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Friday, June 10, 2016


From HFD Chief Reginald Freeman:

"The Hartford Fire Department is pleased to announce the appointment of LT Raul Ortiz to the position of Executive Officer/Public Information Officer. LT Ortiz comes to Headquarters from Engine 8 located at 721 Park St. in the Frog Hollow neighborhood. "

Lt Ortiz was previously the Executive Officer for former Chief Huertas and was abruptly removed from that position last year, partially, according to sources familiar with the removal because he was communicating with me.You can rerad more on that saga here.

 Lt Ortiz was also responsible for organizing a friendly competition among Hartford's Fire Companies this past Christmas season. You can read more about that here.

Best of luck and success in your new assignment Lt. Ortiz.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


 For over a year now I have been trying to get the answers to a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of missing ammunition from HPD. I have been told that it was under IAD investigation, but I would think that a resolution would have come to the investigation by now. Murder investigations are usually done muck quicker. It is also interesting the officer suspected in the thefts has retired and moved out of state, abandoning his Connecticut home.

The link below was sent to me as a possible explanation as to how guns and ammunitions are getting onto our streets. Could it apply to Hartford? And the link may not be the most credible source, but it is a theory worth looking at


The lawn at 134 Affleck needs mowing again.  The Hartford Police Substation is looking a little shabby in the neighborhood since the last time you mowed it almost a month ago.

Your efforts to contribute a positive impact on the quality of life in this neighborhood would be appreciated.

Thank you


Sing along as you call for your 2017 or maybe even 2018 season tickets. I'm not sure it will still be called Dunkin Donut's Park by then. I mean seriously, who would want their huge logo as the backdrop for countless negative stories. ( probably many more still to come).

As the jingle says, just "eat it up"


I think we all know by now that former Mayor Pedro Segarra was a financial disaster, both personally and for the City of Hartford. Between his personal bankruptcies and the "dire" financial situation he left our City in, nothing should surprise us.

But there is a strange surprise to another Segarra deficit. This deficit was for his recent Mayoral campaign that he left behind after the November election. What is really surprising is a donation from one person to offset that deficit. A $1500.00 "contribution toward deficit" was recorded on 11-16-15 from Mayor Luke  Bronin's Capital City PAC to "Segarra 2015", Pedro Segarra's re-election committee..

Although the initial disclosure filings showed almost $100,000 sitting in the PAC ( at least almost four years away from any upcoming election) Segarra's  $1500.00 "deficit contribution" was only one of the expenses Another large expense of $5,000.00 was made to a  Diana Tomeszko, of West Hartford. Tomeszko is now listed on's website as the "Director of Strategic Partnerships". The expense was only listed as "consulting" and it is unclear of her relationship between Bronin or the actual detail of the expense.

Several donors for the Bronin campaign that I contacted were somewhat surprised that their donations were eventually funneled through Bronin's PAC to support Segarra's campaign efforts.  Those I spoke with were extrememly opposed to Segarra's re-election and were somewhat upset that in the end, their donations were used to support Segarra's campaign efforts

This PAC and other campaign filings can be found on the State of Connecticut's website for the State Elections Enforcement Commission's (SEEC) "e-cris" filing section.

This is one to keep an eye on to see how Hartford's politics really operate behind the scenes.

Bronin Segarra Deficit Payment
expense has been recorded in filings from a PAC (Political Action Committee) formed by Hartford's current Mayor Luke Bronin


And no, not baseball games, we probably won't see those baseball games for a year or longer with the mess at the Dunkin Donuts Park project.

The games being played are those by the City of Hartford and the Hartford Stadium Authority.

 On May31, 2016 I made a formal Freedom of Information request to the City of Hartford, specifically to Sean Fitzpatrick of Development Services. In that request I asked for "any and all change orders submitted to Centerplan or DONO, LLC for the Stadium Construction during May 2016"

In numerous media reports and TV interviews I had heard the "change orders " referred to by both City Officials and representatives  for the developers.

Fitzpatrick apparently referred my FOI request to Cynthia Lauture in the Corporation Counsel's Office. A week later I had heard nothing nor did I receive any documents ,and I emailed Lauture for an update.

 The following day I received an e-mail from Attorney Lauture claiming that "there are no responsive records to the request below". I replied back that I wasn't interested in playing her games. Within an hour I received the appropriate documents through an alternative source. The City did eventually provide the requested documents when they realized I already had them.

