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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

HAVE A SAY IN HOW YOUR MONEY IS SQUANDERED

DAVID TANNER BOUNCED FROM HARTFORD DPW

It appears that the incompetence of Hartford's Deputy Director of Public Works, David Tanner, has finally caught up with him. Correction, make that Hartford's former Deputy Director Of Public Works.

According to sources at City Hall,  Tanner has been removed as Hartford's Deputy Director of Public Works because he wasn't up to the job. But as is usual with the City of Hartford,  Tanner's incompetence has been rewarded by burying him in another City Department while he still  collects his large City salary.

Tanner can now be located within Hartford's Economic Development Department, where his wife is the Deputy Director.

You might ask why DavidTanner was given the City Hall shuffle rather than being shown the door if he wasn't cutting the job. Especially in a City where we lay off DPW low paid employees but then keep the $90,000 plus a year employee who has collected a salary for over a year while not being up to the job. The answer is simple.

David Tanner was (or is)  a POS. Not in the usual way you might be thinking of POS , but more appropriately a POS as in Pal Of Sara. Tanner and his wife both came in to the Bronin Administration because of their friendship with Luke and Sara Bronin before the election and that has apparently resulted in his survival on the City of Hartford payroll.

UPDATE:  April 18, 2017 6:0PM

Even though David Tanner is no longer working at the Department of Public Works Headquarters,  Tanner has been allowed to keep the title of Deputy Director of Public Works, apparently in order to be able to also keep the salary, even though he is not performing the duties of the Deputy Director. 

According to City Hall sources, Tanner is now handling some "clean up issues" related to the Dunkin Donuts Park completion. Dunkin Donuts Park was never under the control of DPW  and it is unclear why the so called Deputy Director of DPW would now be overseeing anything involved with the project. It is also unclear as to why, if there is any involvement in the Park by DPW.

 Why would Tanner have been moved out of DPW headquarters and now report to Constitution Plaza where the Development Services offices are housed and where his wife is the Deputy Director of Development Services. It is also unclear where Tanner's salary will be accounted for and budgeted, from Development Services or DPW.

More questions than answers right now. I guess sometimes it pays to be a POS.(that means Pal of Sara, as explained in the above posting)

IT IS TIME FOR GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS FOR LUKE

Well, Mayor Bronins 2017-2018 budget has been released. It is far from a done deal and will most likely be tweaked over the next several weeks as the Hartford City Council begins their work before submitting a final budget, probably tweaked to add more special favors and garner political support, rather than tough decisions to bring financial sustainability to Hartford.

But one thing is clear in the budget, Bronin has no trouble gambling with Hartford's future. Whether it is borrowing $20 million plus for "short-term" budget gap closing measures or failing to show any vision or leadership with budget cuts, Bronin's budget is short on vision and leadership for Hartford's sustainability.

Some days, I  expect Bronin to ask City Treasurer Adam Cloud for a sack of cash with a couple hundred thousand dollars so that Bronin can head to Foxwood's and put it "all on red" or maybe see him in line buying a couple hundred thousand Power Ball tickets at a corner bodega , hoping to hit it big to solve Hartford's deficit crisis.

The casino or Power Ball both have about as much chance of hitting it big as does Bronin's hopes of a huge windfall from the State of Connecticut next year. Much of that hope is based on revenue from the Hospital Tax being contemplated by the Legislature. I would go with the Power Ball option Luke, the odds of hitting that are probably better than the Hospital Tax passing.

But what the heck, lets borrow $20 million hoping it can be paid back. Bankruptcy is always an option for Hartford, so why not roll the dice.

I again have to ask, what is the plan and where is the vision? An $11 million dollar budget increase is reckless, especially when we keep hearing the threat of Bankruptcy. And the continued excuses really are wearing thin. It is time for tough decisions and that needs to be done now. It may not further the Bronin's political aspirations , but  Bronin wasn't elected because of where he hopes to be on the political ladder 10 years from now. He was elected to run the City of Hartford today and for the next two and a half years and some of those tough decisions he needs to make won't make him politically popular.

How does New Britain do it? Maybe Mayor Stewart would be willing to give some mentoring lessons to Luke

Really, $250,000 for heated bus stops and laptops in the libraries? Are we serious about positioning Hartford for the future or are we all about the feel good now? Can you hear our suburban neighbors doubled over in laughter. We can't even pay our sewer bills, but now heated bus stops? Are  the manicurists providing services at the bus stops going to be City employees or independent contractors? Just asking because I can see it coming. And will the bus stops have cable TV and internet ? I think many people using mass transit in Hartford would just be happy with a bus stop, period, heated or not.

Heated bus stops at the same time we lay off lifeguards at the City pools and contemplate cutting over $200,000 from senior Centers and programs for our senior citizens? Really Luke?

And just another quick observation, if the Citizen budgeting is supposed to encourage participation, then why in a City of over 120,000 residents did less than 1% participate. Apparently about 1,200 people actually turned out to cast a vote. But at least they could feel good when they did vote.

Those tough decisions are part of the strings attached to the $50 million pledge made by Hartford's Corporate leaders. One of the strings were that the money need to be accompanied by a Viable plan for sustainability for the future of Hartford. Increasing the budget by $11 million while revenue and taxes are pretty much flat and hopes of additional State funding are a long shot at best and the Union concessions we keep banking on don't seem to be coming through. These are not viable plans for sustainability.

There is still an awful lot of fat at City Hall, even though we keep hearing about the "bare bones". When is someone finally going to have the guts to cut the number of City Council assistants? That is not directly under the Mayor's control, but it would be a good spot to start. How effective is the Office of Corporation Counsel, and do we still need all those attorneys if just about everything legal is already contracted out to other outside law firms? The use of City cars is still an issue, especially with the number of SUV's in use as opposed to economy and energy efficient vehicles. And the City regulation that the cars only be used for City business seems to be about as much a waste as the paper to print the regulations.

