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Saturday, February 27, 2016


No, those aren't words from Donald Trump on the "Apprentice". Those are the words of Vincent Mauro  Jr., Chief of Staff to the Connecticut Senate Democrats advising Hartford political operative Angel Morales of his "involuntary termination" from his position as a clerk with the Connecticut Legislature in a letter dated June 15, 2015.

Sometime last spring, I had spoken with a downtown business owner who asked me if I knew a guy named Angel Morales . When I stated that I did, he related to me how Morales was shaking him down and explained that he ( Morales) worked for the State of Connecticut and that he (Morales ) could help him out with any liquor issues the business owner might be having.

He said Morales showed him some State Identification and also told him that he did entertainment promotions on the side. I guess the business owner originally agreed and then had second thoughts. When he told Morales that, Morales threatened to have his business shut down and apparently became very confrontational. I was told that another Hartford business  owner had the same situation with Morales. Morales was also allegedly bringing under - age young men into the second establishment  and the owner was concerned about having minors near alcohol in his establishment.

 The second business  owner also claimed to have found Morales in a storage room in a , let's just say compromising position with a young man and he apparently told Morales and the young man to get off his property..

I had told the first business owner that he should contact the State Capitol Police and make a complaint if he felt Morales was attempting to extort money from him for protection based upon his position at the Capitol.

A little hospital issue cropped up for me and I didn't follow up on the issue... until now.

It appears that one of the business owners did get in touch with the Office of Legislative Management and made a complaint. On May 5, 2015 Morales was issued a letter of disciplinary Action detailing the allegations against him. The letter speaks for itself .

The letter also details an allegation that Morales apparently deposited his Capitol paycheck through a TD Bank phone app and then apparently tried to get double the  amount by going to a check cashing service and cashing the actual check. As of Thursday, Legislative management was unaware if  Morales had made restitution to TD Bank or the check cashing service for the missing money.

It is also interesting that the last paragraph of the warning letter seems to urge Morales to get help through the Employee Assistance Program and they "strongly recommend hat you contact them if you feel they can help you ". That might be the best thing Morales could do.

Morales is also under investigation by the State of Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission for misuse of Citizen Elections fund money You can read more about that here in Jon Lender's recent Courant article .

It seems as though Morales's fraud knows no bounds. According to documents obtained through an FOI request. Morales applied for unemployment compensation after his termination claiming he was laid off  for "lack of work". The State chose not to contest the claim

For another "We the People " posting on Morales, click here. This was when I was involved with Morales's run for State Representative from the 4th District. Luckily I smartened up to his conman antics quickly before I got in too deep. This posting was also the subject of e-mails sent around the Capitol apparently warning about Morales, from documents provided me through an FOI request.


Our City employees and residents are much more valuable than any consultant could ever be. We deal with issues in our neighborhoods every day and throughout City Government. I am pretty sure most of us have had a thought at one time or another "that is crazy the way that is done" and can think of more efficient ways to get things done.

As we head into , or maybe more appropriately , as we try to work our way out of very difficult budget times. Every dollar of savings counts. we might not find the million dollar fix, but all ideas will add up. 

Please feel free to leave your comments here and any thoughts for savings or any way to do business leaner and smarter for the City of Hartford

Comment away ,and please stay positive. And trust me, people that can make a difference are reading also. Let's be part of the solution.


This past week I met someone that said they are a regular reader of the blog, but they just can't read the comments.

I get that. The comments are what keeps a lot of people coming back. Sometimes they are valid, sometimes helpful and well thought out,sometimes quite entertaining and others are just downright nasty. If only you could see some of those I don't allow through.

If any one has any suggestions for a better way to administer the comments to improve the blog, I am listening.

This afternoon I received an anonymous comment regarding the video of Judge Vanda  Evans prior to her sentencing of a racist, abusive cop.

The comment read:

Anonymous said...
I too was galvanized by the judge's oratory. This 20 minute speech which is what it was, should be used in every police academy throughout the nation. It won't but it should. The biggest mistake that honest, humble, hard-working police do in the course of their job, is to protect their fellow officers when one commits an aggression that anyone else would be arrested for and charged.

And please Mr Brookman, don't think for one moment that we don't have this problem here in Hartford. We do. Don't white-wash, sort of speak. Even I, as a white man, have found myself in police situations that could have too easily gone in a negative direction save for my friendliness and non-threatening behavior and most importantly, my WHITENESS.

