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Thursday, December 31, 2015

BRONIN ANNOUNCES KEY APPOINTMENTS

(HARTFORD, CT) – Mayor-Elect Luke Bronin today announced his intention to nominate the following individuals to lead departments in his incoming administration, subject to approval by the City Council:

•  Sean M. Fitzpatrick, JD, Director of Development Services

•  Reginald D. Freeman, MS/CFO/FIFireE, Fire Chief

•  Melissa McCaw, MPA, Director of the Office of Management and Budget

•  Gary Rhule, MD/MPH, Director of Health and Human Services


•  Howard Rifkin, JD, Corporation Counsel

Marilynn Cruz-Aponte, who currently serves as the Acting Deputy Director in the Department of Public Works, will serve as the Acting Director of the Department of Public Works.

Mayor-Elect Bronin intends to renominate Dr. Jose Colón-Rivas, Director of the Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation, and Sabina Sitaru, Chief Innovation Officer, Metro Hartford Innovation Services.  Police Chief James Rovella will continue to serve under his existing contract with the City of Hartford.

“I’m proud to have recruited a experienced and diverse group of nominees who are committed to building a stronger Hartford,” said Bronin.  “This is a terrific team, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come to bring leadership, accountability and action to Hartford’s City Hall.”

For a biography of each new appointee announced today, see below.

Marilynn Cruz-Aponte has held public works leadership positions in Hartford and New Britain over the course of her twenty-six year career, specializing in solid waste, fleet and streets operations planning including policy, procedure and program development, review and implementation. Her earlier career was spent working for nearly ten years as an Environmental Aide to Connecticut Governor William A. O’Neill.  She prepared and successfully advocated for the United States’ first mattress recycling law, and she drove the implementation of Hartford’s single-stream recycling program in 2008, which increased recycling by 111% that year and has resulted in waste disposal savings of more than $3.2 million over the past seven years.  She holds an MA in Social Work Administration from the Catholic University of America and a BA in Sociology from Saint Joseph College for Women.

Sean M. Fitzpatrick most recently served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, appointed to lead reform efforts at the agency in the wake of the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal.  Before entering government service in 2014, Mr. Fitzpatrick spent two decades in the insurance industry in Metro Hartford and New York, helping to establish one of the region’s most successful insurance start-ups, Executive Risk Inc., in the 1990s and later serving in senior executive roles with Chubb and The Hartford.  Mr. Fitzpatrick has served as chair of Simsbury’s Economic Development Commission and was named “Business Leader of the Year” by the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce in 2000 in recognition of his work on retail development and zoning reform. Mr. Fitzpatrick has served as a board member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and as an adjunct professor at UConn Law School.  He is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.

Reginald D. Freeman currently serves as Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. Prior to this appointment, Chief Freeman served as the Assistant Chief/Deputy Director of Emergency Management for the City of Hartford as well as Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia, where he was named Professional of the Year in 2009.  Chief Freeman served in Iraq as a civilian Fire Chief for the U.S. Department of Defense and coalition allies from 2004 to 2008, providing all-hazards fire and emergency services to forward and continuing operating bases throughout Iraq.  He received a BA from Bellevue University and earned his masters in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University.  He is a graduate and Fellow of Harvard University’s Senior Executives for State & Local Government program at the Kennedy School of Government.

Melissa McCaw is a seasoned professional with fourteen years’ experience in budgeting, finance, data analytics and strategic leadership. She currently serves as the Budget Director for the University of Hartford. In this capacity, Ms. McCaw also co-chaired Strategic Planning initiatives to strengthen the University’s financial and business model, maximize the use of assets and technology, and streamline operations.  Previously, Ms. McCaw worked at the State Office of Policy and Management Budget and Financial Management Division for eight years, developing her expertise in government budgeting, policy analysis and legislative affairs. She graduated from Wesleyan University and received a masters in public administration with a certificate in public financial management from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Gary Rhule is a former emergency room physician who has also worked in community medicine, managed care, and in health care consulting. In addition, he is the author of Sailing on Broken Pieces: Essential Survival Skills for Recovery from Mental Illness, an award-winning literary work depicting the intersection of emergency medicine and mental illness. Currently, Dr. Rhule works as a medical director consultant for Community Health Network of Connecticut. Previously, he has served in several leadership roles, including as Vice President of Health Care Services and Medical Director for Charter Oak Health Care Center in Hartford, CT. Dr. Rhule is a graduate of Weaver High School, Amherst College, and the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He also holds a masters in public health in healthcare policy from the Johns Hopkins University and an MBA in Finance and Healthcare Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He is involved in several non-profit boards, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Connecticut Chapter; the Jacob L. and Lewis Fox Foundation; and the Friends of Keney Park.

Howard Rifkin has spent more than 30 years serving as a policy and legal advisor to several elected officials in the State of Connecticut, including as general counsel to Governor William A. O’Neill.  He has also served as deputy to Secretary of the State Miles Rapoport, and deputy and counsel to Treasurer Denise Nappier.  Most recently, he joined the staff of Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman as legal and policy adviser.  Prior to his role in Lt. Governor Wyman’s office, Mr. Rifkin served a three-year tenure as executive director of the Partnership for Strong Communities, a nonprofit group with a focus on creating affordable housing and ending homelessness.  In this role, he and Mayor-Elect Bronin worked together on Governor Malloy’s initiative to end homelessness among veterans.  Mr. Rifkin has a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in Political Science, a J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, and attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government program on State and Local Government.

In addition, to the aforementioned nominees, the following individuals will be joining the incoming administration:
  • Kiley Gosselin, Deputy of Development Services.  Kiley Gosselin most recently worked as an analyst at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.  Prior to that role, she was an associate for 6 years in the low-income housing tax credit syndication group of Holland & Knight and a policy analyst at the Partnership for Strong Communities. She is a graduate of Rice University and UConn Law School.
  • David Tanner, Deputy of Public Works.  David Tanner spent the past seven years as an attorney for the U.S. Green Building Council, helping develop policies and procedures associated with the LEED certification programs and advising on the mission and operation of the organization.  He has experience in construction and transportation policy and is a graduate of the University of Colorado and UConn Law School.




  • Jamie Bratt, Director of Planning and Economic Development.  Jamie Bratt was most recently the Director of Economic & Community Development of Trumbull, CT, and previously worked for a Washington, D.C.-based business improvement district focused on smart growth and for a large private development firm.  She is a graduate of Trinity College and of Virginia Tech, where she received a masters in planning.


  • Donald Chapman, Director of Small Business and Community Development.  Donald Chapman is a management professional with over 30 years of experience.  Currently, Don serves as a Principal Planner with the City of Hartford Planning Division.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.


  • Dianne Jones, Director for Re-entry Services and Promise Zone Community Empowerment.  Dianne Jones has most recently helped promote nonviolence as a trainer and community liaison for Connecticut Center for Nonviolence, and she has been very actively involved in local nonprofit community organizations.  She holds a degree from the University of Missouri and is obtaining a masters from Cambridge College.



THE FLOOD GATES ARE OPENING, AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

 I guess I am not the only one optimistic and hopeful about the future of Hartford.

The last couple of days have seen my volume of phone calls greatly increase with information. Most of those calls have been from people involved or knowledgeable of City operations . They all know I protect my sources, but it still takes guts to make the call.

Whether it is about pay raises going under the radar for the HR Director or last minute spending by the acting Assistant Fire Chief. ( For some reason that Acting Assistant Fire Chief may soon be named Acting Chief until the replacement for Huertas arrives. Again , why I am not sure  because sources have told me actively campaigned for Segarra with the rank and file) Burt back to my point, apparently the Acting Assistant Chief has been spending money the last couple weeks like a drunken sailor ( sorry to any sailors) in an effort to circumvent any belt tightening that is expected by a new Administration.