There also needs to be better supervision to ensure that every dollar we are spending, especially overtime, is being used effectively. That includes people that are paid double time on holidays like Good Friday and then hide in a substation all day watching cable TV and drinking espresso, while their supervisors watch.

 Now is the time for effective leadership, not gambling with Hartford's future.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

MY SYMPATHIES TO MAYOR BRONIN

Last night at a community meeting organized by Council President TJ Clarke, I witnessed one of the lowest moves by a politician in Hartford that I can recall, and I have witnessed several gutter politicians over the years. Unfortunately it was Mayor Luke Bronin who went to the gutter level and his actions were directed at me.

Now I know if I dish it out I have to be able to take it back, but I don't deal in lies, and I wouldn't expect our Mayor to also. But what Luke did last night was pure and simple, the actions of a liar. He was trying to call me out because I called him out with facts.

Now I was ready to hit the keyboard last night and inject my venom into mayor Bronin's lies, but the better part of me told me to calm down and relax and wait a day. The facts will still be the same.
It started at the meeting when parent after parent were talking about City pools being shut down due to budget cuts. The parents described the pools as the safe zone for some of their children and asa place to keep their children off the streets and keep these kids alive.

Then Councilwoman rJo Winch got up and said the layoffs were necessary to close a budget gap of $60,000 dollars in the Parks budget. I understand the need to balance a budget, but where are our priorities? I had just been informed by someone knowledgeable at City Hall that Mayor Bronin had just hired a new Communications Director at a salary of $69,000 dollars.

At least he is getting more reasonable, the first two that quit and left the City were closer top $100,000 a year. But a Communications person over Lifeguards? Priorities Luke ...priorities.

I finished my remarks and then I sat down. Imagine my surprise when Luke stood up to begin his attack on me. Luke stood up and said that I needed to be honest with the people in the room and that the reason I was upset by the new Communications Director is because I applied for the position and Bronin wouldn't hire me.

Totally untrue Luke and you know it. Let me go back to that Mark Twain quote I frequently use. "if you always tell the truth, you never have to remember your lies"

And here is the truth. Shortly after my July 5, 2015 Stroke, I was going through Rehab at Mt. Sinai Hospital. On a Sunday afternoon, candidate Luke Bronin showed up in my hospital room for a "visit"
Luke and I were never friends so I was a little surprised during a campaign he would take the time to visit me, but I wasn't suspicious. During our conversation Luke brought up the subject of my support of Bob Killian and wanted to know if I would consider shifting my support to him.

Now I didn't think I had that much pull and that my support would matter, But Luke seemed sincere that my support was important to him, and even after my stroke and lying in a hospital bed, I still felt Bob Killian was the best choice Luke and I talked a little more and before he left, Luke said that if I decided to support him and he got elected that "there will be a spot for you in my Administration".

A few weeks later, Bob dropped out of the race and I did support Luke Bronin because I could not see the benefit or re-electing Pedro Segarra. I still wonder what could have been if Bob Killian stayed in the race and where we would be headed as a City under a Killian Administration. The man still amazes me with his knowledge of Hartford history, his vision and his skill for coming up with a reasonable solution for just about any thing I ask him about. And when Bob Killian tells you something, you know it is the truth. I can't say the same thing about Luke Bronin

And integrity matters to him, and his wife Candy and his daughters all reflect that and we have become close friends.

Like I said in the title, my sympathy is with Luke.  Really, it is. I can almost guarantee that the Mayor's job is not what Luke expected at all when he ran. Some days he must feel like a the Captain on the Titanic waiting for the end, because you know it isn't going to get better.  It was a big leap to go from writing policy under the dome of the Capitol to now being the Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut's Capitol city as it sits on the verge of bankruptcy and that is only the beginning of the problems.

A city with a baseball Stadium that mired him down for almost all of his first year in Office and has proven to be a huge embarrassment to efforts to prove we are legitimate to our suburban neighbors. A city that is  probably running close to Chicago with the most  per capita in our homicide rate. A city that can't find qualified police applicants to boost our dwindling Police Department, which is  on the verge of a crisis .

A City where the successes at City Hall are few and far between and hopes of greater political aspirations have been dashed in probably less than a year and a half. Dashed for Luke at least, others like TJ Clarke would be smart to build their image on the back of Luke Bronin and his failed policies and lack of vision, and organizing last nights meeting shows that he is more than capable.

It might also be time for Mayor Bronin to start demanding results from his inner circle. Another quote I  like is "the number one rule of management, is that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with"

Who allowed the Superintendent of Schools process to get so out of control to become such an embarrassment? The Mayor appoints the Majority to the Board of Education. So a smooth process should have been a slam dunk. Unless of course you are playing Harlem GlobeTrotters ball, where everything is a joke or comedy act.  And the Bronin Administration has become a joke quickly

So Luke tell the truth. If you want to attack me personally, I can take it, it comes with the territory. But if you don't know by now , I detest liars,  just ask a couple of your predecessors.

ANOTHER COMMUNITY MEETING, ANOTHER HOMICIDE, NO BRONIN PLAN YET

Last night another community meeting was held to address the number of homicides in Hartford. Once again Mayor Luke Bronin showed he was short on solutions, or even ideas. Except maybe to try to discredit me, but that is another posting later for the details.

Hartford's homicide is skyrocketing this year under the leadership, or lack thereof ,of Mayor Luke Bronin. The Hartford Police Department is drastically understaffed and all we hear from Bronin are excuses as to why they can't hire cops. And the shrinking number of Hartford Officers available to patrol our streets is only going to get worse as more officers retire in June and July.. Mayor Bronin paints the image at all of the community meetings as he approached the head table and rolls up his sleeves, making it look like he is ready to do the heavy lifting required of a leader.