WHAT? I knew there were documents because I had heard numerous references to them by many individuals. I spoke to a City Hall source and was told that  what are normally known as "change orders" in the Construction industry had been renamed something else by the Stadium Authority and Development Services, possibly to avoid anyone being to ask for them. Try asking for the "CCD's" I was advised, in the City's terms the "Construction Change Directives"

Ok, I guess that is that "transparency" we keep hearing so much about. Maybe the City could have been a little more creative and called them  "Stadium Heirarchy  Intermediate Transmittals" or more appropriately "S.H.I.T." orders. I think that would be more appropriate  to the transparency they are trying to feed us.


In the short time that  I have begun looking at , and getting calls and e-mails about the Hartford Schools, I have to say I am troubled. If even one-tenth of the allegations are true, we have a real problem.

It all started with Eduardo Genao and his subsequent arrest on child endangerment charges, but I think that incident is potentially the tip of the iceberg. I have received numerous information about other individuals and incidents , many of them naming names and very specific details. Unfortunately many of my sources refer to the mindset at the Superintendents Office , and I don't use or repeat  the term lightly, as "Gestapo tactics".

People are in fear of reporting such incidents because they fear the reprisals and potential loss of their own jobs if they do report bad behavior.

Many times out of a terrible situation , like the Genao arrest, good things can potentially flourish. To all those that have contacted me in confidence and trusting me to protect your identities, I offer my heartfelt thanks and my promise that I will do everything to protect your identities But the next step in your protection is about to take place.

A Federal Class Action lawsuit is being filed to address the issues and the cover ups that potentially harm our students. A Class action suit, as it has been explained to me,  allows people to come forward and make their claims identified as Jane or John Doe and not have to risk revealing their identities to do the right thing..

Whether it is information about a "behavior coach" and inappropriate behavior involving young girls in his care or the Principal that has covered for the inappropriate behavior or Special Education funds being diverted for use other than special needs students, that and any other improper behavior can be reported to the attorney handling the case.

The number one point of the Class action suit is the protection of the "whistle blowers" who want to do the right thing without fear and intimidation. Free of the tactics of Jill Cutler-Hodgman or Paula Altieri or even Attorney Melinda Kauffman . Apparently Kauffman has been shown the exit door from the Board Offices but is still hired on a as "consultant" (what budget crisis?)

For the time being, anyone who is interested in being part of the Class Action suit, I can put you in touch with the attorney, once the suit is actually filed, most likely sometime this week, I will post all of the contact information.

In the meantime, keep doing what you have been doing. The only way to expose the truth is by having good people who care coming forward to expose this filth, and again my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have come forward and also to those who will see fit to come forward under the protection of the Class Action lawsuit

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


The last few days I have fielded several phone calls from Hartford residents claiming that our City's change several years ago to "strong mayor" government has been a mistake and should end.

I disagree.

We always enter the first few months after an election with high hopes that the "new mayor" will succeed. We did it with Eddie Perez, he was going to be the savior for Hartford after years of City Managers and "weak", ceremonial Mayor's We all know how that ended up. His arrest after a Grand Jury investigation brought us to our next, unelected "Strong Mayor", Pedro Segarra. And we all also know how that ended up. A near Bankrupt City with a $63 million dollar plus unfinished baseball stadium sitting empty.

The next strong Mayor, Luke Bronin was also welcomed as the successor that was going to turn things around. It will be at least three and a half years before we really will know how this political saga ends, but so far it has been a very short honeymoon period with many already talking about a divorce.

Let me say right up front, the deck has been stacked against Bronin. But let me also say Bronin knew that when he ran for the office. Bronin's management style has been a disappointment up to this point. In a crisis situation, consensus and partnerships will do more to solve the problem than Bronin's "scorched earth" type style. Unfortunately we are seeing the scorched earth decision making repeatedly. Once or twice could indicate a bad day, but this looks more like a pattern of behavior.

 Bronin's first major test was a bill be tried to move through the legislature to address Hartford's "dire" financial crisis. Senate Bill 464 was a major blunder for Bronin and whoever was (or is) advising him. It was almost like the newly appointed King had spoken and his loyal subordinates were going to accept the bill....or else.