I am also being told that Fire Chief Huertas's last day with HFD will be January 13th, 2016. His replacement  will take office January 25th reportedly. That only leaves HFD with two weeks under direct Union control and the acting Chief..

Many of the tips received recently are still in the process of being researched and obtaining documents. So if you haven't seen your info posted here yet, rest assured I am working on them. I appreciate all of your help. None of this would be possible without your help. In closing, a new Administration does not mean your diligence is no longer need. We heard the word "accountability"
quite often during the campaign, and even though things appear to be  going in the right direction, proper accountability will keep that progress moving.

Thank you all again, readers and contributors and commenter's alike, A  healthy and Happy New Year to you all. And special best wishes to our New Mayor Luke Bronin and especially his family who will have to put up with his call to service once again.

And to our new Council Members, never forget the great trust the people of Hartford have placed in you. Never let them down but more importantly, never forget why you are there

HARTFORD'S CRIME PROBLEMS: DID ANYONE SEE IT COMING?

The short and quick answer is yes.

Through an FOI request to HPD I had asked for documentation on any requests related to Police Staffing and the need to hire police officers in Hartford.

The responsive documents went back as far as 2013, when Chief James Rovella and his staff began raising the red flags for City Hall. The e-mails and documents from the request are rather voluminous, but they portray the scene of a Council and Mayor that should have been fully aware of the ramifications that drops in staffing would cause.

I guess it came down to priorities, and apparently shootings and homicides were not a priority.  If only some of the money that was disbursed through apparent fraud for the Dillon Stadium project and the debt that has been and will continue to be incurred by the Yard Goats project had actually been put into priorities, imagine how different things might be. How many families would still be celebrating holidays and the lives of loved ones taken by crime?

 It makes me wonder why we spend the money on a Police Chief and his Command Staff if the Council and Mayor choose to disregard his professional advice.


How many homicides could have been prevented if only Chief Rovella's proposal had been properly considered by Council President Wooden and Councilman Kennedy. If the money wasn't there for hiring, that is one thing. But if the money was there and instead  funneled to sweetheart deals like Dillon Stadium, that is shameful, and may actually prove criminal as the Grand Jury results move forward.

The documents are voluminous, but they interesting reading and show the number of attempts by HPD to get City Hall to see the light and avoid the impending disaster of an understaffed Police Department. Its where we are today and we are now paying the price for inaction by our so called "leaders"

I can only hope the next City Council and Mayor pay attention to Chief Rovella's recommendations.

All that we are asking  is give Peace a chance

For more on Police staffing, you can read the consultants report below



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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

COLLATERAL DAMAGE ?

I fully understand the severe housecleaning that is going on at Hartford City Hall. It is long overdue and I commend Luke Bronin for hitting the ground running. We need it.

Word this afternoon is that Darryl, COO is out. That makes sense since Hill was supposedly in charge of the oversight of many of Hartford's bad deals. He also serves on the Stadium Authority, supervising a project that is at least $10 million over budget and most likely much more by opening day. Hill was a signatory on most of the Dillon Stadium payments now being investigated by a Federal Grand Jury.

Word is that Hill cleaned out his City Hall Office this past weekend.

Kejuan Dillard is another City Hall staffer shown the door, long overdue. Dillard began his career with the City after great success in putting up lawn signs during the first Eddie Perez campaign. His reward was a high paying job in the former Mayor's Office.Dillard then went on to prove his benefit to the taxpayers of Hartford by neglecting to bill contractors for more than $3 million dollars in invoices for City services provided by HPD and other agencies for special events.

 Nelky Maldonado , the daughter of State Representative Millie Gonzalez has also been shown the door. Nelky landed in the Segarra Office just in time for campaign season. She has been bouncing around City Hall for years but could never find her niche, but having Minnie as your mother apparently equals job security... until now.

Several other separations from City service I can fully understand and appreciate.

One I can't understand is the reported termination of Licenses and Inspections Director Dan Loos. I don't know if it is fallout from the Deller fiasco. But I know Dan Loos as the ultimate professional in his department. My relationship with Loos could have been a very difficult.

As an outspoken critic of City Hall, it could have potentially put me in a difficult  position as a licensed contractor that needs to obtain electrical permits from L&I to get my "real" job done. It had been a problem in the past, but never under Dan Loos. He always seemed to be very professional and never political.

Under Loos, building permits that used to take months to get now just took days .Inspections for completed jobs now took a matter of hours to get scheduled and have an inspector show up, not weeks.

Several advancements took place under Loos's direction that helped to make Hartford appear as a business friendly City. One project currently under way between Loss , L&I and MHIS is the on-line permitting process. This was supposed to be "live" sometime in February. Who knows now.

Loos could frequently be seen around the City on nights and weekends checking on permitted projects like block parties and other events to make sure they were in compliance with their permits.

There may be reasons I am not aware of, but Dan Loos always appeared to me to be the type of City employee we would want.

WILL HR DIRECTOR BURGOS NOW FOLLOW ADAM CLOUDS LEAD?

After a public(and political outcry) Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud today announced that he will be giving up and repaying any payment already received of his $20,000.00 pay increase. The increase raised many questions about the process, but now at least one more raise issued to a department head should be raising some red flags and even more questions about the process.

It now appears that Hartford's Human Resources Director is not immune to the pay raise bug. It appears that HR Director Henry  Burgos has received several raises in his short tenure with the City of almost  $20,000.00. Actually close to the amount received by Cloud. Burgos was a vocal critic of the Cloud raise, but apparently has no trouble keeping his own pay bumps quiet.

In documents uncovered today by 'We the People" , Burgos received a pay increase shortly after being hired.

Burgos was apparently given a pay raise of  $4,000 shortly after being hired , 4 months later was given another $10,000 raise , 6 months later he was given anther $3,000 raise for a total of $17,000 in less than 2 years

Burgos's pay raises have totaled $17,000 in the short time he has been with the city, only a couple thousand less than the $20, 000 raise Cloud proposed for himself. Burgos's raises also don't have any air of transparency around them either.

Burgos was originally hired at a salary of $140,000. but in a very short time increased his annual salary to  almost $160,000 according to the City's documents. That would put Burgos on par with the City Treasurer's salary if the Treasurer hadn't done the right thing and given up his increase.

The HR Department has approximately 16 employees. That is far less than the Police Department at over 400 sworn and Civilian employees and the Fire Department with similar numbers, yet Burgos is being paid substantially more than either the Fire Chief or Police Chief.

It is unclear at this time what process was followed for Burgos's raises. Did he do it himself or did someone higher up sign off on the raises and why? The City's "form B" which will show who initiated the raises and who signed off on them have been requested but haven't been provided as of yet.

And why should Adam Cloud be any different than Henry Burgos .

And if that isn't enough, I'll be looking at Henry Burgos's travel records , his recent trip to Las Vegas ,with him and his secretary on the City's dime, another interesting travel companion, also paid for by the City and the potential connection to the Dillon Stadium Grand Jury and James Duckett.

Stay tuned.


HARTFORD TREASURER ADAM CLOUD'S STATEMENT ON RESCINDING HIS RAISE

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud today issued a statement that he will not be taking a raise after much discussion amongst City Hall politicos and media. Cloud's statement is below followed by the statement of Mayor elect Bronin and a request for the Internal Audit Commission to investigate the circumstances of the raise from outgoing Councilperson Ken Kennedy.

Thank you Adam for doing the right thing.