But that's all it is, part of a well scripted play in the Bronin's playbook for future advancement. In the meantime people are dying in our streets. And let me be fair, last nights community meeting wasn't even Bronin's idea, It was Council President TJ Clarke who organized the meeting, Bronin was just there to ride Clarke's coattails. Mayor Luke must have been surprised when he showed up and there were no TV cameras there to record his soundbites for future campaigns.  Surprise Luke, they were all at the Board of Education meeting.

I almost fully expect Bronin to go back in history to attempt to solve our homicide problem . Luke will probably take a page out of the Mayor Mike handbook and stage a dog and pony show with Connecticut State Troopers as the backdrop. My gut tells me that Bronin will announce that Troopers will be coming in to Hartford to save the day, at least for the summer

Again, no plan for sustainability, just the quick fix. No solutions from Bronin, just turn to Uncle Dannel for help when it gets tough. Troopers are not the answer, a fully staffed and properly supported Police Department is the solution.

We elected people to be leaders, It is time for Luke to start leading, if he is capable, I'm not convinced he has it in him


FROM HPD:

Hartford patrol units responded to the area of 42 King Street in response to Shot Spotter activation (#105750) that recorded six rounds. On arrival, a unresponsive male victim was located lying in the driveway of 38 King Street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso. The victim was transported to Hartford Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 0130 hours. A crime scene was located and secured by patrol officers. Crime Scene Detectives and Major Crime Detectives responded and assumed control of the investigation.

The victim was positively identified as Jimmy Gonzalez, 23 year old H/M, DOB 1/25/1993, of 63 Webster Street Apt. C-3 Hartford, CT. Detectives Placzek and May were assigned as the lead investigators. Investigation is on-going at this time.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

YOU MAKE THE CALL

The video below is from the evening session held for the public to hear from the two candidates for Superintendent of Schools. See who you think is the best equipped to lead Hartford's Schools into the future.

 This video was posted by Stan McCauley to Youtube.com under a contract with the Hartford Board of Education


MAYBE PEDRO SHOULD TRY OUT FOR THAT PITCHING CAREER

 HHD-CV12-6033048-SMARTINEZ, WARNELLY v. SEGARRA, PEDRO E. Et Al
According to Judicial records the long awaited lawsuit that has been dragging on against Hartford's former Mayor Pedro Segarra for years, is now moving forward

Jury selection has been scheduled for April 25,2017 at 9:30AM at 95 Washington Street.

 I am not sure if  Pedro's hopes for a Judgeship are still alive, but I would think a malpractice judgement against him would not relfect well on his stellar legal career.

Scheduled Court Dates as of 04/03/2017
HHD-CV12-6033048-S - MARTINEZ, WARNELLY v. SEGARRA, PEDRO E. Et Al
#DateTimeEvent DescriptionStatus
104/18/20172:00PMTrial Management ConferenceProceeding
204/25/20179:30AMJury Selection / TrialProceeding

IT WOULDN'T BE HARTFORD IF THE PROCESS WASN'T CORRUPT

The  selection process  for Hartford's new superintendent of school's was corrupted from the start.

I am not sure why someone would be appointed to the selection committee who has a clear conflict of interest based upon contractual relationships with the Board of Education.

Then we have Mayor Bronin who attempted an end run around the selection process by having clandestine meetings at his home to apparently try to gain support for his candidate he wanted to introduce into the process. I am not sure why he didn't have his choice enter the fray with the rest of the applicants, but that's politics. At least Bronin was clever enough to skirt the laws by only inviting half of the Board members he wanted to impress to one of two meetings he held at his home.

Inviting the full group would have constituted a quorum and therefore Bronin would have been liable to Connecticut's open meetings statutes, but by only inviting half at a time he was able to skirt the laws. For a full story on the efforts to sidetrack the process by the Bronin's, you can read Jeff Cohen's account here.

Now back to the Selection Committee.Maybe we should ask some of the people involved to do a quick study of Mark Twain. Twain was known for one his quotes "If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember your lies". A good rule to live by, especially when the media starts asking questions and you get five different answers.

I started getting phone calls about the selection process Friday morning. One caller said  they overheard the Chairman of the selection committee, John Motley, telling someone that the selection process was a done deal and the Committee had chosen the Interim Superintendent Leslie Torres Rodriguez as the next Superintendent.

When the person called me, I said that couldn't be true because the Selection Committee had already made its recommendation of Tim Sullivan and Torres Rodriguez as the two finalists the Board would vote on at Tuesday nights meeting. The more I checked though, the more I found that a dirty deal was underway.

I spoke to two members of the Selection Committee and they both stated that Motley had called a meeting last Thursday and then suddenly changed the location of the meeting from the Board of Education offices to the Pope Park Recreation Center. Apparently Motley "overlooked" notifying all members of the new location. It appears in particular those members who were less than supportive of Motley's choice of Leslie Torres Rodriguez were left out. One of the people I spoke with said she had called Motley after she found no one at the BOE Offices, and Motley stated "Oh, we must have forgot to notify you of the new location"

 She left and headed to Pope Park. She swears that there was no vote take to narrow the recommendations to one person as Motley's Friday media statements claimed. That appears to be supported by media accounts this morning. Former Hartford Superintendent Hernan LaFontaine was quoted as saying  he"echoed Yennie's account, saying that the search committee forwarded both names – Torres-Rodriguez and Sullivan – to board members at the meeting."

I spoke with Hyacinth Yennie and she claimed that no vote was taken and that she insisted that the Board had to make the choice of either Torres Rodriguez or Sullivan and the responsibility for the choice should rest with the Board, rather than trying to make the search committee the eventual scapegoats for the decision. The Hartford Board of Ed hasn't had the best track record in their selections and it has been a revolving door of questionable selections, so I can understand why the Board is trying to provide themselves cover from the inevitable blow-back.

