HUERTAS "I CUT A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL TO GET MY JOB"
The phone calls began early Monday morning to advise me that Captain Thomas Dalton of the Hartford Fire Department is now on administrative suspension from his job. This apparently is the result of Dalton being the alleged victim of an assault by another Hartford Firefighter , LT. Michael Patterson. Yes,you read that right, Dalton is the victim and now he is the one suspended.
The Hartford Fire Department is a quagmire of incompetence and mismanagement. It has been for several years and that mess was compounded when the appointment of Fire Chiefs became bogged town, not by competence for the job but by political payoffs and dirty deals.That filth has never been more obvious than it is now. It begs for a full Federal Investigation. The message needs to be loud and clear that Hartford City Hall is not available to the highest bidder and those willing to cut the best deal for their advancement.
The interesting part is that the main recipient of the most recent dirty, most likely illegal deals,has been vocal about the deal making to myself and other members of the community and was even recorded talking about the dirty deal.
I had asked Chief Huertas about the deal making for his appointment to be permanent Chief, and I was actually surprised by his candor. It was a night that was my first conversation with Huertas as Chief . We were behind Bulkeley High School after a budget hearing in 2013. Myself and another community member, who shall remain nameless at this time but is willing to go on the record if necessary, were talking to Chief Huertas. He came right out and told us "he had to cut a deal with the devil" to get appointed Chief. Deal with the Devil, those were his words, not mine.
He further elaborated that he was forced to take Terry Waller as Assistant Chief if he wanted the job. I asked who he was forced by and he said Pedro Segarra and Saundra Kee-Borges. He explained that it was made clear if he wasn't willing to appoint Waller, he wold not get the job. He told both of us that he regretted that commitment everyday and he felt like a "babysitter" having to watch every move Terry Waller made because of his incompetence.
I think in most cases actions like that are called blackmail or more appropriately extortion. There clearly would be a financial benefit to Waller by his appointment .For Segarra and Kee-Borges to be using their public offices to benefit relatives and cronies with public funds is wrong, especially in critical positions such as the Hartord Fire Department. We already learned in the past year these dirty deals have the potential to cost lives.
The "quid pro quo" is pretty clear. You give us what we want, the Waller appointment, and we will give you what you want, the Chief's position. No one benefits from these dirty deals, least of all the people of Hartford, who suffer the consequences daily from lawsuit settlements and more mismanagement.
These details aren't just my recollection, FOX61 also recently aired a story with actual recordings of Chief Huertas making the exact same comments about he landed his position and the political influence and pressure that was exerted on him.
I am pretty confident that a Federal Investigation would find numerous examples of criminal wrong doing as well as a variety of Civil Right violation that occur almost daily at the HFD and throughout Hartford City Hall from a Mayor and Administration that almost seem like they are under some veil of immunity that allows them to operate the way they do.
This environment of lawlessness needs to change. The States Attorney had to come in the last time and clean the scum out with a Grand Jury, I think now maybe the Federal Corruption Task Force, which has mostly gone unnoticed since its inception, has a huge opportunity here to prove its worth.
And before all the comments start flying, this is not about Dan Nolan, Tom Dalton, Michael Patterson , or even Kevin Bell. This is about what is right. The people of Hartford deserve that and every member of the Hartford Fire Department deserves that. They need to know that when they are risking their lives, hey are doing it under the best leadership possible, not under the highest bidder.