Mayor-elect Luke Bronin today released the following statement: 

"I'm glad that Treasurer Cloud has made the decision to reject the raise and reimburse the taxpayers.  It’s clearly the right decision.  I’ve had conversations with Treasurer Cloud, and he recognizes that whether or not the raise was legal and whether or not a raise was justifiable, the process was simply not transparent or proper.  Taxpayers deserve transparency and accountability, and while the Treasurer is fully entitled to ask the City Council to review his compensation in the future, there needs to be an open, thorough process before the public eye.  As I prepare to take office, I plan to lead by example.  Under the City Charter, the Mayor’s salary is set at the level of a Superior Court Judge, which would be $167,634 at the beginning of a new term.  As we prepare make hard choices to address a substantial budget deficit, I will work as many days unpaid as are necessary throughout the year to return $20,000 of my salary to the taxpayers, so that my salary will remain at the level of $147,600."



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

JUST A THOUGHT

 In this morning's Courant there was an article by Steve Goode about last nights Council resolution to rescind Adam Clouds raise. The author of that resolution, Councilman Ken Kennedy was quoted in the article.

"Kennedy said that if the raise is not challenged, the city's credibility with voters and staff members will be called into question and a precedent will be set for department heads to award themselves raises that are buried in their department budgets or have them approved clandestinely."

Does the Councilman not think that dirty deals like Dillon Stadium and the Yard Goats Stadium have  not eroded trust and confidence in Hartford City Hall. The Dillon Stadium deal has actually led to an investigation by a Federal Grand Jury and may actually ensnare more in Hartford City Government and damage "credibility with voters".  And not just voters, all Hartford residents as well as our suburban neighbors  as well .

And as I recall, weren't the Yard Goats approved "clandestinely".

Just a thought,

Monday, December 28, 2015

COUNCILMAN KENNEDY'S LAST OFFICIAL ACT (HALLELUJAH)


UPDATE:9:00pm, Once again, Councilman Kennedy showed his effectiveness as a Councilperson and his resolution failed to gain the votes to pass. Two of the co-authors abstained from the vote and Councilman Deutsch was a no show for the meeting.

COUNTDOWN TO A NEW BEGINNING

MY CRYSTAL BALL IS OUT OF ORDER

My crystal ball doesn't seem to be working right. The majority of the calls I have received recently have been in regards to the future of City Hall with people asking me "What is Luke going to do?". The answer is, I don't know.

I have high hopes for the future of Hartford, starting right away on January 1st.. My immediate response would be that the bar hasn't been set too high  by the Segarra Administration. With that being said, there is so much work to be done, it is going to take a concerted team effort by the best that Mayor Bronin can find to begin immediate progress.

Department head choices will be very important to bring both continuity and accountability to City Government. I think the biggest flaw by Segarra, besides his lack of leadership, was his inability to make proper choices  and select competent department heads  for all city agencies.

Too many departments were in constant flux or void of any direction by poor choices. Several key departments had "acting" department heads for most of Segarra's term. DPW and Finance are two of those Departments. Most people, including City employees want leadership and direction, and with that comes accountability. "Acting" positions don't bring that to the operation.

The finance department, with some solid leadership would have avoided many of the pitfalls that proved embarrassing to Segarra. P-Cards and insurance payments are two instances that come to mind. If the City credit cards were being properly monitored and audited, rather than receipts being kept in a shoebox on a shelf, someone might have noticed caviar and rack of lamb charges before it became a huge mess.

If proper procedures were being followed, no checks would have been cut for the O'Garro insurance payments. If the warrant for payment had not been attached to the request for payment, no check could have been cut. The policy was in place, just no accountability to following it. We need a finance director who is more concerned about Hartford's actual finances rather than how many Girl Scout cookies are sold out of the office.

Department of Public Works- Where to begin here? Proper management and accountability is key here. I think it may have gotten a little better under its "acting" Director, but it needs steady, strong management. This is one of the high profile departments that tell our neighbors whether Hartford is being run properly or not. Are the streets being plowed? Are potholes being repaired? Are our parks in decent condition?

It is a tough Department to manage. It is difficult to motivate employees if they feel they aren't being respected. Workers comp claims and injuries are high, much of that because of the nature of the work. In a cash strapped City, we need a Director who has an eye toward automation on some of the labor intensive processes such as trash pickup . The "one arm bandit " type trash pickups would eliminate the human factor in  much of the trash operation  as well as the back injury type claims. It wouldn't require any lay-offs, but may free up workers for other duties and attrition would solve some of the issues.

An "adopt -a spot-program", similar to those used in many other City's and towns would also help keep our parks and public spaces presentable. I have tried several times to present such a program, even provided Council members with an outline and all of the release forms used in Waterbury, but it has never gotten off the ground here.

The next DPW Director also needs to make Hartford's Flood Control a serious priority. It has been ignored for far too long, to the point some question its stability as to where there are questions if it will actually hold up, or can we make downtown a marina after the next disastrous flood.

MHIS- Aside from the updated name change, no real changes needed here. With the exception of the 311 system. Either get it fixed or scrap it and allocate the savings somewhere else where it is needed. I haven't been hearing the complaints regarding 311 that I used to get regularly, so maybe the move out of the Dispatch Center control to MHIS is working.

Hartford Fire Department- Where do I begin on this one? HFD needs something it hasn't seen in years... solid leadership, strong management and much better decision making. Assuming that there is a change in management (I don't see how there can not be ) the next Chief needs to be a top notch manager.

I don't think we need a Fire Chief that knows how to hook up to a fire hydrant. We need a fire Chief that understands labor law and proper decision making to start avoiding many of the law suits and labor claims that have been the hallmark of HFD for several years now. We need the type of decision making  and leadership that you often see in the Corporate world where poor decisions are hardly ever rewarded , but do result in unemployment slips.

Poor decision making on many labor issues have been overturned by the Labor Board and Courts to the tune of hundreds of thousand dollars in back benefits and legal costs, and that number promises to escalate as more of these poor decisions move through the legal pipeline.

HFD alo needs to establish a " community policing " type plan for the Fire department. Firefighters need to get out of the firehouses more and start interacting with the Community. Whether that is sometype of fire safety inspections or even attending more community meetings and events. We have seen the number of fatal and serious fires increasing.

If there isn't enough budget money to make the state mandated annual inspections, "walk thoughs" of a building by firefighters can locate and identify serious deficiencies fur further inspection by the Fire Marshall's Office.I routinely am in buildings with serious issues, locked or blocked emergency exits are just a couple things that even I can identify, a firefighter walking though surely could.

Remember after the Station Nightclub fire in Providence several years ago, the City routinely showed up at bars and places of assembly checking for occupancy and safety issues,. When was the last time you saw or heard of that happening in Hartford ?


I think the next leader for HFD needs to understand that the Firefighters Union has a role in protecting its employees, but Union leadership is not charged with management or day to day operations.

HPD- It has been a bad year for high profile crime in Hartford, homicides and shootings to be specific. This is one of those cases where doing more with less just doesn't work. City hall, specifically the Council needs to step up and do their part. As of today HPD is apparently at 389 officers, far short of the 482  officers most say they should be at. (A few years ago, Hartford took Federal money "COPS Grants" and agreed to maintain staffing level of 465 officers. we are no where near that now)

Trips to the White House do nothing, unless you are returning with checks to hire cops. Chief Rovella and his forward , creative thinking deserves to continue.  He needs the support of the Council, not just support or lip service at budget time or election time. Rovella has had a strong impact on the safety of Hartford by creative programs like the Shooting Task Force , and his support of Project Longevity and Prosper. The latter two being programs that will continue to show the benefits years from now as the culture of lawlessness is changed in Hartford.

And for those that think they are ready for "prime time" and Rovella's job, think twice. Your time may come, but right now we need a Chief with Jim Rovella's management qualities.

