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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The State Elections Enforcement Commission today voted in Executive Session to apparently approve a finding of cause against Hartford's Democratic Deputy Registrar of Voters  in a scheme he apparently participated in in 2010  to falsify election petitions for a Hartford Democratic Town Committee primary election.

Coleman's boss, Democratic Registrar Olga Vazquez was recently fined $3000.00 for her role in the scheme

Essentially, according to the finding, Garey Coleman forged the names of solicitors and signed the back of the petition forms where the signatures had been omitted by the solicitors,.then went on to certify the signatures in his role as Deputy Registrar so that the petitions could qualify improperly for ballot positions.

It is unclear if the matter will be referred for criminal investigation and prosecution by the Office of the Chief States Attorney. Matters like this can't just be ignored if we are to protect or even convince the voters of the integrity of the process. Fraud is not something that that can be condoned

Attempts to reach Coleman for comment were unsuccessful. Coleman is the brother of State Senator Eric Coleman


When you start going through documents given up as part of an FOI request, you never know what you will find. A couple of the e-mails that were provided as part of the package sent to comply with a Federal Grand Jury subpoena had to make me laugh.

A couple of the e-mails are below, but apparently someone at the Board of Education is concerned what "We the People" thinks of them. There in the file were copies of "We the People" blog postings that appear to be e-mailed to the Boards upper management team, including Paula Altieri and John Griffin.

As much as people say they don't read the blog, I am finding the opposite is true.


More e-mails from John Griffin for your reading pleasure. Concern or a hidden agenda, what do you think?


In response to my FOI request for e-mails related to Earl O'Garro and Hybrid Insurance, a couple thousand e-mails were provided. to me. I can't post them all here, but a few of the strings are very interesting to me and what motive was behind them. I am  not going to editorialize on them because I don't want to appear as though I am siding with Hartford's Treasurer Adam Cloud .

Did Cloud make mistakes and exercise poor judgment as an elected official, I think even he would answer yes. Was there criminal intent? You (as well as a Federal Grand Jury) can make that call but I don't think so.

Below is a sampling of e-mails from those provided to me in a file labeled "John Griffin Chief States Attorney" If you have the time read the file and see if you think Griffin was at getting to the truth and identifying a problem, or was it more about accusing "an elected official of Insurance fraud".

Keep in mind, there have been no allegations of Insurance fraud, except by Griffin, at any point in this matter, but Griffin mentions  it several times, even before any investigation was even started.

There are many more e-mails I will try to post to paint a clearer picture of the motivation behind this matter. I don't think it began with concerns over  a wire transfer


Earlier today I posted about the Paula Altieri e-mail between her and Board of Education member Richard Wareing in which she stated her displeasure with the hybrid matter being played out in the media. She stated that her "brief" was only supposed to be for Siperintendent of Schools Kishimoto and Mayor Segarra. Altieri was upset that the document was "leaked" to the press.

She stated that she "did as directed to do in this matter".

Below is the e-mail as several people e-mailing me today have requested


What is that saying about karma?

In an interesting twist this afternoon, Hartford Attorney Bruce Rubenstein was elected as Chairperson of the Hartford Internal Audit Commission. This move followed the welcoming of the newest Audit Commission member Ted See, a Hartford resident and retired attorney. The vote was unanimous in favor of Rubenstein taking over the Chairpersons position

 Hartford Deputy Corporation Counsel L. John Van Norden is most likely in his office at this very moment drafting an opinion that Rubenstein's vote was illegal and proposing  an ordinance change to prohibit the vote

Rubenstein has been relentless in digging into City issues since his appointment to the commission earlier this year


The issue regarding the actions of Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud and the wire payment to Hybrid Insurance is now playing out through the media and potentially a Federal Grand Jury.

How the matter originally came to light and what the motivation was still seems to be a looming question for many. Through e-mails obtained through a Freedom of Information request to the Hartford Schools, some pieces of the puzzle may be coming together.