We were told that talks had taken place between the Kingdom's stakeholders ( The Unions). Apparently those talks were more of a short conversation where the unwilling stakeholders were told what they were going to get rather than discussing a solution. That didn't work out well and Luke Bronin's first major task was a huge public failure

Next up, or somewhere in the mix with the Senate Bill mess, were talks for finishing a Stadium mess that Bronin inherited from an outgoing Segarra There may have been hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. All of the parties came together and a deal was hammered out to cover over ten million dollars in cost overruns. It wasn't the optimum deal for a project that many thought should have never begun in the first place. But, we had it, so we had to make the best of it.

Just as a side note, in order to have the Stadium shoved down our throats, the previous Mayor concocted a plan, or used a legal loophole, to take away the resident's right to a referendum to possibly vote the Stadium down.. Segarra created the "Hartford Stadium Authority" which could issue bonds to circumvent the financing and bonding requirement outlined by Hartford's Charter.

Mayor Bronin could have changed the make-up of the Stadium Authority, if for no other reason than I.Charles Matthews and the other members of the Authority were asleep at the switch and had been extremely poor stewards of the public trust and funds. Did $10 million dollars of cost overruns just happen to creep up and no one noticed? Did several critical deadlines for completion just jump out and no one realized the dates were unrealistic and unobtainable?

I have said it before, and I will say it again , the entire Stadium Authority should have been replaced by a competent group of people that have even a slightest idea of why they are there.

But again, the King has spoken. The stadium project has been shut down and most likely will tie the project up for some tie in court battles and extended litigation. Could no one have seen that baseball in Hartford was not going to happen this year, for whatever reason. (and I am sure there are many reasons which will eventually come out before a Judge)

Was throwing Centerplan off the result we wanted. Why not just swallow our pride and admit Hartford wouldn't be seeing a first pitch at Dunkin Donuts Stadium this year. If Centerplan or DoNO or whatever the name is sent an e-mail saying it was going to be another 60 days to complete, then deal with it.

And if there is more that we are not aware of, then tell us. We are not required to obey the King because he tells us to. Transparency in a democracy  demands that we make our decisions based upon facts and circumstances laid out before us

Is throwing the developer off the project going to shorten that time period and get baseball being played quicker .An ultimatum to Centerplan to get it done in 60 days, no more nonsense, no more money, no more extensions might have been a better step. It is called making the best of a bad situation. But I think in the long run, the King has made a bad situation much, much worse

The King also has to think more about his Kingdom.

What about the 400 people that were planning on jobs at the Stadium this year. No one was going to get rich, but I just wonder how many of those 400 people may have turned down other jobs for summer employment based upon assurances that they would be employed at Yardgoats games

I don't think there are many Hartford small business people working on the Stadium, but even the handful that may have been, are we now forcing them out of business because their payments will be tied up  in complex litigation for months or years now?

Maybe it is time for a reminder that a small percentage of people in Hartford ( a VERY small percentage) voted for a Mayor, we did not coronate a King  or royal family.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Here is some more raw video of Dunkin Donuta Park after the City of Hartford terminated the developer , DONO LLC and Centerplan and attempted to secure the facility .Once again the video shows why the City of Hartford had no business being in the construction business.

At 1:40 is the Dunkin Donuts coffee cup that is supposed to spout steam after a Yardgoats homerun, I don't think we will be seeing steam anytime soon,

At 1:30, the policies are posted but no one will be allowed in anytime soon to obey the policies

At 2;10, these two doors are on the south side of the Stadium. who measured for these openings and where did they learn how to use a tape measure.  I guess maybe cardboard and some duct tape can fill the openings

At 2;10, someone's bright idea to secure door openings. These brand new doors couldn't cost much more than a thousand dollars or so each, so why bother getting the lock cores to properly lock the door with a key. It is much easier to drill holes through the brand new doors, shove a wire through and wrap it around a 2x 4 on the other side. Never mind that it doesn't meet life safety  codes for emergency exit. And forget that anyone with wire cutters can snip the wire and walk in.