In the current climate of Law Enforcement in this country we should be thankful we have a Chief Rovella type at the helm. Community policing and relationships are clearly a priority in Hartford, and you can see that first hand by watching our CSO's interact with community members at various meetings across the City.

The mounted unit is also an example. Despite numerous attempts to eliminate  them at budget times, the horses ( and the officers that ride them) are one of the best public relations tools that money can't buy. It is probably an important time to start a real effort for corporate sponsorships for the mounted unit to avoid any attempts to cut spending and eliminate the unit.

Corporation Counsel- An effort needs to be made to find a City Attorney that can better evaluate and staff the Corp Counsel Office. I think even as far as labor law, much better decisions can be made . Possibly lawyers with more precise expertise in certain areas, such as ;labor law, need to be recruited. Corporation Counsel Office can no longer be the clearing house for  political patronage and payback for well connected law firms.  Things as basic as real estate closings  and FOI complaints should be handled in house by staff. Either that or eliminate staff, it doesn't make sense to have both.

I am going to stop here, because these are the Departments that I feel comfortable writing about, but all departments are important when it comes to the proper functioning of City Hall. It needs to be an entire team effort and accountability needs to be the key phrase. Accountability to the overall operation and accountability to the people the departments serve.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

HARTFORD STF, BLOOMFIELD PD AND MANCHESTER PD COOPERATION YIELDS BIG RESULTS

Cooperation pays off. More guns off our streets

On 12/23/15 at approximately 1700 hrs, Manchester Police along with the Hartford Police Shooting Task Force to include Bloomfield PD, executed a search and seizure warrant for a stolen firearm at 66 Regent Street in Manchester.

Surveillance was established prior to execution resulting in one of the targets of the investigation being detained (Christon Jackson 11/28/90) prior to officers arrival at the residence.  Upon Manchester Police and Shooting Task Force arrival, detectives noticed a male watching from an second story bedroom window. The male was observed quickly retreating into the bedroom and down into a stairwell.

 Entry was immediately forced to the residence and one male subject was detained in the downstairs living room  identified as Cryshawn Jackson 10/7/92.  Officers cleared the residence and discovered an empty leater  the room  holster in the upstairs bedroom that the male was watching from.  A firearm was found underneath a mattress in the room where an adult female was sitting with two small children.  A Beretta PX4 Storm .40 Caliber handgun fully loaded with a chambered round (Serial # PZ48722) was recovered from underneath the mattress ,where the children were sitting. The firearm had been  reported stolen from Manchester in August.  During the investigation numerous firearm related items were seized to include 12 gauge slug and buck shot gun shells, 9mm ammunition, .380 Ammunition, .38 special ammunition, holsters and sawed off shotgun handles.  
Once the initial search was complete,  a delivery of a  firearm to the residence took place while officers were still on scene.  At approximately 2100 hours, a black Mazda  bearing CT registration 1AUMJ6, pulled into the driveway and was subsequently secured by officers. The driver, Rahnda Charles DOB 6/9/95, was in possession of a Walther P99 9mm handgun (Serial # FAH7651) fully loaded with 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, The weapon had been reported stolen this month out of Manchester.  The front seat passenger, Kemo Teal DOB 12/21/96, was in possession of a silver Walther PPK handgun (Serial # A064404) fully loaded with 5 rounds of .380 ammunition.

Charles and Teal were taken into custody without incident. 

A fourth handgun, a loaded Ruger LCP .380 handgun (Serial # 37184506), was recovered from Christon Jackson's vehicle.  This firearm was reported stolen out of Hebron in May 2015.

The below listed suspects were charged in relation to this case:

Rahnda Charles (5/9/1995), of  90 Orchard Street, Manchester, CT. 53a-212 Theft of a Firearm, 53a-217 Criminal Possession of Firearm, 29-35 Carrying Pistol without a Permit, 29-38 Weapons in Motor Vehicle.
Christon Jackson (11/28/1990), of  66 Regent Street, Manchester, CT. 53a-212 Theft of a Firearm, 29-35 Carrying Pistol without a Permit, 29-38 Weapons in Motor Vehicle, 53a-217 Criminal Possession of Firearm, 53-21 (a)(1) Risk of Injury to a Minor (2 Counts), 21a-279a(a)(1) Possession of <1 b="" marijuana.="" oz="">
Cryshawn Jackson (10/7/1992), of 66 Regent Street, Manchester, CT. 53a-212 Theft of a Firearm, 53-21 (a)(1) Risk of Injury to a Minor (2 Counts), 21a-279a(a)(1) Possession of <1 br="" marijuana.="" oz="">Kemo Teal (12/21/1996), of 10 North Fairfield Street, Manchester, CT. 29-35 Carrying Pistol without a Permit, 21a-279a(a)(1) Possession of <1 b="" marijuana.="" oz="">
Evidence:
Beretta PX4 Storm .40 Caliber handgun (Serial # PZ48722) Walther P99 9mm handgun (Serial # FAH7651) Walther PPK .380 handgun (Serial # A064404) Ruger LCP .380 handgun (Serial # 37184506) Misc ammunition and firearm parts Misc amounts of suspected marijuana

ENGINE 14 PHOTOS

Thank you for the photo.

You can read the original post here  http://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/2015/12/restoring-pride-in-hfd-and-some.html

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

NOW IS NOT THE TIME ADAM, PLEASE

Many of you have talked to me personally about my support for our City Treasurer Adam Cloud. Adam took a lot of heat over the O'Garro insurance payment matter. In conversations he explained to me, and I agree, it was poor decisions on his part. It was also because the entire chain of procedural errors throughout City Hall led to the mess. It wasn't just the Treasurer's Offices that slipped up .It was the whole process. The COO, the Finance Director, the Comptroller, they were all asleep at the switch , or in legal terms, co-conspirators

And as a sidenote, if there was criminal involvement by Adam Cloud in the payment, I kind of think it would have come out before O'Garro's Federal trial where incidentally he was convicted on all counts of the frauds he was charged with.

But unfortunately, poor decisions in the Treasurers Office are once again rearing their ugly head. Adam Cloud is being criticized for the reported $20,000 raise he is taking  since his re-election. This is one decision I can not support. Yes, everyone is entitled to a salary. Adam does manage a large amount of money, especially with the City Pension Funds. But it is called Public Service for a reason. If the Treasurers salary of roughly $140,000 isn't enough, then Mr. Cloud needs to make a decision if it might be time to return to the private sector where the sky is the limit.

There are far worse choices that could be at the helm in the Treasurer's Office .We should be thankful that Adam and his knowledge are managing Hartford's finances.

Giving ones self a raise of $20,000 is not conducive to trust in government. Compounding that is the fact that no one is willing to give a solid explanation how it was slid through under the budgetary radar. I doubt vey much Cloud can tell Payroll to boost his salary by 20 grand on his own. Did the COO or the HR Director help slide it through ,or maybe someone in the Budget Office thought they could bury the increase in the budget?

Yes, the Treasurer is an important position in City Finances and City government , but no more important than other Department Heads . To the best of my knowledge no other Department Head is slated for a 20 grand raise this year.

And for a city that is quite possibly close to a State takeover or bankruptcy, Clouds raise is bad policy. How do we continue to ask employees for concessions at budget time every year and also ask most Departments to do more with less.

It is time for all of  those in City leadership, including Mr. Cloud to lead by example  and get a grip on reality. Mr. Clouds raise is more than many of the household incomes in our City, and it is a bad start for his new term.

Please reconsider this move Adam.

In the meantime, the Hartford City Council may be taking action at Monday nights meeting to stop the raise.

LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU APPRECIATE THEM

On July 5th of this year after suffering my stroke, I have had plenty of time to think about things I would have done differently in my life. Did I take the time to tell people in my life how much I appreciated them?