I am sometimes optimistic and at other times, pessimistic, depending on the situation. With regard to police misconduct, I am more pessimistic in the ability of police organizations to weed out the poor choices. Part of the problem is the police unions, all of which should be rendered obsolete and banned. So, as I meet a police on any level, my mind automatically begins a selection process; good police and human or pig. And unfortunately, there remain plenty of pigs in Hartford. You even find them on these boards.

Until the pigs are pulled from the poke,, things won't change. Yes, we have a dedicated group here in Hartford and am comforted by their presence. And I do my best to assist reporting a crime when possible. But it's those damn pigs that are only fired after committing a humongous crime. Get rid of the pigs and allow all of us the chance to dismiss our cynicism.

That judge's soliloquy did bring tears to my eyes. It was an unusual and lengthy rebuke from the bench. Praise to her wisdom. Maybe it resonated somewhere in the depths of that officer. I hope part of his after prison sentence will be to do community volunteering for a length of time. And if it is not mandated, then he should do it anyways for his own redemption.

My response:
Most of us don't have the greatest impression of our Police Officer's.  One of the main reasons for that is we vary rarely meet or interact with police officer's under warm and fuzzy circumstances. You have been a victim of a crime, you have had a motor vehicle accident, you are getting pulled over for a traffic ticket. Or sometimes even worse.
Most people don't avail themselves of the chance to get to know a police officer and see what makes them tick. Work with your CSO at an NRZ meeting and see the response you get. It is what the Community Oriented Policing program is all about.

And we have all been there. How many Hartford residents have had a police officer ask them why  they stay  in Hartford ? How many of us have reported a break in to our cars and have a police officer comment "what do you expect, you live in Hartford"
I know our system isn't perfect, but we have a great foundation to build on.  Last year I first exposed a situation here of a Hartford officer that was drunk at Foxwood's Casino yelling the "N" word. Chief Rovella promptly responded to the incident and the officer was terminated. Will the termination  hold up if challenged? Who knows. But anything short of termination would definitely send the wrong message. How is the PD supposed to say they want and need to build bridges to the community if they  knowingly deploy racist cops are  in our neighborhoods.

And the fact that the officer was drunk is no excuse. All his excessive alcohol use did was provide the lubricant for his true beliefs and feelings to come to the surface. And to address your comment "Part of the problem is the police unions" How much do you think the Union will eventually spend on attorney';s fees and hearings to get a racist cop rehired? Unions overall have a purpose. If the City was putting in dangerous vehicles with bald tires as the Judge mentioned in her comments, that is fair game for the Union to address, keeping their members safe. To protect bad employees, many of them who are far from the caliber of the rest of their hard working decent members is wrong, and is indicative of what many unions have evolved into.
I think you are wrong in your assumption that Hartford Officers are only fired after committing a humongous crime. I think you need to look at the discipline record of Chief Rovella. Much of the wrong doing by Hartford Officers  has been exposed first here. The lobster stealing officer, the officer involved in a murder investigation in Springfield and then expanded into interstate commerce by stealing from Walmart while working,  the racist cop who was not afraid to tell cops at Foxwood's that his family used to own slaves and then yelling the "N" word at the cops.
 None of those are proud moments for a Police Chief to deal with, but I think the measure is how the Chief deals with them. It would be easy to ignore such incidents , but that only creates more problems, and I have faith Chief Rovella can deal with the heat of doing the right thing when confronted with the hard choices.

I would ask for two things. First off, try to take the time and get to know a police officer you might be surprised when you see the human side of what they deal with. Second, , try a different word than pig and realize we are very lucky in Hartford to have the men and women protecting our City. It might not be perfect, but we have a direct role also in the success or failure.


 I found this video yesterday on-line. It is Judge Vonda Evans before she sentences a Detroit area Police Officer ( most likely former Police officer now) for his racist beating of an African American man after a traffic stop.

I originally thought I would only make it through the first few seconds of a "high and mighty": Judge's lecture from the bench. But Judge Evan's remarks actually pinpointed the problems we have when we hire human beings to keep our communities safe. Or at least we try to.

After watching the full video, we need to realize here in Hartford, that we are fortunate to have the Police Department w have. Is it perfect? No. We have a Chief, and finally now a Mayor, that seems to actually get the meaning of Community Oriented Policing. It is not just a buzz word to throw around and make things sound good. But it is a mind set that both the Community and the Officers patrolling our neighborhoods need to buy into.

Thursday nights Town Hall meeting is a good start, but I think there needs to be a lot more education. The community needs to understand how the Police Department functions and the constraints that are put on any Police Department by staffing and Budget issues Why can't I have a Police Officer at my door within five minutes after I call?

