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Thursday, October 17, 2013


The City vehicle of  former COO Saundra Kee-Borges after it was crashed. Hartford's Auditors had concerns how she obtained the vehicle in the first place
That is how the Hartford Internal Auditors described the City of Hartford's  Take Home Vehicle policy , from the report "In addition, we found that the current process of accounting for and controlling City vehicles is ineffective, inefficient and prone to errors and omissions. " Surprise , surprise on that one.

Although the City of Hartford apparently does have a policy, it was never implemented due to Union objections.
"Although City Administration had developed and documented a "City of Hartford Vehicle Use Policy" (COH Vehicle Use Policy), which included provisions for City vehicles with commuter privileges, it was not formally authorized, issued and implemented. According to notations on the COH Vehicle Policy, it was effective August 1, 2011, however, after it was implemented by the City Administration a number of unions objected, took exception to it and it was subsequently retracted by the City Administration. " according to the report

 The report shows the lack of control and at one point states there wasn't even a process to determine that City Vehicle drivers even had valid drivers licenses. Another eyeopener in the report was a vehicle that logged almost a half a million miles, although the operator of that vehicle was not identified specifically in the report "We noted that the annual mileage on two of these vehicles totaled 90,927 and 495,865, respectively. " the report stated

The report also questions the process by which the vehicle used by COO Saundra Kee-Borges was obtained. That vehicle was recently crashed and was  totaled: From the report 
" A number of issues and concerns were raised regarding how a vehicle that was originally purchased and used by the Police Department ended up being assigned to and used by the Chief of Staff of the Mayor. We obtained a "Transfers or Deletions of Fixed Assets’ form from the Police Department relating to this vehicle. Based on our review of this form and related matter, we noted the following:

a. The vehicle was reported to be transferred to City Hall as of October 10, 2012. There is no indication on the form who requested the transfer of this vehicle. According the Police Department management, the Chief Operating Officer initiated the request for this vehicle to be transferred to City Hall.

b. The form was approved and signed by the individual responsible for managing the Police Department vehicle fleet on October 12, 2012. We believe that the transfer of assets from one department to another should be reviewed and approved by a higher level of management. As noted elsewhere in this report, related policies and procedures were not documented.

c. The form indicates that the vehicle was received by DPW ESD management on October 12, 2012. Police Department management informed us, however, that they personally delivered the vehicle to City Hall.

Police Department management informed us that this vehicle was transferred to the COO at her request and for her use. They also indicated that they were not involved in how this vehicle was assigned after the initial transfer. This represents an example of the policy, procedure and control issues relating to the management, oversight, assignment and use of vehicles with commuter privileges noted throughout this report.

The full report paints a complete picture of incompetence and mismanagement when it comes to City vehicles, it details almost 200 missing license plates that had been issued by DMV to the City.

Read the full report below

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


As of 4:30PM today
Thank You for reading


Members of the Shooting Task Force have been investigating a shots fired incident that occurred at 75 Orange Street on August 14th, 2013, at 1305 hours. No victims were struck, however the shooting sent a playground full of children diving for cover.

Hartford Police patrol units were dispatched to the area of Capitol Avenue at Orange Street for reports of shots fired. Responding officers located (11) Ruger 9mm shell casings in front of 75 Orange Street. Officer Suarez developed information that a male in front of 75 Orange Street may have been involved along with two unknown vehicles. Numerous children were playing in the George H. Day playground on Orange Street.
Patrol Officer John Suarez located a witness that later proved extremely valuable.
This shooting incident was assigned to officers Mastroianni and Corvino. Members of the STF developed a suspected shooter and located additional witnesses.
The shooter was identified as Ocsiry DeJesus. DeJesus fired multiple gunshots at one or more vehicles. An arrest warrant was submitted to GA14 and granted on 9/20/2013, with a court set bond of $750,000.
On October 16th, 2013, at 0800 hours, Fugitive Detective Jose Perez apprehended DeJesus without incident.
Great initial response, investigation and documentation by Officer Johnny Suarez.
Accused: Ocsiry DeJesus, M/H/25 (3/23/1988), of 831 Capitol Avenue, Hartford CT.
Charges: Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Reckless Endangerment 1st Degree and Criminal Attempt Assault 1st Degree.


According to the Hartford Police Department, Hartford Police Patrol Officers responded to 416 Franklin Avenue , apartment B-3 yesterday at 6:30am on a complaint of a stolen/missing firearm. Upon arrival, HPD Officers spoke with an off duty Springfield Police Officer who stated that his Springfield Police Department issued weapon had been stolen from the apartment . Officers also said he gave inconsistent statements regarding the incident.

 The weapon was a Smith and Wesson M&P 40 caliber

The Springfield Officer was identified as Kevin Merchant

Sources familiar with the Incident said it might be interesting for Springfield PD"s Internal Affairs Unit to establish where Merchant was prior to the theft and how he ended up in B-3 at 416 Franklin Avenue at 6:00AM. It was definitely an interesting story.