 I want to draw attention to someone today. Someone I hardly even know, but someone I am also very impressed with. The video below is a video this person posted today on his Facebook page. This young man lost his father way too early to Cancer. But despite that loss of his father, he has grown into a young man that his father, if he was still alive today would be extremely proud of. . He is leading his life as an example that many of our youth should emulate.

From what I understand he is currently attending college and when he completes that he will be entering the United States  Marine Corps. From what I am told he is also showing public service to his home community as a firefighter with the Town of Wethersfield. Just a look at his Facebook page will tell you how well he was raised with a strong emphasis on family, community and service to his Country.

Michael Fallon Jr. is that young man, the son of the late HPD Assistant Police Chief  and Capitol Police Chief Michael Fallon.

The way Michael has grown despite the loss of his father should be the way every parent would want their children to enter adulthood. As tragic as the 9/11 video below is, I can picture Mike Fallon performing very similar acts if called upon. It is just the way he was raised.

All of our young people, especially in Hartford, could take a message from Fallon's life. Putting a 9mm handgun  in your pocket and acting like a tough guy does not make a man. A man is judged by his everyday acts and the service to his community. Michael Fallon jr. is well on the way to meet those marks and I am sure his father is proud as he watches the growth of his son,

Even though I don't know you well Michael Fallon, keep it up, we need more young men like you and Welles Crowther, the young hero portrayed in the you tube video below.. This video is very moving and thought provoking and as tragic as the ending was, you can tell Welles parents  thought, and still think the world of him. They clearly raised him right.



Monday, December 21, 2015

RESTORING PRIDE IN HFD AND SOME CHRISTMAS SPIRIT


The first in a new HFD tradition, Engine 8 /Tac 1 on Park St
The view from my bedroom window, Engine 5 on Sigourney St

The last few nights, I have noticed the view from my bedroom window has changed. My neighbor across the street, Hartford Fire Department Station, Engine 5 has been lit with bright Christmas lights. It seems as though more lights and decorations have been added for the last couple nights.

I never noticed the decorations in years past. On Saturday there was an accident by my driveway and Engine 5 was on scene providing EMS care. I noticed the engine was decorated showing holiday spirit, complete with a large wreath and tinsel.

My curiosity got the best of me and I started asking questions about the decorations. I was told that it was a social media campaign started by Hartford Fire Lieutenant Raul Ortiz on his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/raul.ortiz.5494 After the decorations were complete on Lt. Ortiz's Engine 8 on Park Street. Lt. Ortiz threw out the challenge to the other  Hartford Firehouses  to start a friendly competition to show their Holiday Spirit and to build morale in the Department.

It seems to be catching on and it is amazing how little things can show leadership. The Hartford Fire Department has been through a couple of tough years. Maybe ideas by leaders like Lt Ortiz can jump start the rebuilding efforts (well, that and a new Chief)

Congratulations to Lieutenant Ortiz for your efforts and also for showing that Hartford does have pride.

The sad part is that the way this Department has been run recently and the poor decision making at  the top, Ortiz will probably get a 90 suspension for unauthorized  use of electricity.

If any other house would like to send me decoration pictures, e-mail them to me and I will post them.

COUNTDOWN TO A NEW BEGINNING

  A reader earlier this evening posted a question for me on the blog. "Kevin- I know this is slightly off topic. Do you have any opinion on mayor-elect Bronin's first round of appointments that were announced today? "

I have to say ,quite honestly, I have no opinion on those announced so far. I am encouraged that there are names that I am not familiar with.  What we really need at City hall is a new way of doing business , and that is only going to come with new ideas and fresh people at the helm.

I have to say that one of the first things I find very encouraging is that Luke appears to be ready to hit the ground running. Unlike our current Mayor who many times seemed as though he couldn't make a decision if his life depended on it. Think about how many "acting" Directors we had in key management positions. Maybe that is why there never seemed to be a lot of managing going on.

Name one position in the Corporate world that would allow a position like that of our embattled Fire Chief to go unchanged after the history of mismanagement and poor decision making that we have seen the last couple years.

From the Finance Director  who apparently kept receipts in a shoebox on a shelf  to the COO who had no problem signing off on numerous apparently fraudulent invoices for duplicate work or work that was never done in the first place. The next Administration needs consistency. Key positions can not be left vacant for extended periods like Segarra was always ready to do.

Many of our problems under Pedro Segarra could have been averted with basic management principles and adherence to policy and procedures, many of which were already in place, just never followed.

People throughout City Government should be mentored ,trained and groomed for advancement. That is a basic business management concept. If any one of us drops dead tomorrow, it is nice to know that work continues on, that is called proper management. And most City Departments are staffed by good people who just want to be properly managed. We haven't seen that in recent years, whether it is the Fire Department  DPW or the Public Safety Dispatch Center, supervision and management is key.

We also need to bring sound customer service concepts back to City Government. Phones need to be answered, calls need to be returned and most importantly, constituents need to feel as though they are being listened to and respected by their government. When a resident is promised a response, they deserve that appropriate response on a timely basis. Not everyone can be kept happy. Being in business myself I realize that, but I wouldn't have remained in the same business for over 25 years if I treated my customers like City Hall treats many of its customers.

With the number of cell phones, laptops, I-pads and communication devices paid for each month by the City, there should never be an excuse that "no one ever got back to me"

Although 311 seems to be managed better now that it has been placed under the umbrella of MHIS, I am sure there is still room for improvement. When people call 311, the results need to be tracked and followed up on. With technology today, there is no excuse for residents saying "no one got back to them" when they have called. ( as a sidenote, MHIS is probably one of the best run departments in City Government with progressive ideas and a real interest to be part of the solution with their "out of the box" thinking)

 Unfortunately those unhappy customers, especially on the the business and corporate side , and to some degree our residents, voice their disgust by leaving the City. We can no longer afford that. We need to send a clear message that we are open for business and we want you to grow and rebuild with us.

That growth is going to rest on the shoulders of our new Mayor and to a large part on the Council and the support they give him to complete his rebuilding tasks. We also need to all play a  role in that effort and make others realize the foundation that we have here to build on.

It is not going to be an easy job, we all have a lot of work to do. Now lets give it a chance. Keep an open mind but also don't be afraid to hold those at the top accountable. This needs to be a true partnership if we are going to make it work. At this stage, failure is not an option.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO....


Hartford's outgoing Mayor, Pedro Segarra "I am ready for my close up"

And the Oscar goes to Pedro Segarra for playing the best supporting role of a caring Mayor during a Campaign.

Everyday I realize that the voters in Hartford made the right chose in ushering in a change in the Mayor's Office and showing Pedro Segarra the door.

Segarra did do a good acting job during a tough fought campaign, but fortunately the majority of Hartford voters showing up at the polls on election day realized that, and voted for change.

Can you remember before the election? Pedro Segarra was at every fire, every shooting, every homicide. His incessant tweets about his love for the City and its people would have been annoying  if you didn't see the comedy aspect of his act.

It became almost a nightly occurrence on the news, Segarra parading in front of the television cameras playing the caring shepherd comforting his flock of wayward sheep as he travelled around a troubled City.

But , alas, all good things must come to an end. ( I guess the phony bad things also) Since 8:00PM on election day, no more tweets, nor more 11:00PM comforting news shots, nothing.  Did Segarra flick the switch off on his love for the City or did his twitter account get shut down after the election? Hartford has had plenty of shootings and homicides since election day, sot it is not for a lack of grandstanding opportunities.

I think poor Pedro was aware that his "acting" career as well as his political career was over. Time to call it a day and move on. The old saying "may the best man win" came true and we now realize we made the right choice.

