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Friday, April 24, 2015


Word out of HPD this afternoon is that an off duty Hartford Firefighter is under investigation for shooting a home improvement contractor on Hebron Street. Firefighter Donald Brown apparently called 911 this afternoon to report he just shot the contractor in the Blue Hills neighborhood.

There has been no comment from HPD and HFD Captain Helene Lynch seemed stunned when I initially called asking for a comment on the firefighter shooting, She stated she would have to call me back, no response yet.

The case remains under investigation by HPD Major Crimes.



Thursday, April 23, 2015


Several people have commented lately after the Nolan Administrative Suspension to "wait until the truth comes out". Well , the truth is coming out and it is not Dan Nolan that needs to be worried. 
 HFD is not great with FOI. It took me almost two months to get an FOI request I submitted on March 1, 2015, but it was well worth the wait.
I had originally requested repair documents for HFD Ladder 6. Ladder 6 is a brand new piece of apparatus purchased about a year ago for close to 3/4 of a million dollars. It had been at City Yard, the HFD repair garage for months. I was wondering why a  3/4 of a million dollar piece of equipment that was almost brand new would be out of service for so long.
I went about submitting an FOI request for documents related to Ladder 6, including maintenance and repair records.
Well FOI is a wonderful thing. Sometimes you get what you are looking for and sometimes you get things you never expected. The two months turned out to be well worth the wait (although probably illegal also on the part of HFD for the delay)
It turns out that the reason for Ladder 6 being off the line for so long is due to mismanagement of the HFD and possibly Hartford City Hall also.
Ladder 6 was brought to City Yard for repair work on the rear bucket that raises and lowers firefighters possibly hundreds of feet in the air. Because of the heights and weigh involve, the yoke and attachments must be tested each time the bucket is worked on. The testing is apparently conducted by American Test Center of  River Falls, Wisconsin. Apparently  American Test Center is a "for profit" business and frowns upon providing services when there bills aren't paid.
After planning work was performed on Ladder 6, American Test Center did not wish to perform the required testing until their past due bills were paid by HFD. According to invoices obtained under the FOI request, it appears that American Test Center charged HFD in the range of $450.00 per test, so we aren't talking huge dollar amounts. But none the less, the apparatus was kept off of Hartford's streets because of the unpaid bill. A couple servings of Segarra caviar  would have gotten Ladder 6 back on the street much quicker.
 Shortly after I made my FOI request, the bills  to American Test Center that had been unpaid for months , were suddenly paid and Ladder 6 is back on the line today.
 But even more important are statements made in an e-mail that was also part of  the FOI request and should be raising serious questions related to the death of Firefighter Kevin Bell and the mismanagement of the Hartford Fire Department.
Questions were raised about the condition of the "FIT" testing machine. FIT testing apparently is the process named for checking the air mask used by firefighters and the masks suitability for use. According to the email HFD's  "FIT" testing machine is broken. Parts are no longer available for the machine. (FIT testing is required by OSHA and was also an issue in the Bell investigation.)
When asked why HFD wasn't doing "FIT" testing , according to the e-mail, technicians were told that HFD was planning on buying all new masks, the AV3000, and everyone would need to be refitted at that time so hold off. According to HFD sources, those new masks have never been purchased and the FIT tests are still an issue. 
The e-mail obtained through the FOI request was addressed to FIER R001@ Hartford. gov.  FIERR 001 is Rocco Fierevante, the Hartford Firefighters Union Vice President. Why are Hartford Firefighters paying Union dues if their Vice President doesn't raise issues when their lives are possibly being endangered by  dangerous conditions?
One of the common themes addressed by Chief Nolan prior to his "insubordination" is also highlighted in the e-mail "There has been a total lack of Communication" The issue of expired "air bottles" is mentioned and nothing being done to correct the problem. "We currently have an unacceptable number that need to be removed from service". Then why aren't they? Does Chief Huertas  feel as though it is acceptable to send firefighters into burning buildings with less than desirable equipment? The author mentions trying to work within the requirements of "political budget cuts". Politics has no place in determining the safety of out firefighters. Unless of course our politicians like being on TV at firefighters funerals giving their kind words to the families of deceased firefighters.
The e-mail also mentions that the Hartford Fire Department "has an epidemic amount of vendors that have been calling us on past due invoices". Many of those vendors have also now put the Hartford Fire Department on a COD basis. The email states that many vendors including NAPA, Fleetpride, FirestoneTire all now require cash up front before supplying parts to the Hartford Fire Department. At least two vendors , Chips Auto Electric and International Radiator only allow HFD to pick up parts after they are repaired only if they are paid for .
The e-mail also mentions "the  matter of ladder 6 aerial test that sat out of service for 3plus months... due to past due invoices. I detailed that issue above.
It seems as though Chief Huertas has no problem putting the residents of Hartford and more importantly his own firefighters in harms way though his lack of management and accountability The sad part is that many of these issues seem very easy to change with just a small amount of leadership or even management., which Huertas clearly lacks.