We can't be afraid to say maybe because we haven't hired in years and we are over 100, probably more, officers short of where we should be. And as much as they would like to be at your door in minutes, resources are tied up responding to the woman in Blue Hills lying on her front porch for cover as gun shots were just fired in front of her driveway as she parked her car.

And we as a community also need to be part of the solution. Law enforcement are not meant to be surrogate parents for those children  in our community growing up without adults acting like adults in their lives. We need to develop much better programs to mentor and build strong neighborhoods. And end the path to prison for so many of our youth.

There is a lot more to accepting Grant checks for these programs than cashing the check and giving yourself the title of Executive Director  with a huge salary. We need to start demanding a return on our investments. Accountability and status reports need to be a requirement. A "non-profit" should not also be allowed to be "non-producing".

Judge Evans seems to get it, and she isn't afraid to say it. I think we need a lot more of that to get things on track


If anyone needs proof that we just came through six years of  incompetence and reckless financial
management  ( or maybe I should say mismanagement) the info above should be all the proof you need. It is a screen capture from a payroll report, known as "page 1" around HPD. It is the total wages paid to the top earner at HPD for the 2015 year.

LET BE VERY CLEAR ON THIS POINT. This officer did nothing wrong, who wouldn't quadruple their annual salary if given the opportunity. Especially if it was your last year before retiring and that salary contributes to your pension calculation... for the rest of your life.

 The 'PJPay Amount" doesn't bother me as much as the "OTPayAmt". Although I have to wonder what shape any officer working those hours would be in, both physically and mentally. It has to take a toll on someones family life and even their attitude when they report to work after working all those hours. Keep in mind that many of the PJ hours are accrued working "road jobs" or construction jobs during summer months. Who wouldn't be exhausted after standing in 90 degree heat directing traffic all day on a hot street during July?

The City of Hartford does make money off these road jobs though, last year alone over $3 million dollars in profit was seen by the City on PJ invoices billed

But the greater concern to me is that these earnings , especially the OT and pensions, are not sustainable for the City's budget..

For the last several years, under former Mayor Pedro Segarra and Council President Shawn Wooden, the City has turned a blind eye to its financial responsibility and accountability. Mayor Luke Bronin has inherited a mess. That mess must now be addressed and it is going to mean some tough decisions that aren't going to make everyone happy. It will, in reality, probably make very few , if any happy.

The choices now have become a necessity after years of neglect and incompetence. Hiring in the police Department has pretty much been ignored by Segarra for years. He can't say he didn't know. The documents to both Segarra and the reckless former Council are there. The warnings were loud and clear, the documents and e-mails prove it

But to be fair, anyone with a scintilla of management skill should have been able to look at the numbers. In the 1980's and 1990's , Hartford was hiring large numbers of Police Officer's. Common sense would tell you to keep an eye on the calendar because those large numbers being hired would be retiring in twenty ( now twenty five years) after their hire date.

We never kept track or planned for the future, so now HPD as well as Hartford's residents are in a crisis situation, paying huge OT costs and trying to scramble to rebuild HPD staffing levels.

Thank you Pedro, Shawn and our former OMB Chair Ken Kennedy for driving us off the financial cliff. I only hope Mayor Bronin can bring us back on track before a State take over or a bankruptcy is necessary.

I guess the one positive thing that could come out of a State takeover is that apparently all contracts and agreements would become null and void and we could begin over with some common sense.

In the meantime, it would be nice to see some of those salary dollars going to qualified Hartford residents. They are out there, we just need to do a better job of finding and recruiting them

Thursday, February 25, 2016


The Hartford Police Department unveiled their new Crime Center Wednesday afternoon. Here is the raw video of the event.



Tonight, Mayor Luke Bronin held another of his Town Hall Meetings. Tonight's topic was Public Safety.

Unlike community meetings from the past administration, the sugar coating was gone. It was honest and frank conversations about the staffing shortages in the Police Department and tough budget decisions facing the City for both Police and Fire.

City residents in attendance who stepped up to the microphone were  supportive of the efforts of HPD and HFD and the services they provide to our community. I think it was also important that Chief Rovella chose to attend the meeting without a large entourage. People were able to speak to the Chief and some from the Mayor's Staff one-on one, in a very low key manor. I think a large uniformed contingent would have kept that from happening.

Both Chief Rovella and Chief Freeman welcomed residents to call them directly with comments, concerns or questions. Chief Rovella can be reached at 860-757-4000 and Chief Freeman can be reached at 860-757-4500.