I also find it troubling,and even disgusting ,that they can claim they are working for the best interests of "the Children" and then decide to operate in secrecy.How are parents supposed to have confidence that the best person is being chosen ? Julio Flores a board member was quoted as saying "The deliberations of the search committee are confidential, so we do not speak of them," 

Are you serious, "confidential"? What are we trying to hide or do we only talk about transparency when politicians are trying to get votes. There is nothing that should be confidential , it should all be on the table, strength's weaknesses and all the ugly blemishes so we can be confident that the best choice was made. And how can people that were actually in the room not be sure if an actual vote was ever taken? That makes me question the capabilities of anyone involved in the process if that is their level of attention and comprehension.

Even Achieve Hartford is refusing to release the surveys conducted after the public forum. I am told the responses overwhelmingly supported Timothy Sullivan. A source familiar with the surveys claims they were told by John Motley that the surveys are the property of the Search Committee and they are not to be released. So much for the process being open and fair. I can see why they wouldn't release the surveys though. Just watch the video of the forums, It is interesting to see the standing ovation and the response when Tim Sullivan finished his presentation and the response when Leslie Torres Rodriguez finished hers.

I think Tim Sullivan made it pretty clear that there was going to be a top to bottom evaluation of all consulting contracts and salaries in the Central Office. I can see why Motley and others might be concerned if a new Superintendent pulls back the curtain on Oz and we finally realize what has been going on. We can't allow for Sullivan to start peeling back the layers of the rotted onion  and expose where the money is going. People might be upset to learn that the Hartford Schools is not a system about educating children as much as it is about keeping adults happy by continuing to throw education dollars down the black hole to keep lining their pockets.



I do have to say though, that I gained huge respect for Tim Sullivan because of this process , as dirty and corrupt as it is. I called Tim Sullivan Friday night to get his thoughts before I wrote this posting.

Sullivan was an extreme gentleman and said he was telling his supporters not to be angry but rather to support Torres Rodriguez because ultimately this choice needs to be about Hartford's children. That should be the focus of the Hartford Board of Education, keep in mind this is a decision about Children. Not about  adults posturing for power, not about adults scraping for the shrinking grant money for their sometimes useless projects and not about keeping a constituency happy because of the pigment of someones skin

The choice needs to be about the best candidate period...end of story

It is about the Children, and how many of the decision makers can look in the mirror and tell themselves they did the best they could and kept the process about the children. Can Craig Stallings?Can Julio Flores? Can John Motley?Can Rich Wareing? Can Robert Cotto?   I think Tim Sullivan can.

IS PEDRO A PITCHER?

Word is that Hartford's dethroned Mayor Pedro Segarra is still lobbying Josh Solomon to throw out the first pitch at the Hartford Yard Goat's opening game. If the word is true about Segarra's attempts to gain the pitcher's mound , we all need to have our heads examined for mental competency if we allow it . After his crazy plan to prop up his failed re-election is now estimated to plunge the City further into debt, to the tune of a couple million dollars per year, and that is just to start

Any effort by the Solomon's or the Yard goat's to allow Pedro Segarra anywhere near this field would be a huge Public relations mistake for an organization that is desperate to gain acceptance. I would hope that any appearance by Pedro Segarra ,to what will become a permanent monument to his incompetence, will; be met with loud boos and jeering fans. Not a good way to start.

And while I am on it, what's up with the Yard Goats signing with an out of town hotel to be the host hotel for the teams? What about all those hotel night stays they used in their proposal to try to show why the stadium made sense. Maybe they should have been noted as an economic boon for the Rocky Hill economy rather than Hartford.

And lastly, before I move on, why did the Yard goat's waste the time to hold auditions for singers if they were going to bring in an entertainer from out of state to sing the national anthem on opening night.

Not a good start for a team that claims to be all about our community

Maybe we could get the guys in the blue windbreakers with the big FBI letters on the back to finish their investigation and escort Pedro ,I.Charles and others out of the stadium. Now that would be a home run

Friday, March 31, 2017

HARTFORD FIRE OFFICER RECOGNIZED WITH PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL

March 31, 2017 – The 2017 Excellence Conference was hosted by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. (CPSE) in Orange County, CA from March 20, 2017 through March 24, 2017. The CPSE is the fire service industry standard for individual credentialing and fire department accreditations, respectively. The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) developed these designations using a model that looks at the "whole" officer. Achieving the designation requires a strong educational background, diverse participation in emergency services at the local, state, and national level; and demonstrated involvement in the broader community, all validated by emergency services peers. On March 21, 2017, the CPC met and voted unanimously to award Captain Raul Ortiz his “Fire Officer” designation. Captain Ortiz becomes the fifth credentialed officer in the State of Connecticut and the first of Hispanic descent. The CPSE offers professional credentials for Fire Officer (FO), Fire Marshal (FM), Chief Emergency Medical Services Officer (CEMSO), Chief Training Officer (CTO), and Chief Fire Officer (CFO). This internationally accepted model recognizes professional accomplishments and competence in fire and emergency services and offers fire and emergency service personnel career guidance and planning. “Captain Ortiz is a consummate professional who is dedicated to the department and the city. His contributions are invaluable”, said Reginald D. Freeman, Chief of Department. Chief Freeman was appointed to the Commission in 2010 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Commission on Professional Credentialing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

YOU ASKED FOR THEM, HERE ARE THE JILL CUTLER HODGMAN DOCUMENTS

I have requested the documents from the Hartford Board of Education related to the resignation of Jill Cutler Hodgman. The Board hasn't provided them yet , but luckily I was able to obtain them through "alternative means" and they are disgusting. (The documents, not the alternative means)

In a system that is claiming a deficit and threatening to lay off teachers and para-professionals, it just seems absurd when  you see some of these salaries and related benefits. A $2700.00  car allowance for Cutler Hodgman? Are you serious? Is this a system for educating children or is it more about lining the pockets of adults?

I guess the $183,846 per year salary just wasn't enough so I guess I sold just be sympathetic and hope she cold survive and cover her vehicle expenses with the additional car allowance of $2700.00. Some people have it tough.