I think it is pretty clear to readers that I am pro-police, but I also think I am fair and definitely not blind.

A police officer who shoots someone in the back for no justifiable reason deserves a life in prison, just like anyone else that does it.

But I also watch many of these videos and wonder what would have been different if the "victims" just obeyed the lawful order of a Police Officer. The video above is a perfect example. The officer was apparently dispatched to the Burger King at Main and Asylum. Upon arriving he apparently had someone that was pointed out to him or who he wanted to speak with.

Watch the swagger on the individual as he approaches the officer. Now be fair as you watch the video. If you were in the officer's position, how do you think this encounter is going to go? What doo you think his body language is saying. Do you think the individual is all set to initiate an encounter? The officer then pulls the individual outside and all of a sudden we are off to the races. Even once the officer is on the ground in a choke hold being choked out by the suspect, I think he shows great restraint.

 If the Officer was in fear for his life, I think the use of deadly force would have been justified. We could second guess that decision later, but luckily the officer broke free and appears somewhat dazed as the sound of sirens coming to his aid are heard in the background. The troubling part is the number of bystanders that were more focused in grabbing their video than in helping the Officer being assaulted and choked.

We can not tolerate the open season on Police Officers that seems to have become fashionable this spring, no more than we can tolerate disrespect and abuse of any citizen. Respect is a two way street and this video clearly shows a total lack of respect by this group of punks.

Last year I had a run in with a Hartford Police Officer that felt I knew too much information about HPD. Much of it that was negative to his fellow Union members. He began spreading the rumor at Union meetings and at daily roll calls that I had a Department issued HPD radio and that is how I got the information. He instructed his membership that if they saw me with a radio they were to take it from me and immediately bring it to the Union Office. Any one taking anything from any individual without claiming a crime was committed or without a warrant is clearly an abuse of power and most likely a violation of a person's civil rights.

I spoke to Chief Rovella about this and he gave me wise advice that would be excellent advice for anyone confronted by a Police Officer. Don't fight back, do what the Officer instructs you and then call him to begin the investigation.

No one likes being challenged by a Police Officer, but you aren't going to win by fighting back. It may not be pleasant, but the law of averages are against you. You may not believe in the system, but when used , the system works. Don't fight the officer, take the proper channels and let the system work for you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Is the leadership at the Hartford Fire Department as bad as we have been hearing? According to e-mails obtained by "We the People" the answer is probably yes, and quite possibly worse.

Read it here tomorrow and draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


One of the first big incidents that drew people to this blog and built my daily readership was the result of the actions of a corrupt mayor and his actions against Dan Nolan. Now history is repeating itself under our current Mayor Pedro Segarra. Thank you in advance for helping to build my blog.

Today the City of Hartford has once again  placed on paid Administrative leave Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Dan Nolan, this time apparently for insubordination. I think anyone that looks at this action will probably realize very quickly that it is a setup by an insecure and  hugely incompetent Fire Chief. Would anyone in their right mind invite Nolan to a meeting loaded with media and expect him to  keep his mouth shut or worse actually lie , when asked for his version of facts an circumstances?

It was  a setup, pure and simple. Ask questions, get him to publicly criticize the incompetent Chief and we got him, insubordination Whether you like Nolan or not, everyone knows he is outspoken and says what is on his mind, even where there is a temporary moron behind him yelling for the TV cameras "get back to training" . Actually the moron part may be more permanent than temporary, only his authority is temporary. But at least it allows Nolan to add another defendant to the list.

I don't think anyone that gets hired by the City of Hartford relinquishes their Constitutional rights. You might not like what Nolan has to say but he has every right to say it, and he is one of a limited few in this Country that has also put his life on the line through military service to defend the right to say it

The only comment from Captain Helen Lynch of the Hartford Fire Department is that "Nolan is not on suspension, he is on Administrative leave with pay while the investigation continues". There is no indication  as to what the investigation is or what the charges are. Nolan's attorney Mario Cerame stated for the record "Dan has been placed on admin leave with pay pending an investigation into an incident that occurred during and immediately following the task force meeting on Thursday April 16th 2015.”

Apparently the City didn't learn the first time they went down that route with Nolan on baseless allegations.