This will eventually be a very detailed posting as their are so many aspects being uncovered. The documents will spell out the details and I have obtained a small portion so far and I am awaiting many more to come.The situation started with an Internal memo that was written by the Hartford Schools Chief Financial Officer, Paula Altieri. That memo is below:

It is unclear what started this chain of events or why Altieri launched her Investigation, but after you review the facts, it will probably be clear that the Accountants should stick to accounting and leave the investigations to the investigators.

Altieri begins her memo and also her "Investigation" regarding a payment that was supposed to have been made to Segur Insurance, the City's Insurance Agent, for a payment that was in excess of $600,000. The payment was about to become past due when the Broker for Segur, Hybrid Insurance, operated by Earl O"Garro, emailed Hartford 's Treasurer Adam Cloud.

As you can see from the e-mail O'Garro e-mailed treasurer Cloud on July 18, 2013 requesting the wire transfer and also submitted copies of the invoices to Cloud. The invoices were apparently copies that were originally sent by Segur to the City of Hartford. The invoices that O'Garro submitted to cloud appeared very generic in nature with no logo or distinctive markings, the original invoices from Segur contained the Segur Logo . it appears that O'Garro created a second set of invoices to send to Cloud

Upon obtaining O'Garro's invoices , Cloud, by e-mail, forwarded them to former Finance Director Julio Molleda. Molleda replied that the checks would be cut and included in the next days check run .According to sources, somewhere along the line in the Finance department, City Comptroller Lee Ann Ralls instructed Finance department staff person Ellen Mcreary to wire the money as mentioned in the O'Garro e-mail rather than mail a check.

This is apparently where some of the problems began. Segur was set up in  MUNIS, the City's computer program, as a vendor. Hybrid was not. If the proper protocols were followed, a payment would have never been able to have been processed to Hybrid and a check cut, but apparently when the wire information was provided, that allowed the process to be violated and the money was sent to Hybrid electronically rather than a check being printed to Segur.

It doesn't appear that Adam Cloud had input on that process , other than the e-mail to Molleda requesting payment for the outstanding invoices. So far it appears that the breakdown was entirely in the Finance Department. The normal process is that for any vendor payment, the finance Director has to apply a "warrant" for the payment and is then sent to the Treasurer's Office to authorize the payment. The way it has been explained to me is that the Treasurer's Office can not simply cut a check or process a payment without the Finance Department warrant

In Altieri's memo she also makes the claim that there is no proof that the Insurance is in effect in her September 24, 2013 memo, yet her own Risk Manager, John Griffin, who apparently answers directly to Altieri sent an e-mail on September 10, 2013 stating that "National sent confirmation that coverage is in place" National is one of the Companies that provided the policy. The other company, Starr, was apparently reluctant to confirm that the insurance was in effect , but the e-mail stated that Starr was  "awaiting approval from legal" before sending any confirmation

Although on face value Altieri's accusations seem serious, once you start peeling back the layers, you might want to ask yourself what is the motivation for the memo in the first place.
 The claim that cloud moved an Insurance Policy without bidding doesn't appear to be accurate. Quotes were solicited from numerous companies for the Fiduciary Liability Policy for the Pension Commission. The policy had been in place for years. According to sources, the policy was never intended to cover the Board of Education

The changes in vendor's was approved by a vote of the Pension Commission before any changes were made

Griffin, the Risk manager began asking questions and if the policy was in effect. It is unclear what his concerns were or why the Board felt it necessary to have the policy. Somewhere along the lines , Cloud and the pension Commission solicited proposals to attempt to save the City some money on the Policy. During that process, apparently O'Garro (Hybrid) proposed a company that would save the City and the Pension Commission approximately $3,000 annually. Below is a list of companies that apparently rejected the City's proposal offer and the reasons for the rejections

.CLOUD Fiduciary Policy Rejections0001 There is much more to come on this as numerous FOI requests are hopefully complied with by the City and the Board of Education. Sources are telling me that a string of e-mails between City Hall, Altieri and Griffin may lay the groundwork for the motivation behind this and it may have nothing to do with Cloud and his relationship with O'Garro. In the meantime though it seems that not just the City of Hartford was duped by a slick operator. Earl O'Garro is being chased by numerous entities who also apparently fell for his smooth talk. Included are the State of Connecticut who are calling O'Garro's loans in default and due in full. For more on O'Garros defaults read Jeff Cohen here

One source who spoke on the condition of remaining anonymous said he felt pretty confident the City's Insurance payment is gone along with O'Garro. He further stated that he believes O'Garro got caught up in a "High roller" lifestyle and in the end the bills caught up with him. O'Garro's homes are apparently headed into foreclosure, the restaurant he opened for his wife in Middletown was apparently suffering losses of over $30,000 per month in operating costs and many other losses that are public record now.