From the documents:  "Effective July 1,2013,the annual salary shall be$165,025. Effective July 1,2014, the annual salary shall be $171,626. Effective July 1,2015,the annual salary shall be$178,491. Effective July 1,2016, the annual salary shall be$183,846. Any adjustments in salary made during the life of this contract shall be in the form of an amendment and shall becomepartofthis contract.

An Automobile Allowance at the annual rate of $2,700 pro-rated and paid on a monthly basis. The amount shall be in lieu of all other reimbursement to Cutler Hodgman for use of personal vehicle."





And whoever on the Board that allowed this nonsense should be shown the door. And as a note, the documents are all stamped in large letters "CONFIDENTIAL". I would understand why they wouldn't want any of us in the general public to be able to read about their extravagances, but I would hope that Cutler Hodgman in her role as "Chief Labor and Legal Officer" would hopefully have a better understanding of the term "public documents" and the public's right to know and that nothing in government is "Confidential". Maybe that is where her problem started

And if Jill Cutler Hodgman was actually being paid $183,846 a year as the " Chief Labor and Legal Officer" ,why did we the have to provide a hack lawyer from the Corporation Counsel's Office to advise her? Should we be asking for a refund?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

TIME FOR A LITTLE LEVITY

At a time when it seems like half of our Country has lost their minds over the election of a President and the other half is borderline over the loss of a candidate, when Senator Murphy is writing op-ed pieces apparently predicting  a war in Syria and our Mayor is about to borrow $20 million dollars to get us out of debt on the hopes that we will get additional money from the State of Connecticut, which is probably just about as close to bankruptcy as the City of Hartford.And oh yeah the Affordable Care Act is who knows what for the future.

So I just thought it was time to lighten the mood for a few minutes and give you a chuckle. The video below is an act from America's Got Talent. I am not sure if it is the same guy, but I think I saw this act once during halftime at a Uconn Women's basketball game.

Enjoy, and laugh a little. Lighten up, it's good for your health. The second youtube video below is one I found after the original posting and it is the one I mentioned from a Uconn game as you can see from the Huskies logo on the Xl Center basketball court.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

HEALTH CARE SHOULD NOT BE A PARTISAN ISSUE

If anyone is still confused  as to why Donald Trump is our President, open your eyes and pay attention. People are fed up with politics and Donald Trump was the beneficiary of that backlash. Anyone involved in politics that doesn't heed that warning, will most likely also feel the political blowback. It just so happens that Republicans received the benefit this go round.  Democrats and Republicans need to take advantage of  the opportunity to start listening to the American people and start benefiting the American people, not their own agendas.

This week in Washington was another perfect example that they are not listening . Politicians can have all the Town Hall meetings they want, but what we really need now are some politicians that can put aside their politics and begin to actually show some leadership.

Healthcare is not a "Republican" or "Democrat" issue. It is a basic human rights issue and we need to realize that. The Affordable Care  Act is not a perfect solution, but it was a start.  As a small business owner I used to provide healthcare for myself and my employees. One day out of the blue, we received a letter from the Healthcare provider telling us that in a short time they would no longer be writing health insurance in Connecticut. We shopped around, but as a small business, the prices were astronomical and prohibitive.

I had no health insurance at that point and I was, from what I thought at the time, relatively healthy. I would pay for any medical costs out of pocket and at that time it was a relatively small annual cost for me.

Fast forward several years and like I said, I figured I was relatively healthy so insurance was not a major concern. Eventually my health and genetics began catching up with me. I was diagnosed as a type 2 Diabetic, but between generic prescription meds and diet, I was able to keep it under control, or so I thought. Because I wasn't properly managing my healthcare, it caught up with  me.

I was still uninsured when I eventually had my first stroke. Most likely caused between my high risk factors of my diabetes and my blood pressure, which I didn't even know was a problem for me until I had the first stroke. If I had healthcare insurance, I probably would have acted a lot differently and managed my health differently and more aggressively and eliminated many of my problems before they actually became problems.

I had a great Primary care physician at the time, and he worked with me as much as he could, even providing me with medication samples monthly. But there was still follow up things like regular blood work and tests that I had to pay for out of pocket, so I would let those slip until they were absolutely necessary.

I was thrilled when the Affordable Care Act  became reality, and I could finally get affordable health insurance without the rejection letters for pre-existing conditions. The first year I didn't really shop, I just jumped at the first plan I saw and knew I could afford. Even with its roughly $6,000.00 annual deductible, it was still extremely reassuring knowing it was there if I needed it.

I won't go into all of the medical issues, more strokes, a heart attack, internal bleeding. but I am convinced if healthcare was easily obtainable, myself and probably many others would have managed their healthcare much differently. I know I am paying the price now.

It seems popular to parade people in front of the media to state that without the Affordable Care Act they wouldn't be alive today. I don't know if I can say I would be dead by now, but I think I can say with confidence I wouldn't have my eyesight today and probably wouldn't be able to walk without my stints in rehab at Mt. Sinai after my 3rd stroke and being taught how to function again. The vision, laser surgery and treatments and the rehab were only treated because I had health insurance in place.

I am getting off track here, but this past week in Washington was a disgusting display of politics at its worst , by both Democrats and Republicans. I don't think either party can claim the moral highground on this one. The venom and the sniping is what the people have made clear that they are tired of , and if politicians don't see Donald Trumps Presidency as a warning of how fed up we are, get ready for more of a bumpy ride next election.

I think confidence will be restored by which ever party can really roll up their sleeves and put the rhetoric aside and make a difference for the people they represent. Right now Congress has the Rolls Royce of healthcare plans along with the clinic they have right in the Capitol for their health needs.

