency means getting to the bottom of this matter , wherever it leads. We deserve no less and the credibility of the Segarra Administration, if there is any left , depends on it.
Where were they? Was alcohol involved? Why was the car still out long after any City business at the NAACP dinner had concluded. What was the blood alcohol content , if any, in Waller's blood ,which was most likely drawn at the hospital when he was treated. If they really want to clear the matter, I think Waller could voluntarily have that information released to HPD without the necessity of obtaining a search warrant for it.
It is hard to set a tone of accountability when those at the top are not held to the same standards as those they supervise.
In the meantime, any delay in releasing public documents stinks of a coverup, whether intentional or not, and HPD and Chief Rovella have done too good of a job establishing credibility  to get sucked into City Hall nonsense.
NOTE: regular readers of the blog are used to seeing documents and are used to reading the reports I refer to. Unfortunately, there is an effort to uncover my sources to keep the public's information from getting out. As documents and reports pass through the review process they are coded and signed  and it is somewhat easy to tell at what point I get the documents based on where they are in the process. So rather than risk  where in the process the documents came from, I have chosen not to post the actual reports until they are released through the regular FOI process.



Last week I questioned how a City Administration that claimed it was near broke as they cut millions of dollars from the Police Department budget, could all of a sudden have an $800,00 dollar surplus and make an $11 million dollar payment to the pension fund.

A recent Internal Audit might answer some of those questions. It appears that millions of unused dollars from Capitol Improvement projects, some dating back 15 years, are sitting in City accounts without much oversight and very loose controls.

Could this be referred to as the "City Hall Slush Fund"? Only time will tell , but I think the last sentence of the Auditor's report could be very interesting


And no, I don't mean Hurricane Sandy, I mean the devastating effects of the incompetent and negligent mismanagement of Sandy Kee- Borges, Hartford's Acting Chief Operating Officer.

It almost seems like the inner circle of Mayor Segarra tries hard to dream up new ways to embarrass him on a regular basis. The new years eve caviar, stealing back their City Cars, crashing their City car's at 2 am  after City Hall has been closed for hours . Even his department heads that have taken jobs and committed to moving into Hartford  and haven't.

I would think that people who are supposedly loyal to Segarra would exercise much better judgement and decision making , but recent events show that there seems to be no regard for Segarra's public image as they pull their stunts. How do they then survive to pull the next act to make Hartford's mayor look like a fool?

Right now that is the million dollar question that most people are asking. Why is Sandy still there?

It definitely isn't because of any stellar job performance. I think we might see the answers evolve over the next few months  and I think it will most likely be an issue of self preservation. Sandy knows where many of the City Hall skeleton's are buried. I don't say this lightly, but just stand by and I think things will become much clearer as time goes on.

Any regular reader of this blog know that my information is always very solid and I stand behind what I write. Stay tuned for the revelation of the skeleton's