Since the payment was made to the City's broker, the City will suffer no loss. Under Connecticut law, it is apparently up to the Broker and the Agent to battle out who suffers the loss, but it won't be Hartford

Among those losses are the Cloud Family as well, Chris Cloud is apparently owed a large past due amount from O'Garro for his lobbying fees and the Cloud Family hasn't apparently seen a rent check from O'Garro for the 30 Lewis Street Office in some time.

Much more will be developed on this as time goes on

Sunday, October 13, 2013


The documents regarding the City of Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud and his handling of an insurance payment , on face value look bad. But over the past week I have gathered numerous documents and e-mails and conducted hours of Interviews trying to get to the full story.

It is coming together and is taking some work to get it all into a format to be easily understandable .I hope that when it is posted and the documents are read, it will paint a clearer picture. I hope to get that done by the end of the day today.

In the meantime, Treasurer Cloud released a statement that I am posting now  as well as the original memo from the Board of Education's Paula Altieri. Much more will be coming out on this


The answer is simple, because Hartford's Deputy Corporation Counsel L. John Van Norden says so. Shouldn't that be enough for us? L. John says so.

It is not good enough for me. I can look at the situation and see that since Rubenstein has been appointed to the Hartford Internal Audit commission, times have become very difficult for Van Norden's bosses, Saundra Kee-Borges and Pedro Segarra.. Too bad.

The facts are the facts and the fact is that the Internal Audit Commission has gotten over a severe case of "low T" since Bruce was appointed by Hartford's Treasurer Adam Cloud. The Audit Commission has grown a spine and has realized they do not answer to Hartford City Hall. They are there to keep City on the right path to best serve the people of Hartford.

The Audit Commission is actually producing some very good reports, identifying problems and forcing change. That  is what they were designed to do. I think it is hitting too close to home for the City Hall power brokers as their incompetence is being identified publicly now  and really causing people to question what is going on. The Keney Park Tree Audit should have everyone shaking their heads and questioning "how could this happen?'.

 Are we really supposed to believe that no one in City government ever questioned the presence of logging trucks and equipment traversing the Golf Course  or no one noticed hundreds of large Oak stumps across the course.

Was it really up to Rubenstein and the Auditors to identify abuse of City vehicles and force the establishment of a solid vehicle use policy? Wasn't the Mayor's former Chief of Staff stealing his City vehicle enough to get the Administration to realize they had a problem. Wasn't the fact that there was apparently no centralized list of who even had City Vehicles troubling enough to do something?

Did it really take the crash of two City vehicles to get something started, one accident definitely alcohol related and the other questionably alcohol related, as well as a questionable time line before the accident occurred? Did it really have to fall on the Rubenstein and the  Audit Commission to be the heavies?

 The obvious answer is yes. In a City that is spiraling out of control due to a lack of leadership and management, I am appreciative that we do have a few people willing to pit their necks on the line to protect us. Hartford's Auditors Patrick Campbell and Craig Trujillio I am sure are having some sleepless nights. Even though they are supposed to be autonomous from City Hall, their paychecks still come from Hartford City Hall.

They are doing audits and filing reports that are not pleasing City Hall ,I am sure of that.

In Van Nordens letter below he essentially telling Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud, "get rid of Rubenstein or else" . Cloud is the appointing Authority  for Rubenstein to the Internal Audit Commission  as authorized under the Hartford Municipal Code.

In the letter, Van Norden threatens the use of a "quo warranto" action if Cloud doesn't comply with his demands. In the United States today, quo warranto usually arises in a civil case as a plaintiff's claim (and thus a "cause of action" instead of a writ) that some governmental or corporate official was not validly elected to that office or is wrongfully exercising powers beyond (or ultra vires) those authorized by statute or by the corporation's charter.

Where is the threat for Segarra's Department heads who should fall under the same type of action when they breach their contracts and aren't residing in Hartford as required by the Municipal Code?Apparently they aren't challenging the Mayor's competence and powers the same way as Rubenstein and the Commission are.

Van Norden seems to be concerned regarding a possible Conflict of Interest of Rubenstein being on the commission, yet conflicts have never seemed to be in the sights of Corporation Counsel in the past. Where was the concern when the previous Chairman of the Internal Audit Commission, who by the way resigned shortly after Rubenstein arrived on the scene. The Chairman was a high ranking official with Webster Bank. A financial institution that the City of Hartford did business with.

Why was there no concern about a conflict there. Maybe because the Internal Audit Commission were the quiet lapdogs they were supposed to be and never stirred the pot , never challenging the Mayor or City operations. The focus was more on whether or not the nickels in the Cashiers office were being stored in the correct tray in the cash register. The scope of the investigations conducted in the last six months have been huge and requiring a large amount of staff hours, but they are rising to the challenge and doing some great work

If van Norden feels he has the grounds for his "quo warranto" action, I say bring it on and let a judge decide. I somehow feel that will be another mark in the defeat column for Van Norden and his legal "career".

Here is Van Nordens letter to the Honorable Adam Cloud, Treasurer of the City of Hartford.