 I wish there was a way to tell every member of Congress that their medical insurance was being cancelled and they were on their own to find their coverage. I bet the health insurance problem would be cured in a matter of weeks, not years if Congress people were harmed the same way millions of Americans will be harmed if their insurance is taken away. Someone needs to get the policy makers in a room and say"we aren't leaving until this is fixed". Take the parts that work and replace the parts that don't. I think they call that consensus building, maybe we should try it.

The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it was a start. I think what we need are some of our so called "leaders" to begin to lead. We need the Nancy Pelosi's, the Paul Ryans, the Chuck Schumers and the Chris Murphys in Washington to put the political egos aside. If they all put as much effort into fixing the problem as they do into hunting out the TV cameras for their sound bites to attack each side, this problem would be fixed quickly.

I have  plenty of good things to say about the Affordable Care  Act, as well as some horror stories also. I think if calmer heads prevail and really make an honest effort, a solution is within reach

When do you think Donald Trump or Barack Obama worried about how they would pay for a procedure or if they can cover the cost of their medications this month? Many people I am sure are stressing right now over what Congress will do, but it should be the other way around. Congress should be stressing over what the people are going to do if they don't begin governing and doing the jobs we elected them to do.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

WHERE IS THE DEPUTY?

You would think that in a cash strapped City like Hartford, which is teetering on the brink of Bankruptcy, every salary dollar would be evaluated to make sure we are getting our money's worth.

I have to ask then, why do we have a Deputy Director of Public Works who apparently can't be called upon to fill the top position of Director when it became vacant?

Instead we take our Fire Chief to fill in as Interim Acting Director ?

Now let me make this clear right from the start. Hartford's Fire Chief has worked wonders in his short one year tenure. He is more than capable, an excellent manager, an inspirational leader, simply a man of vision who knows how to work with people.

Chief Freeman has turned the Hartford Fire Department around from an organization that was becoming a laughing stock due to numerous arrests, gun fights, drug dealing and essentially just bad behavior to an organization with pride and rising morale.

Would I like to see that same trend continue at DPW, quite honestly yes. But not at the detriment of diluting the leadership at HFD.  I have no doubt Chief Freeman earns every penny of his salary as Fire Chief and I think he could probably be called upon  to run most City Departments and do it very well (Well, maybe with the exception of Corporation Counsel, that would take a law degree. But I have every confidence Chief Freeman could even do that by surrounding himself with the right people)

If the Deputy Director of Public Works David Tanner is not capable, or unwilling, to step into the top leadership role at DPW, that is a six figure salary we as a nearly broke City can not afford.

I would hope that the Assistant Chief's in the Fire Department and the Deputy Chief's in the Police Department would be able to assume the lead role when called upon and the Deputy at DPW should be competent enough to fill in temporarily when needed as well. If Mayor Bronin does not have the confidence that Deputy Director Tanner  can do that, then we should stop wasting the salary for a figurehead and find someone who can .Stop gambling with the leadership of HFD, especially since HFD seems to be running smoothly now, for the first time in many years.

ANOTHER OBSTRUCTIONIST GONE FROM HARTFORD SCHOOLS





When I first heard that Jill Cutler-Hodgman was leaving the Hartford Schools, a song immediately came to my mind along with the images above "Ding-dong the Wicked Witch..." I'll save you the rest of the song , but you get my point

Jill Cutler- Hodgman is an obstructionist performing her dirty deeds in the Office of Hartford's Superintendent of Schools. You would think that being in the Superintendent's Office, Cutler -Hodgman would have been an advocate for the children, but my experiences with her were the total opposite.

Cutler- Hodgman, along with her former henchman, Melinda Kaufmann from the Corporation Counsel's Office, were the Chief document shredders(since they are both attorney's let me insert the obligatory "allegedly" here for legal reasons)  at 960 Main Street, responsible for running the cover-ups to withhold documents from the public for anything that would prove an embarrassment to the Hartford School system.

Their latest attempt, at least that we know of, was the coverup for a School predator , Eduardo Genao. When I became aware of the Genao incident, I immediately made a written request under Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act for documents and investigations related to Genao's employment.

Not surprisingly, I was told that no documents pertinent to my request existed.  Other sources in the Superintendent's office told me that documents existed and Jill Cutler -Hodgman allegedly had gathered all of Genao's files and they were in her office. The source also claimed that allegedly Cutler Hodgman and her staff had shredded documents that would implicate the Superintendent's Office in covering up Genao's activity.

I filed a complaint with the FOI commission and amazingly a large amount of documents, including several that I obtained on my own from various sources, painted a clear picture of a coverup of activities by Genao dating back almost a decade and which the Hartford School ignored his behavior.

 That was an interesting moment at the FOI hearing when I produced documents they claimed didn't exist and they had to back pedal quickly to cover their lies.

Below is just an example of over 80 pages that Jill Cutler- Hodgman claimed never existed, and there are more that they have not released yet, in violation of the FOI Commission order.

Jill Cutler- Hodgman was paid over $180,000 per year in salary, apparently  to support the education of children. Far from it. If Cutler -Hodgman was evaluated by her dirty deeds and the damage she did by supporting predatory behavior and cover-ups , she clearly earned very penny of her salary.

Hopefully there will be a thorough house cleaning by the next incoming Superintendent. There goes that song in my head again "Ding- dong the wicked witch". Good riddance Jill, hopefully your next job will not involve caring for the safety and welfare of children.


Docket_FIC2016-0382; Kevin Brookman v. Superintendant of Schools on Scribd

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T IN THE KINGDOM OF LUKE

It has been a while since I have linked to Jeff Cohen from WNPR, but here is a  story Jeff uncovered. I think it shows the disrespect for the will of the menial subordinates in the Kingdom of Luke.

 With actions like this by Mayor Bronin,after many hours given by a volunteer  search committee ,is it any wonder the Hartford Schools have made such flawed choices in Superintendent searches for many years ?

You can read Jeff's story by clicking the link below:
http://wnpr.org/post/hartfords-search-schools-chief-mayor-bronin-floated-outside-candidate

HE DID SUCH A GREAT JOB ON THE STADIUM....

The chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority, I. Charles Matthews, must realize that his  run is about to end once the Stadium opens it doors.

Word is that I. Charles Matthews  is now ready to undertake a new endeavor to keep his name out in the political favor arena. Several Hartford political insiders have apparently received invitations from I. Charles to a political fundraiser he has been organizing for a Governor's Office candidate hopeful Daniel Drew, Middletown's Mayor. ( my invitation must still be somewhere in the mail)

It is interesting though to many insiders that I. Charles has taken this step so early, especially since Governor Malloy has not announced his intentions for re-election yet. It is also interesting that Matthews , who remained chairman of the Stadium Authority under the Bronin Administration would make this move without the blessing of Bronin or Hartford's Democratic leadership.

Unless something has changed, Bronin has had very close ties to the Malloy Administration and this move seems odd to many observers, especially if Governor Malloy should try for a third term. But, as the saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows.

Hopefully I Charles has been able to line up Pedro Segarra to throw out the first pitch for the Yardgoats home opener in April as we were promised. Maybe he can plan a fundraiser for Dan Drew if the City of Hartford's luxury sky box at the Stadium, I'm sure Ken Kennedy and Shawn Wooden will donate.

THE SYSTEM IS BROKE, BUT DOES ANYONE HAVE THE WILL TO FIX IT?

Anyone that doesn't realize that Hartford has a violence problem must really be out of touch. The unfortunate part is that everyone grows a backbone too late. In Hartford it is usually after the body is already on the way to the morgue and the TV cameras are still recording at the street corner vigils.

This posting is in no way intended to belittle the work of people like the Reverend Henry Brown. Henry serves a purpose and brings attention to the street violence in Hartford, but unfortunately when Henry's attention and prayers are focused on you, you have already met your maker (hopefully). Without Mothers United Against Violence and Rev. Browns people, there would probably be very little attention paid to homicides and violent crime on our streets

Well let me correct that last statement. Very little attention until an election is coming. Everyone wants to talk about homicides and gun violence when votes are on the line. Pedro Segarra and Luke Bronin both made a big deal out of visiting with shooting victims and homicide  victims families during their last rush for votes, but that seemed to stop after election day.

There are so many reasons for homicides in any City, including Hartford.  Despite the fact that Police get the large amount of blame for crime and shootings, it is only their problem after the fact to clean up the mess. I think under Chief Rovella, HPD has done their share, above and beyond, including the PAL program and other diversionary programs they have instituted

Does it seem a shame to anyone else besides me, that the initial identification of our latest homicide victim, Keon Huff was by Police officers at the scene, who according to sources familiar with the incident identified Keon from his photograph on a "wanted" flyer distributed for Keon's TIC from the Juvenile Court. A TIC or Take Into Custody Order is similar to an adult arrest warrant, but it orders Police to take the juvenile into custody  and normally they are taken to Juvenile Detention at 920 Broad Street until they go before  Juvenile Court Judge.

I don't know what Keon did to be the subject of a TIC order, and at this point it doesn't really matter but clearly the Juvenile Court system had already been involved and the system didn't work. DCF had been involved and clearly DCF dropped the ball. The Hartford Schools also dropped the ball and failed Keon, but it seems as though one thing that kept Keon's interest, at least temporarily was basketball and sports.

I think by all accounts, Keon had a pretty tough life. News articles seem to make no mention of a mother and father, an integral part to a child being raised properly and being able to survive, and avoid, the deadly challenges of urban streets. Luckily he had grandparents and an Aunt who eventually adopted him and tried to raise him. But even then, no one seemed to be able to answer where he was going to school, or if he was going to school.

Between the Juvenile Courts, DCF and other State agencies and the Hartford Schools, was no one paying attention? Or are there just too many Keon's out there to focus on? It is not the governments responsibility to raise children, but how do we break that cycle of children having children? It is kind of difficult for parents, and I use that term very loosely, to raise children and bestow on them the value of a good education, a good family and a good job when many of these child "teenage parents" have not experienced those same lessons in their own lives.

That is where the problem starts. Too many of these potential homicide victims are brought into the world by sperm donors. I can't call them fathers , because they aren't. A father takes responsibility for his actions and is there all the way from conception to adulthood. There to raise the life they helped start. A real father doesn't run off after the fun is over to impregnate his next egg incubator.

Unfortunately there are hundreds of children like Keon that are almost definitely born with the odds stacked against them from the start. Poverty , joblessness. poor education and failing schools, urban violence, drugs, gangs , all add up to a real problem with children born lacking the proper support structure to raise them.

And again I will ask, as I have done many times here before, Mayor Bronin, what is your plan? Standing at a vigil after a 15 year old is executed with a bullet to the head is too little too late and telling us society has failed is not a solution. Again, Mayor, what is your plan?

We need to take teenage pregnancy seriously. That is where the problem begins. We need to take drugs, gangs and gun violence seriously. It has claimed far too many victims already, many of them right here in Hartford's neighborhoods. When was the last time you have heard the Hartford Health Department of the Connecticut Department of Health addressing teenage pregnancy. What is done in our schools for education or is it just that dirty little secret we choose not to confront?

During the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in Hartford and talked about gun violence and was surrounded by our Mayor as well as Congress people and a Senator or two. If they are going to talk about the scourge of guns on our streets, then lets now hold them accountable. Hillary didn't make it, but we should hold the politicians who were in her entourage accountable and demand they put  the words they use to get votes into real action.

Hillary's campaign rally took place a few hundred feet from where Keon was executed.

Although the Federal  government has shown an increased commitment to fighting crime in Hartford, it is time to ask President Trump to come through on his tough talk on combating crime and we could use the help. But then again, maybe our City's "leaders" would be too proud to accept help from a Trump Administration, but right now we can use all the help we can get as we are starting to look like the Chicago of the East as we keep racking up the homicide numbers this year so far.