Before the meeting began I was somewhat concerned that the opinions might not be supportive of our Police Department. The comments were mostly geared toward HPD and I was afraid that what seems like a national sentiment to bash cops would prevail. Apparently those in attendance realized how fortunate we are here to have the Community Oriented Policing program that Chief Rovella has built in Hartford and the comments stayed on point and very positive.

Several speakers related personal experiences but one in particular really stood out. The woman related how she returned home one night this week to hear gunfire close by as she walked to her front porch. She apparently observed a car pulling away with someone shooting out of the window . She immediately dove for the ground and laid on her front porch to avoid the gunfire. Almost immediately HPD showed up in front of her house. With the assistance of "Shot Spotter" the location was pinpointed and officers were dispatched immediately. The woman couldn't provide much additional information since she was on the ground, but she sang the praises of the Shot spotter technology

Mayor Bronin and Chief Rovella both emphasized the use of technology to increase the effectiveness of HPD's policing efforts.

Mayor Bronin's Office issued the following release after the meeting:



(February 25, 2016) Today, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin hosted his second monthly town hall. Speaking with residents gathered at Hartford Public High School, the Mayor stressed the importance of hiring police officers to address the crisis in police staffing, using new technology to modernize the police force, and engaging the community more directly.  

“Our most fundamental responsibility is to help keep our streets and neighborhoods safe,” Mayor Bronin said. “That starts with addressing the crisis in police staffing, but we also need to take full advantage of new technology and build even stronger partnerships with residents and community leaders.”

The Hartford Police Department is currently more than 100 officers below the staffing level recommended by independent consultants. Earlier this month, the Mayor accelerated the hiring of a new Police Academy class, consisting of 14 recruits and a Cadet from HPD’s restructured Cadet Program for city residents. The HPD has established a Recruiting Unit to assist in improving the recruitment of city residents and increase the diversity of the police force.

On Wednesday, Hartford unveiled a new Real-Time Crime and Data Intelligence Center to improve city policing and prevent criminal activity in the Greater Hartford region by taking advantage of new technology. The new crime center will help law enforcement make smart, targeted, timely arrests to get the most violent individuals off the street.

The Mayor stressed the importance of engaging the community in new ways to solve problems and generate ideas to tackle violence. In particular, he discussed the City’s plan to open Compstat meetings to the public, including the leaders of the faith community. At Compstat meetings, police share data and information about trends in criminal activity throughout the city.

While laying out the three pillars of staffing, modernization and community engagement as keys to the law enforcement strategy, Mayor Bronin noted that law enforcement is only a part of the public safety equation. “As we continue to strengthen law enforcement efforts, we also need to recognize that public safety is about much more than law enforcement. That’s why we’re going to continue to focus on expanding youth employment, combatting blight, cleaning up our neighborhoods, and building partnerships to help residents with criminal records get a real second chance,” the Mayor said.

“The single most powerful tool for reducing crime in our city is to give Hartford’s young people opportunities for meaningful employment,” the Mayor added. “I am committed to establishing a Youth Service Corps. where members will have the chance to earn a paycheck while serving their community, whether it’s fixing up blighted properties or helping seniors with their homes.”

Mayor Bronin has committed to holding monthly town halls in different neighborhoods around Hartford.  He hosted a January town hall addressing his administration’s priorities and his first 30 days in office.



Isaiah Quinonez

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at approximately 12:10 p.m., while conducting Bodega/ Convenience Store inspections, HPD Patrol Officers observed a suspicious vehicle parked in front of 3391 Main Street.  The operator of the vehicle appeared to be conducting hand to hand transactions of narcotics with at least two individuals.  During the course of their investigation HPD Officers developed probable cause and located marijuana, packaging materials, and a loaded .45 caliber semiauto Ruger handgun.  The operator was licensed to carry, however, the firearm was seized and tagged for safekeeping, pending a review of the incident by Connecticut State Police Weapons and Permits Unit.  The operator was arrested and transported to the Hartford Police Booking facility and charged with several narcotic charges. 

