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Saturday, April 30, 2016


One of the main themes of Luke Bronin's campaign was accountability. He promised to bring accountability back to City government.  I think the tone of accountability needs to be set, and it could very well start with how the City's Department of Development Services does their due diligence on projects before they invest City dollars and resources into these  projects.

This is going to be a posting that will come in several parts. It is an interesting and somewhat complex issue. It will be about the people that see Hartford as the bottomless cookie jar. The developers such as the James Ducketts, the Premier Sports Group, the New York based Zacco Group and even the local poster child for the Hartford Community Loan Fund, Sohodra Dilchand.

I will say right upfront, this is not a posting where I have all of the answers. It is very complicated tracking all of the real estate twists and turns. But with that being said, there are enough red flags raised here ,  that with even a very minimum amount of research, I feel very comfortable saying something stinks.

Many of those red flags have been raised by a handful of local residents who just happen to be paying attention and are very capable at doing their due diligence to protect the interests of their City and their neighbors.

Actually , now that I think about it, those residents  are doing what we are paying some City of Hartford employees very good money to do. Shouldn't those City employees be doing the same thing residents are doing. It is called "Google", and if the residents could take the 30seconds to check some of these facts, so can those City employees ready to lead us down the path to doom on  these ill advised projects.

The Dillon Stadium mess cost taxpayers of Hartford millions of dollars and has led to a Federal Grand Jury. Many of the facts that stopped the project were dug up by residents like Anne Goshdigian who took the time to do the research. Why wouldn't Development Services staff ,who are always ready to push these projects forward take the same 30 seconds to see how many red flags they can find before wasting City time and resources on the scammers?

A recent resolution before the City Council was apparently  pushed forward by Glenn Geathers from Hartford's Development Services Department. It involved selling a property to Sohodra Dilchand . The resolution for the property at 175 Tower Avenue was before the Council to authorize the sale of the property and the home on the property to Dilchand  for $650.00.

Dilchand was conducting business under the name SDDC , S.D. Development Company. Apparently no records can be found for an entity called S.D.Development Company being registered with the Connecticut Secretary of the State, but none the less , the City of Hartford was going to turn a property over to her for $650.00.

 The resolution from Mayor Bronin to the Council claims that Dilchand or SDDC as she calls herself,
would invest $147,000.00 . That figure consists of $95,000 in financing from the Hartford Community Loan fund and a $50,000 loan from the City of Hartford. Now let me figure this out, $95,000 plus $50,000, that totals $145,000.00 on an estimated project of $147,000.

Not a bad risk for Dilchand, Kicking in $2000.00 of her own money and getting a property and land for $650..00. Even at the interest rate of 9% that the Hartford Community Loan Fund charges, Dilchand tried to move forward.

But apparently Geathers and Development Services failed to do their "due diligence".. Not only was Dilchand delinquent on her taxes, by City Ordinance, the City of Hartford is forbidden fro cutting deals with  developers or vendors with outstanding taxes.

In Mayor Bronin's proposed resolution to the Council, several other "success stories" of projects conducted by the SDDC Development team are listed. But try to track the ownership and principals of those projects and you will end up with a major migraine and a list of quit claim deeds and lis pendens and mortgage documents and property transfers that will make your head spin.

But apparently Dilchand knows a bargain when she sees it . From the agenda of the Hartford City Council meeting of July 20, 2015.:

The Hartford City Council will hold its regular monthly public hearing on Monday, July 20th at 7 PM  in the Council Chambers: 

 The items on which public comment is sought are listed below.
  1. Land Sale . Approval to sell the blighted 3-family house at 97 Williams Street to Sohodra Dilchand for $1.00 for the purpose of renovation and sale to an owner-occupant. (Segarra)
To this date, 97 Williams Street is still impacting the neighborhood as a blighted , burned out property. Nothing has been done on the property since Dilchand was given the home.

This is just the beginning, coming up next, the Zacco Group, their honor as a contractor on the "Suffolk County NY 'Contractors Wall of Shame" and their unfulfilled promises to Hartford after they were given properties for next to nothing, despite the red flags from the community.

Just maybe the indictments from the Dillon Stadium deal will be handed down by the Federal Grand Jury soon and we will all see how Hartford government works ( or doesn't work)

And get a pad and pen ready, You will need to keep track and connect the dots of who is doing what and for who and how it all winds together into a huge web of deception perpetrated on the people of Hartford


Anonymous said...