It just seems insane that the door lock hardware was already installed, but someone made the decision to drill through the doors in a half assed attempt to secure a 63million dollar building. Did no one in the City Hall brain trust contemplate Monday's inevitable actions? Maybe a call to a locksmith on Thursday or Friday last week to plan on putting in the lock cores Monday to secure the building? I think DPW might actually have a locksmith on staff. But a hacker with a drill and some wire and a 2 x 4 was easier I guess

I am getting dizzy from shaking my head over the way this project has been handled ( or mishandled)


Due to great efforts by the Hartford Fire Department no serious injuries were sustained in this two alarm aggressive fire on Laurel Street in Hartford tonight.

An extraordinary effort by HFD. Numerous disabled residents and wheel chair bound residents were safely evacuated from the fire building.

you can watch the video on youtube directly by clicking here 

Monday, June 6, 2016


This e-mail below will make for some intersting reading for many. Hartfortd City Councilman apparently first sent the e-mail below to voice his displeasure with several issues before the Hartford Board of Education.

The BOE Chair,Richard Wareing replied back with a rather sharply worded e-mail. Wareing's responses are in red below.

It is also interesting to note that many of the issues raised by Dr Deutsch were first reported and raised here on "We the People"

Does it really take blog postings for people to may attention?

From: Deutsch, Larry
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 7:24 AM
Subject: Open letter to Board members: can you read it before Monday meeting? -- from Council member Dr. L. Deutsch

ATTACHED  and   below 


With all the controversy these days about budgets for the City of Hartford, and the Hartford Public Schools in particular, it may be helpful to convey, again, some views of many citizens from a City Council standpoint. 

1.      Many are outraged about recent expenditures of over $61,000 for out-of-state travel while paraprofessionals, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and other front-line school staff suffer layoffs.

Agreed, which is why the budget for professional development and travel has been slashed by approximately an additional $450,000 and all travel will have to be centrally approved.  This money will help preserve jobs in schools, particularly in neighborhood schools.

2.      Even more, many reject proposed spending for over 100 employees within the Public School system for salaries in the $120,000 to $150,000 range for directors, deans, associates, and deputies, with the Superintendent and several others still higher, for a total well over $12 Million – while these paraprofessionals, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and other front-line school staff suffer layoffs.

To the extent we are talking about administrators, most of them are unionized and their salaries are fixed by their respective CBA’s, just as the salaries of most city workers are so fixed.  The administrators we are referring to all typically have advanced degrees and many have doctorates and their salaries are not out of line with what their colleagues in surrounding systems are making and are usually less than what their colleagues at CREC make.  

Moreover, the fringe benefits these employees receive are about 65%of  what their colleagues at city hall receive, with the City’s fringe rate being at about 55 cents for every dollar of salary and the Board’s being about 36.  Thus, a Board administrator who makes $100,000 in salary costs the Board about $135,000 while a city administrator who makes $85,000 costs the City about $131,750.  Moreover, unlike many city departments, well-compensated employees at the Board are salaried, rather than hourly, meaning we don’t have the overtime issues that are crippling the HPD’s budget (to name just one), nor do we have issues with employees using overtime to bump their base pay for pension purposes.

Frankly, it is disingenuous for you, or anyone else at City Hall to criticize the compensation structure of the Board when the City’s is and has been for a decade totally out of control and virtually nothing has been done to correct it.

3.      It should be clear that the City Council appropriation for the Board of Education was kept to the minimum legally required.  Council and public members rejected such wasteful spending. There was awareness that the Board had taken the unusual step of failing to adopt its budget until AFTER City Council made that allocation. Despite an attempt to increase Council appropriation IF it were guaranteed to benefit directly the children and neighborhood schools and staff members, it was said that the Board and Superintendent “could not be trusted” to adhere to its stated budget in the future.

This is perhaps the second most disingenuous thing any elected official has said in the last 5 years, an accolade for which there is considerable competition.  The Council had no intention of appropriating more than the legal minimum.  The truth is this.  In FY 17 the City will appropriate approximately $93m to the Board of the City’s own money.  In FY 12 the City appropriated $93.7m of the city’s own money to the Board.  In FY 17 the City will spend $553m,  In FY 12 it spent $545m.  The City has, as is its right, engaged in long-term strategy of funding education at the minimum even as its own spending increased.  It has nothing to do with “trusting” the Board.  It has everything to do with maximizing the revenue the City has available for what it believes are its priorities, which includes only the minimum investment in education. 

4.      There is community outrage about Board and Superintendent failures to follow policies for school closures and student transfers related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School – with neither a plan for its restoration NOR for relocation of students into a temporary and satisfactory building.