HARTFORD: LAND OF DREAMS


Or probably more appropriately, Land of Broken Promises. I was watching "Face the State" this morning and saw the flashback piece about the implosion of the old Aetna building on Asylum Street. It was supposed to be the future site of New England's tallest skyscraper when the new project was built. It never happened., it is still an empty lot

That got me to thinking back about all of the broken promises made to us, the people of Hartford. Why are we duped into so many false starts?  And we continue to fall for it hook, line and sinker

It seems like we have become much more gullible over the last few years.

Lets start with the Adrien's Landing Redevelopment project. If we had believed everything we were force fed for that, we would all be watching Tom Brady throwing touchdown passes today where we used to pay our gas bills at CNG on Columbus Boulevard.

We all know the end result of that broken promises. A "krafty" businessman, Robert Kraft used Hartford as a pawn in his plans to get a better deal for a new stadium in Massachusetts. Who could blame him? Most scammers know an easy mark when they see it, and I doubt you could get much easier than a desperate Hartford City Hall . Despite not having their anchor football stadium, the Front Street project had gained momentum over the last few years and now does generate some traffic for Hartford business. Unfortunately the tax revenue to the City is still pretty slim, but at least it has created some decent jobs.

But as a City , I guess we never learned our lesson that Stadium deals, as a matter of public policy are not good ideas. And in the end they usually are much more costly than any benefits realized. Let me fast forward a few years to the Yard Goats deal. This should probably be the poster child for broken promises to the City.

The only ones that seem to be benefiting from this are the team owners, the Solomon brothers. All we heard during the processs were the buzzwords to grab the support of  Hartford residents. The biggest being "JOBS". Now the question needs to be asked, where are they? What are the real numbers? Give me the names of 20 Hartford residents employed  gainfully on the jobsite. Give me the names of 10 Hartford contractors working on the job?

One of the other buzzwords that always draws attention is "DOWNTOWN SUPERMARKET" . Where are the plans for it? It sounded good at the time to potentially fill a much needed  void. Affordable quality food for Hartford residents. There actually was more progress on this before the Yard Goats deal was ever announced.  The potential developer that the City had been dealing with pulled out as soon as the deal was announced. I have not heard anything solid since.

And remember all of the original drawings announced with considerable fanfare showing the Hooker brewery and its rooftop patio highlighting the stadium project ? One word, D-E-A-D. Now that part has been replaced by Hard Rock Café. It was surprising to note that the Hartford Courant reported that no proposal has formally been submitted for the project by Hard Rock Café.

Is there anyone at City Hall, Development Services ,or for that matter Centerplan that has any basic understanding of business concepts ( Centerplan is the developer for the stadium project) Has anyone ever heard of a "MOU" (memo of understanding) That is where the basic concept of the development should be laid out. Who is going to do what? Laying out funding, scope , job promises, tax breaks etcetera, etcetra.

 A "MOU" would keep us from looking like fools as we normally end up doing when the headlines fade  and all the potential  for free publicity has been gained by developers willing to use Hartford.It would also let us know that Centerplan and the City actually have a plan of action and a clear definition of what "DONO" is envisioned as , instead of the seat of the pants approach we have been willing to settle for so far.

Maybe the plan is to sandwich the Hard Rock Café in between the supermarket and the affordable  market rate housing we were promised. Unfortunately we are the last ones to know what is planned, although I'm now sure that even the "powers to be" know what they want. I think it is that old philosophy that if you throw enough against the wall, something is bound to stick. That philosophy unfortunately makes for very messy walls and probably very limited  benefits for the people of Hartford who so sorely need a "win".

Maybe if we can't clean up our own act with sound business practices, we luckily can count on law enforcement and related Grand Juries. That saved us from the Perez era and promises to rescue us from millions of potential losses from the Wooden/Kennedy era Council reign with Dillon Stadium.

And while I am at it on broken promises, what is up with the "welcome mat" to Hartford as you exit Route 2. Remember the old Channel 3 site. that was demolished after 3 was driven to the suburbs by a less than friendly City Hall. We were sold a bill of goods for an environmentally sound,  state of the art office building with rooftop patios and terraces. Are we still giving tax breaks for that property?

What ever happened to the luxury condos slated for the old YMCA on Jewel Street. I can answer that one quickly..... NOTHING.  Northland's gentrification of that property never took place ( Well, I guess maybe it did succeed, the facility was shut down). A building that used to allow  Hartford youth to interact and play basketball alongside future US Senators, politicians and other leaders was effectively shut down  as another broken promise to Hartford's people. It sits empty and decaying today.

Enough is enough. We have a suite full of lawyers in the Corporation Counsel's Office that should be deigning these announcements to protect our interests as a City instead of just making empty headlines for developers. I want to see these projects succeed, but I also want to see our interests protected.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

MADD KICKS OFF DRUNK DRIVING PREVENTION EFFORT

Mother's Against Drunk Driving kicked off their holiday drunk driving prevention efforts with a press conference at Hartford Police Headquarters this morning.

Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, HPD Chief Rovella and others spoke about the importance of the efforts to avoid unnecessary tragedy during the Christmas period.

Please think twice about having that drink and driving, find a designated driver beforehand.
Lt . Governor Wyman and others at the podium today

By car, horse or motorcycle, HPD will be out in force getting Drunk drivers off the road.

 HPD Chief Rovella and his "enforcers", Traffic Division Enforcers that is. On the lookout for impaired drivers on Hartford's streets

THIS IS CHILLING VIDEO

As Hartford tries to encourage more downtown residency, this video shows three Hartford juveniles stalking an elderly person on Farmington Avenue before knocking her to the ground and mugging her. The video is pretty chilling as they stalk her in preparation for their mugging, like hunter's stalk their prey.

This is not a police problem. Let me repeat that...this violence is not a police problem. We can not rely on the police to arrest our way out of our societal problems.

THIS IS A PARENTING PROBLEM. What does an incident like this say about the values instilled in Hartford's young people. Is there such little regard for human life that these 3 young punks think nothing of knocking an elderly woman to the ground, beating her and then robbing her.

Hartford... we have a problem.

Monday, December 7, 2015

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR A HARTFORD LEGEND, NICK CARBONE

This is the cover photo from the program for the Memorial Service held for Hartford's former Deputy Mayor , and one man political powerhouse Nicholas Carbone.
 
I had the good fortune of meeting Nick through an introduction by another Hartford political legacy, John O'Connell. They both came from a time in Hartford's history that they were known by what they did for Hartford and what they left as their imprint on Hartford.
 
It is unfortunate that we far too often wait for someone to die before we talk about their lives. Nick would have  been very proud by those that attended Saturday's service at the Bond Hotel and by what they had to say. Some of the comments were very colorful about a man that put his city first in just about everything he did. It was also fitting that the event was held in the ballroom of the Bond Hotel with its spectacular views of Hartford, overlooking Bushnell Park, the Memorial Arch and the State Capitol..
 
Much of Nick's influence came from his ability to successfully work the Halls of the Capitol as well as drawing in its occupants as he moved his ideas forward. From Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John Larson, Judge Bob Killian and many others, they all spoke of how Nick worked to mold the future of Hartford in a personal, yet unselfish way.
 
I spent many a morning breakfast at Allegro or the First and Last Bakery listening to Nick (listening more than talking myself)  as he relayed his experiences over the years. There probably aren't too many people that were as well versed in Hartford or municipal government than Nick was. As a true mentor, Nick would impart his knowledge on anyone willing to listen.
 
There were many mornings after meeting Nick for breakfast, I would get engrossed by his knowledge and would eventually look at the time and realize it was well after noon and we had been talking for hours. We weren't always on the same side of issues, but that was one of the things about Nick, he had a way of presenting his side and many times drew people together more than apart.
 
