Search This Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I am still trying to justify in my mind how the person that by most accounts is identified as the aggressor in an incident at the Hartford Fire Department received a mere 14 day suspension and the victim of his actions received an 89 day suspension.

The only thing that seems to make sense is that this is all part of the dysfunctional operations of Carlos Huertas, HFD's Chief.  LT. Michael Patterson was identified by most of those present at the incident as the aggressor. Patterson was subsequently arrested after HPD, a prosecutor and a Judge all determined that Patterson's actions were criminal in nature.

In the documents I received today from HPD pursuant to my FOI request, HPD chose to redact the names of all firefighters involved. This appears to be an illegal redaction under Connecticut's FOI laws , but that is an issue for an FOI Complaint and eventual hearing. Under CT law, only the home address of a firefighter can be withheld. There is no exemption for firefighters who are witness to a crime.

In the affidavit, one redacted firefighter claims  that he observed Patterson "exit Ladder 4 and charge at Dalton". He further relates that  he could see that Patterson was charging at Dalton "clearly in an angered manner" He also saw Patterson "punching at Dalton and yelling at him in a hostile manner".

All of this while Dalton reportedly "stood quietly, and did not feed into the incident with any verbal backlash"

Another firefighter, whose name was redacted illegally from the affidavit by HPD, provided the same account claiming that he was "frozen in disbelief by what he was seeing"

Although Chief Huertas appears to have ignored the facts and come up with his own theory of the incident, suspending Dalton for 89 days and Patterson received only a fraction of Dalton's punishment, a mere 14 days.

 Another one of his Department members also confirmed Patterson's actions, stating to the investigating Police Officer that he witnessed  Patterson "approach Dalton in a hostile manner, clearly hearing obscenities and an overall angered tone being vocalized by Patterson at Dalton". From his observations, Dalton "appeared to stand in the yard without responding to Patterson.

Another firefighter, describing the incident , said Dalton "stood in silence while this was taking place"

According to sources familiar with the investigation, a resident also confirmed and identified Patterson clearly as the aggressor and Patterson's actions drew his attention to the altercation. He did not wish to give a statement to police for fear of  retaliation.

Patterson further relates that he called Dalton "a bitch m*****f**ker". Patterson denied approaching Dalton , but he does admit to members of his crew came to restrain him. From what Chief Huertas? And would his crew have had restrained him if they didn't perceive the threat of an altercation?

 And again, is this the type of behavior we  wish to see ranking officers of the Hartford Fire Department display in public, or anywhere else for that matter?. Chief Huertas's decision making in this matter was deplorable, but then again we have become used to it from Huertas.

Read the attached reports and make your decision who the aggressor was, and is this reasonable and just. I think a judge will be awarding some substantial damages in this case, and it won't be to Michael Patterson.

No where in any of the reports or statements is Captain Thomas Dalton portrayed as the aggressor , except in Patterson's statements where he claims he and Dalton "have never gotten along". I think Patterson has shown that he is the one with the anger issues.

And in the meantime, I guess "zero tolerance for workplace violence" has a different meaning when you work within the Hartford Fire Department.

Patterson Dalton Incident Reports0001


Anonymous said...

In one word Kevin, this is exactly what you said:
The idiot in charge Huertas knows his days are numbered so he does whatever he wants.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the deal is with redacting the witness firefighter's names? I hope that gets cleared up in your FOI complaint, Kevin. Sounds a bit fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

Charlie has always made up the discipline by the seat of his pants. He looks at past practice ,rules, records(which may have been "cleansed"), and reviews the incident. Then, he consults with Vinny who tells Charlie to pound sand. After that, Charlie devises some outlandish scheme in his pea brain based on your color and presto! The HFD disciplinary process.