 The timing of the incidents involved may lay some of the groundwork These are only my opinion but as we try to make sense out of this matter, a lot of things are starting to add up.

Sometime during the late summer, the attorney hired as the City of Hartford's Bond Counsel raised concerns to Treasurer Adam Cloud as to how Bond money, specifically "CIP" dollars ( Capitol Improvement Project) were being used by the Segarra Administration. CIP dollars were apparently being used to offset spending for items and purchases out of the City of Hartford General Fund.
These purchases were the subject of Finance department e-mails and warnings were also issued that they could potentially be violating Federal law in doing so.

In a string of e-mails between Hartford Comptroller Leigh Ann Ralls , Treasurer Cloud and India Cicero from DPW, the matter was discussed.

In one e-mail Ralls states that "He (Molleda) was told that we can't allow operating expenses in the capital projects. Bond money has to be used for the intent purpose stated in the bond documentation" According to sources , this had become a regular process to balance Hartford's General Fund Budget by floating CIP money to cover everyday expenses.

In one e-mail from DPW's Cicero to Comptroller Ralls Cicero states "I wish he knew this before the budget was adopted b/c now we have so much that isn't funded, where will the money come from now/" . Apparently floating the CIP money had become a regular budget balancing process at City Hall.and was counted on to facilitate everyday purchases such as truck tires and transmissions and supplies.

After being advised of the potential problems by his Bond Counsel, Treasurer Cloud requested an investigation into the use of the CIP funds. The Internal Audit Commission is apparently investigating the matter at this time.

It didn't make a lot of sense how the Hartford Schools and Altieri figured into the CIP matter until I began reviewing the e-mails I requested through FOI. These same e-mails were also requested by the subpoenas for the Federal Grand Jury.

In an e-mail from Board of Education member Richard Wareing to Hartford Schools CFO Paula Altieri, Superintendent Kishimoto, and Board Chair Matt Poland., Wareing states that "My sources inside City Hall tell me that the City is going to ask us for $3-5million to close out FY-13"

Further e-mails explain how the Hartford Schools would be asked to give over $3 million in General Fund money from their budget back to the City to allow Mayor Segarra and COO Saundra Kee-Borges to balance the City budget.

In return,  Segarra and Kee- Borges would provide the Hartford Schools with approximately $3 million dollars in CIP money to make up for the money they gave back. Again, CIP money is only supposed to be used for the specific intent it was received for, not to float around to offset budget gaps in the General Fund.

One source familiar with Bond law and Federal Regulations stated that such use outside of the intended usage could be a violation of Federal law and jeopardize the tax free status of bond sales which would severely hamper the City's ability to obtain funding in the future.

The swap plan to balance the City budget moved forward. and Paula Altieri apparently spoke with Kishimoto about the scheme "about her comfort level with exchanging operating dollars for CIP dollars. she was on board" according to Altieri's e-mail. Altieri went on in her e-mail to call the scheme a "win win" "it gives the City some flexibility to help aid in the budget gap"

Another e-mail from Wareing to CFO Altieri refers to unused payroll questions raised by former Finance Director Julio Molleda. Apparently Molleda was questioning their budget numbers for payroll and the possibility that the Board may have a "secret surplus of "millions" of dollars.
After the matter became public, CFO Altieri was apparently very upset that the matter was being played out in the media.. She expressed those concerns in an e-mail between herself and Richard Wareing on October 14, 2013. Altieri stated that " I , as well as John, ( John Griffin) did as directed to do in this matter" .

I think an important question would be "what were you directed to do?" and by who? Altieri claims in the e-mail it was to "prepare a brief". She apparently also claims that after the "brief' was released", she received anonymous calls at her home stating "you are in danger". Wareing replied that he was "sorry that this got into the press , I have suspicions but no evidence". We probably won't know what the motiviation is or was until hopefully the Federal Grand Jury is done. In the meantime it seems pretty clear that there is enough blame to go around for the original Hybrid mess, but it may just have uncovered far greater issues at City Hall.

Much more to come on this.