Mayor, it is time for you to respond to this instead of only reading these blog posts. Let's hear your opinion. I agree with Kevin, everyone that has had anything ever to do with Hartford usually sees Hartford as one big cow to suck at her teats. Over and over again. What do we need to make things right? We listened to your promises. I for one, have been a strong supporter of yours. I am not willing to throw in the towel on you yet. But if you are doing more than it appears, it is your responsibility to show us exactly what you are doing. The budget is done. You must begin putting out position reports then begin a step by step approach to making real improvements.

Are you really a breath of fresh air or are you just another chump? I need to give you more time. After all, 4 months is not a lot of time. But you need to begin at least to put out position papers. Luke, it would surprise you to know who I am. Later for that. I am a strong supporter of your administration - for now.

Let's get on the ball.

Anonymous said...


Keep in mind the Hartford Community Loan Fund was started by Bill DiBella and John Fonfara years ago through the Legislature. Both of therm have made a very good living preying on the less fortunate people of Hartford. At 9% Interest rates these vulnerable saps borrowing from the Loan Fund would probably have better luck borrowing from a loan shark on Franklin Avenue, but then again I guess they are when they are borrowing from Hartford Community Loan Fund. And wasn't that convenient that Fonfara found a job for his former love interest as Exec. Dir. of the HCLF.

Anonymous said...

This is upsetting and shocking. Exactly what was said earlier by one of this blog readers: business is all the same under Bronin, nothing changed.



Keep reading, you ain't seen nothing yet, it gets much better (or worse)

Cecil Rhodes said...

What disturbs me is the lack of vetting by our rookie Mayor. He signed the dam resolution and he could have taken 5 minutes to vet her back taxes. He failed and neglected in his duty...just like he did with SB 464..... the aroma here is palpable. Under the strong mayor form of government we have had 3 was a crook.....the second was an incompetent pervert and this present one is an immature rookie.

Memo to Luke;.....for a Rhodes Scholar your first 4 months on the job has been lousy.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever audit Glenn Geathers and his activities at Development Services? It's time to wake up and do so.

Anonymous said...

Even if it gets worse, is it deserving to place this all on Bronin's shoulders? Let's see what you got.

Anonymous said...

Bronin quietly refinanced some debt recently, pushing it off to later years at a premium, kind of like a balloon payment on a mortgage. One of those things he called financial gimmicks but that restraint didn't last long either. Tell me again how is he different from the previous 2 strong mayors?



I don't need to defend Bronin, and I agree with what you say, but shouldn't a Mayor be able to think staff is competent enough to have done the legwork before it gets to his desk and shouldn't someone on his own staff have done a quick check to make sue the deal was legit? This is why Hartford is the management mess that it is, and heads should be rolling, especially when you embarrass the Mayor and the City.

concerned hartford citizen said...

Did the mayor and geathers rely on hartford community loan fund to vet ? If so why ? Do they do a lot together ? Also i found an article from 2015 about an audit in housing that showed a lot of unpaid loans -what has happened since then ? This could solve our budget problems ! Development services is a big mess !

concerned hartford citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It is about time the predatory tactics of the Hartford Community Loan Fund are being exposed, including Rex Fowler's antics. And I don't mean the type of exposure involved with the young man and the sleeping bag incident ( but that itself would make a good story). The tip of the iceberg, keep digging

Harshal Patel said...


Thanks for posting this and highlighting the investigative efforts being made by Hartford residents.

Residents who are against this type of fraud and corruption need to take action; call the Mayor's office, the city council representative, etc.

This may even lead to a much needed outside audit of the Hartford Community Loan Fund.

Anonymous said...

Or an internal audit of the Department of Development Services.

Anonymous said...

Dear Concerned Citizen: Not long ago, Mr. and Mrs. Jones got hundreds of thousands of $$$ to open and run a mini-market in downtown Hartford. The result: the doors to that failed mini-market were closed after just a few months. The other result: the Jonses didn't pay back even one single penny.
That's the way things are done in Hartford Development Services, that's how Glenn Geathers operates.

Anonymous said...

Some clarity is important here. When the development was set up, was the going rate of commercial interest around 9%. If so, this explains why the interest rate remains at that percentage. However, the interest rate should vary according to commercial rates.

I am assuming that the woman who borrowed $95,000 plus $50,000 is an LLC, which if so, may allow her to default on the loan. I am not sure with this point. Often, Denise Nippier issued financing to her friends only to see them default after falling short of promised job development. After which we have a previous council, along with one hold over, one Cynthia Jennings, pushing a 70 million development in order to provide a few minimum wage jobs for her unemployable - oh wait, this is why we have Working Families Party - to rob from the rich and give to the poor? Oops. The teats of Mama Hartford are now supple with fresh financing. Come and get it.

Anonymous said...