This is the most disingenuous.  City government – which includes you – has made clear there is now no money for an MLK reconstruction, despite a decade of promises that a rebuild was “just around the corner.”  When I became BOE Chair in 2014 I told Council during the budget hearing that MLK would either have to be rebuilt or closed.  You  were at that meeting, but apparently weren’t listening.

Nothing that is happening should come as a surprise.  The City’s funding priorities, including the baseball stadium, are what is driving the decisions vis-a-vis MLK.  Please take ownership of the government of which you have been a part for the better part of a decade and stop blaming the Board for the City’s lack of financial discipline and its poor priorities, especially vis-à-vis the CIP. 

5.      There are questions about whether this “public” meeting on morning of June 6, 2016 is legal, allowing for attendance with fair and adequate notice to public and City Council.

The only “question” is the one you raise rhetorically.  Our meeting was noticed in conformity with the law.  It is a public and lawful meeting.  Even you – with your total ignorance of and disregard for procedure -  must see that.  As for the Council not receiving notice, I will note that notice of meetings is given to the City Clerk, who reports to Council. 

6.      There is outrage about failure to rectify a pattern of “poor judgment” with risk to school children from an employed staff member, AND failure by supervisors, including a chief attorney, to respond as legally required reporters of suspected abuse, with suspicion of cover-up.

I agree there is outrage, and I agree that it is warranted.  I will say nothing more on this subject, particularly with respect to the law and/or who may or may not have broken it,  until #1 HPD makes clear its own investigation is done and #2 the Child Advocate has issued her report on our policies and procedures. This is a serious issue and it will be treated seriously, and not as a debating point, especially in the context of budget discussions, with which it has no connection.

Is it too late to correct these problems?

If this hasty meeting today (June 6) proceeds now to final budget adaptation, will there be a chance first for additional public comments?

There is nothing hasty about this meeting.  As you note, it is 3 weeks later than normal.  As we always do, we held a public hearing to solicit input and we received plenty of it.  As we always do, we will enact the budget at a special meeting called for that purpose.  Nothing unfair nor procedurally irregular is occurring. 

Are Board members aware that justifying the current salary structure as ‘market rate’ – with some administrators receiving excessively high salaries while paraprofessionals, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and others receive layoffs – is unacceptable?

If you would take the time to actually examine our budget you will see that central office exclusive of transportation took a much greater share of the cuts as a % of spending than did the schools.  Indeed, the most senior staff was cut by 1/3 and the rest have foregone their raises this year.  Teachers, social workers, etc. will receive their contractually-agreed upon raises in conformity with their CBA’s.   Moreover, as noted above, central office administration bore a far larger share of the cuts than did any school as a % of spending.    

For violations of Board policy on school closings and suspected abuse reporting, are members calling for full disclosure, or face investigation by outside State legal authorities?

The Board, not the State,  is arbiter of the interpretation, applicability, and enforcement of the Board’s own policies.  As for the alleged abuse issue, see my response above.

As they make budget and policy decisions, do all Board members seeking re-appointment or re-election realize that these positions themselves are at risk?

I won’t dignify this with a response, especially in so far as it is a threat toward the appointed members that, if they pass this budget, you will not support their reappointment, should that occur.  The reality – which you have, for the better part of a decade, stubbornly refused to recognize – is that the Council does not determine how the Board spends money. Under the law, Council’s only role is to determine the amount of money the City will provide, which it has done. It is now for the Board to determine how the money will be spent.

This is by specific design of the General Statutes, precisely so that grandstanding municipal politicians like you cannot manipulate school finances and expenditures to serve their own political agendas while not having accountability for the results. Indeed, I acknowledge that, if it was up to you, poor children (which is to say, other peoples’ children),  would have no school choice in Hartford and that they would be forced to attend the school closest to them, regardless of its quality or suitability; all because of your ideological inflexibility.  Fortunately for those poor children, it is not up to you.

Larry Deutsch, Hartford City Council

Finally, I am still waiting for the answer to the question I posed to you during the budget hearing; i.e. will you forgo your annual salary in this time of financial crisis?  The members of the Board serve without compensation because they believe that public service is exactly that.  Will you join us in making a statement to our City that its leaders should serve, rather than be served?