.45 Caliber semi auto "Ruger" model SR 1911 handgun
$4810.00 in U.S. currency
Two bags of marijuana (0.5 ounces)
Arrested: Isaiah, Quinonez, 31, of Hartford, CT
1.      Possession of a controlled substance
2.      Possession with intent to sell


Joctan Hernandez

During the month of February, HPD Detectives from the Vice and Narcotics unit were contacted by the Windsor Police Department in regards to a business in Hartford that was selling "tainted" heroin.  Windsor Police were investigating a non fatal overdose due to possible tainted heroin.  An individual identified the G&T Barber Shop as the location where the tainted heroin was purchased.  HPD Vice and Narcotic Detectives were able to obtain a valid search and seizure warrant for this location.  Upon execution of this search warrant, HPD Detectives located 6 individuals inside the business.  A search of the business produced a bag inside a garbage can containing 46 bags of heroin, 17 bags of cocaine, and 4 bags of marijuana.  The Manager of the business informed Detectives that the drugs located in the store belonged to him.  The Manager was placed under arrest for drug related charges and transported to the Hartford Booking facility.  A second individual inside the store was found to be in possession of less than 4 ounce of marijuana and was issued an infraction ticket.  The heroin tested inconclusive for Fentanyl and will be sent to the State lab for further testing. 

46 bags of heroin
17 bags of cocaine
4 bags of marijuana
$125.00 in U.S. Currency
Arrested: Joctan Hernandez, 42, of Hartford, CT
1.      Possession of Narcotics
2.      Possession of Narcotics With Intent to Sell
3.      Possession of Narcotics With Intent to Sell within 1500 ft of school
4.      Possession of a Controlled Substance

Ticketed:  Hector Marrero, 19, of Hartford, CT
1.        Possession of a Controlled Substance


On Wednesday, 02/24/16, The Hartford Police Department North District CSO's, in a cooperative effort with officials from State of CT Liquor Control, CT Department of Labor, CT Department of Revenue Services, City of Hartford Health Department, and City of Hartford License and Inspections, conducted numerous inspections of Bodegas/ Convenience Stores throughout the North District. These inspections were focused on ensuring compliance with State and City laws and ordinances. In total nine locations were inspected during this operation.

Location: Department/ Outcome: HPD case number:
1.)    2570 Main St. "Munchies Food Store" -- No Violations -- 2016-05661

2.) 194 Westland St. "JR Supermarket LLC."
-- Health - Citation issued -- 2016-05665
-- Liquor - Verbal warning
-- CT Tax - Citation issued

3.) 1166 Albany Ave. "Pasty Dynamics" -- CT Tax- Summons issued -- 2016-05666
-- Health - (14) violations, verbal warning
-- FMO- suspended hot food services
-- L&I - formal write up with follow up inspection set.

4.) 256 Albany Ave. "Center Market" -- Health - citation issued --2016-05673

5.) 3397 Main St. "Mr. B Mini Mart" -- No Violations
- outside this location Arrest case number 2016-5679 (see unusual report for this incident.)

6.) 1468 Albany Ave. "Scotts II" -- No Violations -- 2016-05682

7.) 2383 Main St. "Super Deli On Main" -- Labor - CLOSED THE STORE -- 2016-05683

8.) 1631 Main St. "People's Plaza" -- Liquor - Citation issued -- 2016-05691

9.) 240 Walnut St. "Recycle King" -- Labor - CLOSED THE STORE -- 2016-05692

Tuesday, February 23, 2016



On February 22, 2016 at 10:02pm, Hartford Police Department Community Service Officers were working a proactive detail in the West End. As they were patrolling the area, they observed a person standing by Christine Grocery, 227 Sisson Ave. After patrolling for 15 minutes they observed the person still standing on the property. Officers then recognized the male and as being wanted for an outstanding warrant. Officers checked the suspect through dispatch and confirmed the active Hartford warrant. The male was handcuffed without incident. Incidental to arrest officers found a loaded Jimenez Arms 9mm firearm containing five live rounds, one in the chamber, and crack cocaine on the suspect.

Arrested: Joseph Grant 27 of Hartford, CT. (Convicted Felon, 15 Previous Hartford Arrests)
1.       Criminal Possession of a Firearm
2.       Carrying a Pistol Without a Permit
3.       Trespassing 3rd
4.       Possession of Narcotics
As well as Mittimus Prawn Warrant.
$500,000 Bond

Monday, February 22, 2016


The Hartford St. Patrick's Parade Committee will be holding a fundraiser at Salute' on Trumbull Street, tomorrow, Tuesday February 23rd from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. Admission is $10.00 per person.

Turn out and help support the Hartford Saint Patrick's Day Parade

The Parade will be Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Come down to the parade route early and get your seat! The parade begins at Capitol Avenue by the State Capitol


Check out our new set for the We the People on Hartford Public Access TV. We covered a wide range of topics which you might find interesting