Bronin is here for the moment. He saw a great looking item to put on the resume, and he will promote whatever marginal progress he makes as soon as Governor Malloy brings him to Washington once Presidnet Clinton awards him a Cabinet level position.

He never had the stomach to do hard work, and now Hartford is stuck with another corrupt administration. Why else would a grand jury look at Dillon Stadium and not DD Park?

Anonymous said...

The entire department has to be audited. Every project they dealt with, their spending, any and all sucess and/or failure they experienced.

Evelyn said...

This is all very disheartening. I live in North Hartford and went to the Hartford Community Loan fund for help by way of their credit builder program to help pay off my city car taxes. I was told that before I could become a home owner my taxes need to be paid off and that I need to be in payment arrangements before I could close on the loan. With this info one should not be shocked that I would be amazed when I went to the City Council hearing on the $1 properties and that HCLF was given this developer $95,000 and the city giving them $50,000 with resolution and support from HCLF sitting there with her while she owed taxes and had no arrangements with the tax collector to pay her back taxes. My concern is what makes this developer any different than any other resident that will go to them for help? Then to my amazement I receive information that Rex Fowler was mad at me for speaking out against this sale by the city and threatened my loan. I politely rescinded my opportunity to close on the loan allowing them to know my community advocacy and my homeownership business is separate and that I will not allow my voice to be silenced for no price. Funny thing is that Rex thought so little of me and my advocacy that he thought a $1,000 loan at 9% interest was enough to try to shut me up. Lol!!! So now I guess I pay to shut myself up. You cant make this stuff up. Shocked to know that I was threatened by the Exec Director of HCLF. KEEP YOUR MONEY and I will keep working on my credit which is only 10 points below what can get me a traditional loan from the bank. At least I will have my honor and integrity in tact and sleep well at night.

peter brush said...

The Development Services Department is charged with helping to craft an action plan that is consistent with the Mayor’s vision for future infrastructure improvements and job development opportunities and working to make that vision a reality. The Department is comprised of five divisions: Administration, Licenses & Inspections, Housing, Planning & Economic Development, and Small Business & Neighborhood Development.
Well, thanks anyway, but I don't need an "action plan" this year, and, even if I were to be short such a plan, I have zero (0) confidence in the local Municipal Government's ability to conceive or execute. Actually, now that you mention it, other than the License and Inspection guys I think I don't need a Development Services Department at all.

Anonymous said...

I told you Hartford, Bronin will have his mouth as well as his hands in the cookie jar. He started right out the gate emulating the Segarra & Charlie Administration; Bronin & Sarah running a non profit, profitable employment friends agency. Luke buying votes with job promises..same oh same oh. Luke just talks a better game. He needs to returned to sender. Send him back to Malloy!!!!

Hartford, how you like him NOW??

Anonymous said...

Do you mean DiBella that everyone knows does not live in Hartford and is suppose to?
The same DiBella that the so called black leaders worship, knowing he does not live in Hartford?
Is it the DiBella who does not hire Hartford residents or minority contractors for the Billions of Dollars of work being done?
Wake up they are all the same Crooks, Bronin and all!

Anonymous said...

Correcto! L&I worth the only division. All others within the dept, overpaid and bloated. Good Luck if you need any services upstairs, got sent up there once and receptionist was nice, but that's about it.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money: There is definitely an umbilical cord connecting the Hartford Community Loan Fund with 550 Main Street, and as the truth is revealed bit by bit, we'll be hearing and reading some very familiar names. And there's no way that the administration will be able to ignore the evidence, which will point squarely to collusion between those in high places and and some low-lifes who prey on the less fortunate.

Anonymous said...

He has proven to be a Rhodes Scholor:
I give Bronin an A+ on his wife Sarah's jobs for friends & colleague's program.
An A+ for trickery to North Hartford and the so-called advocates.
An A+ for giving up before the ink was dry on his first time sheet and pay check.
And also an A+ for following his predecessor's MO; I'm not the Mayor I just play one on TV.
Sarah & Malloy the real shot callers.
Lousy to say the least!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Development Director Sean Fitzpatrock has grave concerns about baseball stadium but expressed no concerns about this dirty deal as it crossed his desk on its way to bronin.

Anonymous said...

I agree he should have competent staff, but when you run on a ticket of accountability and you know that your new staff is new, and pre-existing staff may not have been well trained (again, Dillon Stadium, should have mandated a complete overhaul of the system but seems to have resulted in shrugged shoulders instead), then the Mayor has a duty and an obligation to double check his staff's work until they have proven their mettle. As has been said before, the buck stops with him. He can't do it all, but unless and until he has the courage and backbone to get a top notch staff around him, it's going to be the same old, same old.