In a time when we have a hard time remembering outgoing politicians for what they did for Hartford ( other than maybe a Grand Jury or two) you just need to take a ride around Hartford and recall what Nick did to leave his mark on the City he loved..
 
Rest in peace Nick, you will be missed but hardly forgotten

HMMM, THIS IS INTERESTING.

Last week a shooting occurred on Martin Street in Hartford. The "victim", Quentin Dickens from Windsor had reportedly been shot in the head. He also had apparently been shot on the same street about a week earlier. His total number of times being shot in Hartford has apparently reached four separate times.

Interestingly, Dickens was arrested by Hartford Police on Friday for carrying a pistol without a permit and criminal possession of a firearm, according to HPD. Dickens apparently had a handgun on him when he was shot, he just wasn't too proficient in its use . I think Dickens may want to be considering a job as a greeter at Walmart, it would definitely be time for a career change.

This guy needs to be off our streets for both his own safety and ours  .He clearly is a menace to his own health and those people in the vicinity of his gun crimes.

FROM THE HPD ARREST LOG:

Name: DICKENS,QUENTIN           DOB:06/30/79 Sex:MALE   Race:BLACK Addr: 80 PINE LANE EXT          Hgt: 6'00    Wgt:217    Hair:BLACK AFRO      WINDSOR,CT                MF#:A 77699  Arrest #:7150491  Case #:15-037301
Officers:H37 REEDER,CHRISTOPHE  I50 CORVINO,GREG Arrest Date: 12/04/15 12:50     Location:253 HIGH ST Release Date:NOT RELEASED       BOND   $500,000
Charges:     2935               CARRYING PISTOL W/O PERMIT             53A217C            CRIMINAL POSS OF PISTOL/REVOLVER

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

MANCHESTER'S "CHRISTMAS TREE COPS"

There are plenty of good things going on around us, we just don't always hear about them. On the same note, there are thousands of good Police Officers around us, but we don't always hear
about them or take note of their good acts.

The link below is to a story about Manchester Police Officers giving of their time to help a woman who suffered the  loss of her husband this year in a tragic farm accident . Please take a moment to read the article, and then think about the true meaning of the Christmas season


Read the Courant article here

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

TOO MANY GUNS ON OUR STREETS, THE COURTS NEED TO START DOING THEIR JOB

 
 
There are too many guns on our streets. The alarming part is that many of these gun arrests come along with the criminal charge "criminal possession of a firearm". That charge usually means that this person  is a convicted felon willing to carry or use a gun. This can no longer be a "slap on the wrist offense" by the courts. This is a serious charge and it needs to result in serious jail time.

Here is an incident that occurred last night and the details from HPD:

On November 24, 2015 at 7:10pm Hartford Police Department Patrol Officers and the Hartford Shooting Task Force responded to New Country Motor Cars on Weston Street on a report of an active shooter. Arriving HPD officers tactically cleared the parking lot and dealership but were unable to locate the shooter. Officers located several witnesses who reported that a male suspect, dressed in black, had been shooting at an employee in the east lot of the dealership. The intended victim and witnesses reported up to five shots from a revolver. Two vehicles were damaged by gunfire.

As officers were still investigating at New Country Motor Cars, a McDonald's employee, (98 Weston Street) called 911 and reported a male suspect in the restaurant in possession of a firearm.

HPD Officers and Hartford STF responded. Officers entered McDonald's and observed a male suspect sitting with a revolver on his lap. The suspect was held at gunpoint by officers as he put his hands in the air. HPD Patrol Officers moved in and secured the suspects firearm (#1). The suspect was placed in handcuffs without incident. The suspect was identified as Willis Wright.

As Wright was in the rear seat of a HPD cruiser, he advised the Officer that he was the one that was just shooting at the Mercedes Dealership. Wright further stated that he had two guns, and had previously discarded the gun he used to shoot at the dealership. HPD Patrol and STF Investigators went to an area directed to by Wright where he said he threw a firearm. Officers went behind 10 Weston Street (formerly Jiffy Lube), where the firearm (#2) was located and secured as evidence.

Wright is a convicted felon with several pending cases and prior firearm arrests. He was interviewed and booked.

It is not immediately clear why the suspect was shooting at the dealership. Investigators report Wright had no connection to the dealership and that Wright believed '...somebody was trying to kill him'. Investigators described Wrights behavior as a Emotionally Disturbed Person. The Investigation is ongoing. Wright is to be arraigned this morning.

EVIDENCE:

Firearm #1; Colt .38 Caliber Detective Special Revolver color black, fully loaded with (6) live .38 caliber rounds of ammunition.

Firearm #2; Sturm Ruger .357 Revolver color silver, containing (5) spent shell casings.


DAMAGED:

New 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 SUV- passenger side roof projectile damage.

New 2016 Smart Fortwo coupe- passenger side door projectile damage.


Arrest: Wright, Willis, 38 (03/23/1977), of 1574 Main Street, Hartford, CT.
Charges:

Carrying a Pistol w/o a Permit

Criminal Possession of a Firearm

Criminal Attempt at Assault 1st Degree

Criminal Mischief 1st Degree

Reckless Endangerment 1st Degree

Monday, November 23, 2015

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED FOR HPD PAL



FROM HPD DEPUTY CHIEF BRIAN FOLEY:

On Sunday, November 22dnd, , the Hartford Police Athletic League’s football team (Wildcats)  beat Leominster, Ma for the New England Regional Championship. Final score was 51-7. They have qualified for the National Championships in Kissimmee, FL! They desperately need your help to get there, win the title, and celebrate their regional championship this year.

About the Hartford Wildcats:

The Hartford Wildcats are a member of the Colonial Youth Football and Cheer League and American Youth Football. HWYFA (Hartford Wildcats Youth Football Association), a
nonprofit, all volunteer organization, was founded in 2000 with the goal of providing enrichment opportunities for Hartford youth, helping them stay physically fit and developing their self-esteem. The program provides athletic opportunities including football and cheerleading for boys and girls ages 5 through 14.

The Wildcats are supported by the Hartford Police Athletic League (PAL) and emphasize the role of academic success in addition to athletic excellence. Kids are expected to maintain strict academic and behavioral standards and are responsible to their teammates.

The Wildcats have come close to this opportunity for the past three years, and finally this year, their dedication and teamwork paid off. The team played an impressive season, capping off their record with a 51-7 victory in the New England Regional Championship in Auburn, Massachusetts to qualify for Nationals. The kids couldn’t be prouder!

The kids have done their part... Now it’s your turn! We need to raise $35,000 by 12/5/15 in order to help us cover airfare, room, and board for these deserving kids when they travel to make their dreams come true in Florida. They have worked long and hard and have shown a deep commitment to their teammates. Now they need you to be their guardian angels!

The cost of the trip is around $35,000. The team has started a Gofundme.comcampaign (link) to generate money for the trip as well as equipment expenses. Anything you guys could do would be greatly appreciated! Let’s get these kids ready to go to Florida and represent Hartford in the National Champions.


SECOND THOUGHTS

I try to be fair with this blog, so here goes. Yesterday I posted about Democratic Registrar Olga Vazquez and her meltdown last Friday at City Hall. After getting a couple phone calls and thinking about this incident, I am having some second thoughts.

I am in no way condoning Vazquez's behavior. I have always felt that people that have to use the 'F' word and such language to communicate shows a sign of ignorance, There might be a time and place to use such language, but in a public building and in a supposedly professional environment is not the time or the place .Especially not by an elected official.

Vazquez has shown her lack of professionalism from the very beginning of her tenure at City Hall. Her behavior alone has built a very strong case to revamp the Registrar's Office.

