I first met Chief Huertas several years ago , and whether you agree with me of not, I found him to be an honorable man willing to stand his ground.
At the time Hartford Police were experiencing staffing issues and Huertas was on the road as a District Chief for HFD. A medical aid call had been dispatched , I believe it was a shooting after a robbery. Huertas and the Fire crew dispatched responded quickly but they couldn't enter the shooting scene until HPD was dispatched and determined the scene was safe. Knowing that the victim was laying only a few hundred feet away from help, yet HFD was helpless to potentially save the life of a victim who may be bleeding to death
Huertas repeatedly called the Police dispatcher asking for a cop so they could enter the scene .Several times he was told no officer was available. Huertas finally told the dispatcher that he didn't care what they had to do, get mutual aid from another Police Department or request a Trooper to respond, but he needed a cop, and he needed them now.
Somehow , once Huertas reached his frustration level, he made sure the right thing was done, a police officer was found to respond and most likely the victim's life was saved. Later that evening I found Chief Huertas at the former Fire Headquarters building on Pearl Street and thanked him for what he did and for standing up for a Hartford resident and potentially saving the victims life by standing his ground.
He was surprised that anyone was even aware what he had did, but that left an impression with me that Huertas wasn't into the image games, but was willing to do what was right when it was needed.
I thought it was important to tell that story to emphasize why I think Chief Huertas has integrity and character.
Now once again I am calling on Chief Huertas to do the right thing and set an example by doing what he knows is right when he is pushed to his frustration level. I have heard all of the stories of how Terry Waller was promoted to Deputy Chief. As the story has been retold to me by numerous people, Former Chief Casares was called into the office of at the time Acting COO SKB and asked right out "you are going to make Terry a Deputy Chief, right ?" to which Casares apparently replied "NO". That sealed Casares's fate and he was forced into retirement almost immediately.
Then comes along Casares replacement, Chief Huertas. According to numerous sources familiar with HFD and Chief Huertas, the Chief was told that his appointment was contingent on his Assistant Chief choice. Chief Shapiro, who was more than competent as Acting Assistant Chief, was returned back to the streets of Hartford as a District Chief and Waller ascended to his throne , apparently courtesy of SKB.
Now apparently the fix is in courtesy of a corrupt administration led by Mayor Caviar and his rack of lamb crew. Surprise, surprise Terry Waller is the only capable, qualified candidate. No testing, no training assessment, not even management experience requirements. Terry is the guy because he is Sandy's guy.
It is demoralizing for anyone who wishes to move up through the ranks based on merit and not based upon sleeping with a political hack. I know that is a crude assessment, but it is the reality.
Chief Huertas, we all know how the game is played. The choice is now yours. Play the game and potentially endanger the lives of the men and women you have worked with all your career, or say hell no to the little Gigolo and stand up for what you know is the right choice. If they force you out you can at least leave with your head held right , knowing you did what is right for the men and women of the Hartford Fire Department and the people of Hartford.
No job is worth selling your soul, especially to this group. Although I doubt that they have the guts to force you out if you do the right thing. The Hartford Courant is now digging into this, and if the calls I'm getting are on the mark, calls are being made to numerous outside agencies requesting a full review of how the Caviar crew are using the City of Hartford for their own game. I think it is hard to get the attention of the US Attorney's Office, but when you do...watch out.
When it comes to low hanging fruit of corruption, it doesn't get much easier than Hartford City Hall.
Chief Huertas do what you know is right and stand your ground, for your own reputation and the legacy of your time as the Chief of HFD and for your fellow firefighters. Read some of the comments... we will have your back and support you for doing the right thing
To read the Courant's article ,click here