Mayor Segarra, it is time you provide some desperately needed leadership  to this Department, if you are capable of doing it, I have my doubts (is that insubordinate)


We all knew it couldn't be true, there had to be a gimmick. How does a City that is essentially broke have no lay-offs, no tax increases, hire 20 additional police officers and close a potential 60 million dollar deficit? You can't without a little bit of fraud perpetrated on the taxpayers.

The solution simple, you loot the Board of Education retirees health Care Fund for $30 million

The e-mails below explain the situation better than I  can, so take a read. It promises to get messy as Pedro tries to cover his Mayoral butt to avoid being exposed as an incompetent leader in a critical election year. This is the start of the e-mail from Board President Rich Wareing, Mayor Segarra's response and Wareing's reply to Segarra . An FOI request was made to the City of Hartford to obtain these e-mails.

 At least one candidate familiar with the situation offered a reasonable alternative. It wont' help Segarra's budget picture, but currently the Board is considering closing the Renzulli School on Cornwall Street. Bob Killian suggested using a much smaller portion of the fund, which is currently over funded, to keep Renzulli open until other funding means can be explored and secured.

A request for comment from Mayor Segarra's Communications staff has gone unanswered.

Mr. Mayor,

I write in reference to the approximately $32m in assets held by the Board in reserve against future OPEB liabilities.  I learned this morning from sources within City Hall that it is your intent to use over $12m of the Board's money to balance the City's budget for FY 2015-16.  Unfortunately, this was consistent with other rumors I have heard to the effect that the City intends to use approximately $3.5m in Board money to balance the FY 2014-15 budget.  I just read an article in the Courant confirming your intention with respect to your FY 2015-16 budget and several points need to be made.

First, I should not have learn of things of this magnitude impacting the Board of Education in the news, nor should I have to rely on informal sources within City Hall.  I should have the courtesy of a call from you.  If you have time for cocktails with Brad Davis and well-heeled contributors, you have time to call me to discuss matters which significantly impact the education of our children.

Second, the Superintendent also had the right to notice before you made a public announcement on this subject.   This is especially true when, as you are well aware, she intended to use some of the surplus reserve to balance the FY 2015-16 budget without layoffs and position eliminations beyond those already announced.  Instead, you let her present a budget to the Board and the community based on assumptions which you knew at the time were inconsistent with your own budget plans, yet you remained silent.  Your conduct in this respect was unprofessional and disrespectful. More importantly, it has impaired her ability to do her job.  She deserves an apology and I fully expect that you will make one when you next meet with her privately.

Third, while the City maintains that these monies belong to it, you are well aware that the Board retained outside counsel who rendered a contrary opinion.  Indeed, when I met with Juan Figueroa and you to discuss this issue you both expressed considerable anger that the Board had done so.  I thought at the time your anger was caused by the Board having done so without informing the Corporation Counsel, which as I said at that time was a reasonable position.  It is now clear, however, that your anger was caused by the Board obtaining a legal opinion that might complicate your plan to use Board assets to balance the City's budget.  Indeed, that is no doubt why Mr. Figueroa took the position that the Board needed to obtain the Corporation Counsel's permission to retain outside counsel (which is not true where, as here, the Corporation Counsel cannot provide advice free of ethical conflict), or at the very least, was obliged to let him "craft the scope of the engagement," no doubt to limit our attorney's ability to offer an opinion that might contradict the Corporation Counsel's on this matter. In any event, this is not a matter that you can unilaterally resolve by a stroke of your budgeting pen.  This is a serious legal dispute that, unless handled with considerably more care than you have heretofore exhibited, is quite likely to enmesh the City and the Board in litigation; a result that would be disastrous.

Fourth, While some of the money used by the Board to fund its OPEB reserve was general funds, and some even from the City's modest $94m annual contribution to the Board's general fund, some of that money came from special funds to which the City never had, does not have, and never can have, a claim. Any appropriation by the City of the Board's OPEB reserve will thus necessarily involve its appropriation of State and Federal grant monies to which it has absolutely no legal claim.   This is obviously a serious issue to which the City has given little, if any, serious thought as evidenced by the fact that, when I raised this point with the Corporation Counsel and Mr. Hill, they were quite surprised to learn that special funds were also used to accumulate the Board's OPEB reserve.  Should the State of Connecticut or the United States question the City's conduct in this regard please understand that the City will be solely responsible for its conduct.