With that being said, maybe some City Hall Office's also apparently need to be reworked. If the Payroll Department had done their job properly, there probably wouldn't have been a need for Vazquez to make the trip across the hall to argue for payment for her workers. I am pretty sure if the clerks in the Payroll Office were waiting for their paychecks from September , something would be corrected quickly .

It is very difficult to get poll workers. The salary, when averaged out over a long election day, probably comes out to much less than minimum wage. To then have to wait months to get paid is very wrong. Many poll workers actually choose work at the polls because the money is needed, not because they like elections. I am told by some poll workers that this is routine treatment by City Hall.

If employees in a private business hadn't been paid their wages since September, their employers would be facing a Judge on criminal charges of failing to pay wages or worse.

Olga's behavior is still reprehensible and uncalled for , but there is enough blame to go around, Also, in this day and age of workplace violence, I am also troubled by the supervisor who overheard the commotion and instructed the employee not to call the police as the supervisor went back to her desk without trying to find out what was happening . Would she have actually waited for the violence to escalate and someone being injured before she decided to take any action? That does not sound like very good decision making on the part of a supervisor who is paid to deal with such workplace issues.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

HARTFORD'S DEMOCRATIC REGISTRAR MELTS DOWN ....AGAIN

According to Hartford City Hall sources, Hartford's Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vazquez went off the deep end once again Friday. This seems to be becoming and election time tradition for Vazquez who was the focus of scrutiny after last years poll debacle. Her actions then were the motivation by the Legislature for new laws regulating the Registrar of Voters Office , specifically in Hartford.

According to sources, on  Friday a Hartford Police Officer was sent to the payroll office at City Hall on the report of a disturbance. Upon the arrival the officer was met by Daniel Bonilla , a payroll supervisor at City Hall. Bonilla informed the officer that at about 1:00PM Friday,   the Democratic Registrar, Olga Vazquez, came into his office regarding a payroll issue for poll workers from the recent  Mayoral primary ( September 16th). Instead of the full $180.00 , the workers were only paid $25.00.

Bonilla apparently advised Vazquez that she would have to process the correct paperwork through Human Resources and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Apparently Vazquez then insisted that Bonilla "go into his computer and make the proper adjustments immediately"

Bonilla told Police that Vazquez then began to yell and swear at him. Vazquez, acting aggressive toward Bonilla and standing about a foot away from him continued to yell and curse at Bonilla, yelling "you have a f**king batch open why don't you do it?" continuing to yell, Vazquez screamed "This job is going to your f**king head , why don't you just do your job?'

Vazquez continued her yelling and screaming to the point that witnesses in the office overheard the disturbance. One witness, Marlene Fleeting, another employee in the office  who was several cubicles away went into Bonilla's office to see what was happening and reportedly saw Vazquez about a foot away from Bonilla yelling and swearing at him. Fleeting intervened and told Vazquez to calm down because Bonilla has some sort of medical condition and shouldn't get excited. Vazquez told Fleeting to mind her own business  because"this was a management matter".

Vazquez then apparently told Fleeting that if Bonilla had a medical condition "then maybe he shouldn't be working here".

Bonilla also told Police that he apparently felt threatened by Vazquez's actions.

HPD also apparently talked to another employee Padma Patel who is another supervisor in the Payroll Office. She also confirmed the disturbance and that she heard the suspect, Vazquez, yelling f**k and f**king during the altercation. Another witness, Ellen McCreery , also heard the altercation and asked her supervisor , Patel, if she should call the Police. Patel apparently said no and then went back to her desk.

It is unclear why under the circumstances no arrest was made, or if and arrest warrant application will be submitted for Vazquez. It would seem that the City's Zero tolerance Policy for workplace violence doesn't really mean Zero tolerance, depending on who you are.

If we are arresting Fire Lieutenants for similar incidents, will Vazquez skate on this one? And will those who reported the incident to Police now also receive 89 day suspensions? Luckily Chief Huertas and Assistant Chief Brady don't run the Payroll Department. If they did no one would be left to cut the City Payroll..

Neither HPD or City Hall have made any comment on the altercation but it seems to add more weight to the argument for the need to professionalize the Registrar's Office.

WHAT WILL THIS COUNCIL'S LEGACY BE?

As we count the day's until the Segarra Administration ends, it is interesting to see what the outgoing Council will set as their legacy. They have the potential to be seen as the most corrupt group of Hartford politicians in Hartford's history. They are already known for their corrupt deals and political paybacks that have most likely cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Their actions have already resulted in a Federal Grand Jury into some of these alleged dirty deals they ushered through, unchecked.

That has so far eclipsed anything corrupt former Mayor Eddie Perez ever accomplished. His grand total of corruption dollars , at least those we know about, totaled about $70.000. A Federal Grand Jury is currently investigating Hartford City Hall and that could reach into millions of dollars in over paid invoices and missing funds

Tomorrow nights Council meeting can potentially set their legacy. An item on their agenda that is attracting interest is the deal concocted with a tax delinquent property and its owner, multi millionaire and Hartford resident Alan Lazowski of LAZ parking.

Lazowski purchased the Talcott Street property in 2011. The building was part of the former G. Fox Department store complex and consists of a parking garage on the lower levels and several upper floors of former warehouse and office space.

Lazowski must have apparently realized the purchase was a poor investment quickly after buying the property. The parking facility was in deplorable condition structurally, essentially due to damage to the structural concrete and steel caused by road salt from the vehicles parked inside over the years. Len Besthoff , at the time working for another Hartford TV station before he moved to NBC Connecticut, had done an investigative story on chunks of the structure falling on vehicles in the garage as large portions gave out from the decay.

The garage was subsequently closed to the public and quickly became a non-producing asset for Lazowski. Even though Lazowski , as I said before. is a multi millionaire he apparently stopped paying the property taxes on the property. There is apparently still about $2.1 million in back taxes due as well as a tax lien for $1million dollars that was sold by the City.

Now the Segarra Administration  has concocted a plan to rescue Lazowski  and still allow him to keep control of the property by forgiving the back taxes and allowing the City to invest in the repairs and modifications to the property to bail Lazowski out. Lazowski would then be handed the parking concessions from the freshly renovated property, apparently in violation of existing State law requiring any City owned parking operations to be managed by the Hartford Parking Authority.

If this Council goes along with the deal they should be ashamed of themselves for several reasons.(I'm not sure they are capable of any shame though after watching their actions at November's first meeting of the month.)

First and foremost is a City Ordinance that forbids the City from negotiating or doing business with any Company that is delinquent on property taxes. Mr. Lazowski clearly is that. The City has put many others out of their homes and business out over far less in taxes than what Mr. Lazowski owes. He should not be allowed to benefit from his delinquency and then be funded by Hartford's taxpayers,

Second. there probably aren't too many Hartford politicians on the local, State and Federal level that have  not had checks put in their pockets by Mr. Lazowski at campaign time.  There are probably quite a few hard working people that have been removed from their homes by Hartford's Tax Collector over back taxes and never got a sweet deal like the City is offering to Lazowski.. Is this a classic example of buying political favor through sprinkling donations around ?

And what is the actual condition of the building? Will it ever be able to be used "as is" without extensive structural repairs. Have any engineering studies been done detailing its current condition? Or will we find out too late that the building is beyond repair and Hartford taxpayers will have to eat the cost of demolition? And Mr. Lazowski walks away free and clear of his tax debt to Hartford?

And what is the rush for this Council to slam Lazowski's action through in the next to the last meeting before they are shown the door? The incoming Administration and Council should be weighing this deal  rather than being saddled with another bad deal similar to the Yards Goats and the Dillon Stadium deal that have surely become the legacy for Council President Wooden and Councilman Ken Kennedy.

It will also be a good test to see whether political donations and influence drive Hartford's public policy or does the best interest of Hartford take priority?

I guess we will know after the Council meets tomorrow night.