Fifth, in light of the foregoing, the Board may reed to rework its budget for the balance of this year and for FY 2015-16 and eliminate as much as $7m in spending.  If so, positions will be cut and the quality of service will be reduced.  Such additional cuts at the Board may allow you to balance your municipal election year budget without a tax increase or layoffs at City Hall, but they will hurt kids, especially those most in need. Indeed, as you know, the Superintendent estimates that the Board needs an additional $12m per annum to fully implement her plans to achieve equity for all learners.  While none of us excepted the City to actually appropriate this additional money, we expected - and reasonably so -- that City would not make it harder to achieve equity for all learners.

I will be candid, I see little hope of averting what Mr. Figueroa described in our meeting as a "constitutional crisis," given your reckless course of action.   I am, however, prepared to meet with you, Dr. Colon-Rivas, Mr. Stallings and the Superintendent to try to work through this issue.

R-----Original Message-----
From: Segarra, Pedro E. []
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2015 10:39 PM
To: Richard Wareing
Cc: Colon-Rivas, Jose F.; Matthew Poland - Library;; Shelley Best; Robert Cotto Jr; Brescia, Michael F.; Beth Taylor; Narvaez, Beth
Subject: Re: OPEB

I guess we have a disagreement as to facts, analysis, agreements and the status of finances. I also find your tone and approach most disrespectful. Given the late hour of the day I will respond more fully tomorrow and will meet with the appropriate parties as necessary.

Mayor Segarra

Sent from my iPhone

From: Richard Wareing
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 7:17 AM
To: 'Segarra, Pedro E.'
Cc: Colon-Rivas, Jose F.; Matthew Poland - Library;; Shelley Best; Robert Cotto Jr; Brescia, Michael F.; Beth Taylor; Narvaez, Beth
Subject: RE: OPEB

Mr. Mayor,

The disagreements around this issue are hardly new, so your surprise is disconcerting.  It certainly does not auger well, but I remain committed, as I told Mr. Figueroa and you, to a "non-nuclear" solution.  I hope you feel similarly.

I make no apology for the lateness of the hour of my email.  I responded as soon as I finished reading your quotes in the newspaper.  Had you chosen to inform the Board and/or the Superintendent of your plan, prior to telling the Courant, we would have been having this conversation on a different timeline.

I won't attempt to parse your cryptic reply about your next steps.  It is enough to say that this matter will get resolved and it will get resolved with appropriate input from and consideration of the interests of the Board of Education.  There are several ways in which that could occur.  I would prefer that it be through honest dialogue between the key players.

Finally, I am in no way being disrespectful.  My tone and manner of address is appropriate, especially given the very serious subject.  What you dislike are the existence and contents of my communication, especially my having called you to task for the poor way in which you have treated the Superintendent.  I fear you have grown too used to hearing only  "yes" from those in your employ and the adulation of those who support you. 



Monday, April 20, 2015


Last week I was surprised, actually I wasn't ,I am getting used to the Segarra stunts. But last week Segarra showed up at the Fire on Main St. in time for the Media live shots on the 11PM news casts. He was flanked by Councilman Anderson. Segarra was looking Mayoral and actually appearing to show concern for the residents. I have never seen Segarra or Anderson at previous fires or even shootings. Why start acting Mayoral now? Because it is an election year , clearly. I do have to give credit to his media handler, (Shelly not Maribel) for pulling the stunt off. Some gullible newswatchers might even fall for it.

 Then today Segarra releases his Budget for next year. How does $12 million in cuts equal closing a $60 million dollar deficit. It just doesn't add up, not unlike most things Segarra does. Oh and by the way, since it is an election year, Segarra is adding 20 cops, 10 cadets and 10 Dispatchers. He has had the money allocated from Federal funds for every year to add cops, he just didn't do it and banked the money, or whatever he does with unused Federal dollars. But then again it is an election year and people love promises of additional Cops, whether it comes true or not, after the election, who cares what he promised.

Segarra even got mileage out of the Aaron Hernandez verdict after a former NFL official made negative remarks about Hartford. Again good job Shelly. Now lets see what he does with today's remarks by Senator Fonfara at the legislative hearings into Segarra's plans to grab state tax dollars for funding the stadium. Fonfara's remarks were more offensive to Hartford than anything any NFL official could spout off. According to the Courant, Fonfara is on record as saying" Hartford's North End is a drug-selling bazaar for suburbanites who drive from their comfortable communities into "one of the toughest neighborhoods in the state of Connecticut.'' Yeah , that's  not too offensive to Segarra's city, but I doubt we will see a word on Segarra's Twitter account. It's an election year.

For everyone that is represented by the good Senator Fonfara , be sure to remember at election time what the Senator thinks of you and your drug dealing Bazaar and be sure to ask him what he has done to change it.

You can read the Courant's article and the Senator's comments here

Be sure to cut through the garbage before you vote.