It is a complex problem , and I am pretty sure I aggravated many people with this posting, but it is time to have the tough conversations and start confronting the problem head on before another Keon is executed. I think the saying goes the first step in solving a problem is to admit you have a problem. The problem will still be there after the TV cameras leave the street corner vigils unless we start doing a hell of a lot more than we are doing now.

So let's hear how as a society we are going to break this cycle and address the problem of future Keon's before it is too late for the next victim of senseless violence. Mayor Bronin and all those people that like to seek out the cameras at the vigils, give us a plan.

I think we all are waiting and listening.

 Please keep your comments respectful and pertinent to the topic or I will not post them. Thanks

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HPD HIRING



HPD has opened the Police Officer application process for two weeks! This process is for two weeks and just for city of Hartford residents.
Please help us make a difference in our city- Share this information and encourage residents to apply to HPD. MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

Please see the HPD Recruitment page for details:
http://www.hartford.gov/police/recruitment  (Here you will find complete information and answers to many questions within the many links)

The Hartford Police Department is hiring! The application process will be open from March 1st, 2017 through March 15th, 2017. This application process is for HARTFORD RESIDENTS ONLY!
Interested applicants can apply online here: www.policeapp.com/HartfordCT


Please email any application or hiring questions to JoinHPD@Hartford.gov

MORE INTERESTING COURT DOCUMENTS FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE

Whether it is the warrant applications for a couple of rogue Troopers or the amended complaint in Centerplan vs. the City of Hartford, these normally boring court documents are providing some interesting reading. The devil is in the details as the saying goes.

Just in the first few paragraphs of the Centerplan lawsuit are a few statements that should raise a few eyebrows, including those of FBI investigators looking at the project.

In the documents Centerplan claims that former Mayor Pedro Segarra formulated a plan to "lure" a minor league baseball team to Hartford.(paragraph 5)

Centerplan also claims in paragraph 8, if true, that Mayor Segarra's plan was actually a move to build support for Segarra's 2015 election campaign. To put the City on the hook for millions just to build support for his failed re-election is immoral and should be criminal. I guess the courts can look at that eventually.

Take the time to read the complaint, it is very interesting, like I said, if it is true.

I often wonder why Dunkin Donuts would want their good  name anywhere this mess?

Monday, February 27, 2017

UH-OH



This posting is one that will have many people shaking their heads asking  "What were they thinking?"

The story revolves around circumstances that up to this point have been kept extremely vague by the Connecticut State Police. ( I guess they are only transparent and open when it involves officers from other agencies beside their own)

Some of the facts  are still a little up in the air, but allegedly the incident involves two State Troopers who engaged in behavior that I guess we could call less than legal. The off duty incident apparently started at a bar in Wethersfield. A male customer in the bar allegedly made inappropriate advances toward a female companion of one  of the troopers That trooper is identified by sources as CSP Trooper Xavier Cruz, a trooper since approximately 2013.

To read the full warrant , click here

Allegedly the two troopers then severely beat and assaulted the aggressor  with batons and other items. The beating resulted in the man being admitted to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment for his injuries, where the  incident was eventually reported.

According to sources, arrest warrants have been signed for both troopers on a multitude of charges including assault, unlawful restraint and kidnapping. Both troopers are expected to be arrested tomorrow on the charges, with bond being set at $750,000 each. Apparently there is also a burglary , charge being thrown in there also,which I am not sure why. Hopefully that will become evident tomorrow after their arraignment, unless CSP tries to seal the warrants .

Again, what were they thinking?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

WHEN IS MANDATED REPORTING MANDATED?

It would seem as though the mandated reporting statutes for instances of abuse are not being taken seriously. It would also seem that there is very little accountability for those mandated reporters who fail to live up to their responsibilities.

The Office of the Child Advocate recently released a scathing report into actions of mandated reporters at the Hartford Schools  who apparently have overlooked or ignored as many as 69 documented cases of abuse involving children.

Unfortunately it doesn't begin or even end with Hartford's Schools. Recently a 17 year old male was taken to Hartford hospital suffering from malnutrition and apparent physical abuse.  The 17 year old, Matthew Tirado recently died at Hartford Hospital , suffering from malnutrition, broken bones and bruises. Matthew weighed a mere 84 pounds at the time of his death.

Now getting back to the mandated reporters. Although most people just reading this now  might be a little suspicious and come to the conclusion that the young man was being abused based upon his physical condition, the first notification to HPD was made after the body was received by the Office of the Chief Medial Examiner.

Apparently no report was ever made by medical staff attempting to treat Tirado.

According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, no one from Hartford Hospital notified authorities of what was clearly a case of apparent abuse. Just on the condition of the body as it appeared to the OCME, even before an autopsy or further testing, apparently the notification to HPD of possible abuse was made. Tirado's mother was arrested and charged with Cruelty to persons, a felony. Those charges may be elevated when the OCME's final report is issued.

Dr. Susan Williams, the Associate Medical Examiner who did the physical report stated  that the teenager had three broken ribs, bruises over his upper body, an injury to his back, and bed sores on his buttocks. Now I will give a pass to hospital staff, as mandated reporters, that they might not have seen the broken ribs without x-rays, but everything else seems pretty obvious to raise the suspicions of medical professionals, especially the malnutrition and the bruising.

I am not sure we would overlook this lack of reporting if it was a Police Officer who turned  a blind eye to a victim of abuse , so why should we ignore it when others fail in their responsibilities? Whether it is a teacher, a principal, a doctor or a nurse, they need to do their jobs and do what is required of them under the law.

These statutes are in place to protect and advocate for some of the most vulnerable in our society, including children, seniors and domestic violence victims, there needs to be more accountability and penalties for those that fail to do their jobs as mandated reporters

It is a little too late for Matthew Tirado and other victims when the Medical Examiner fulfills their responsibility as a mandated reporter.



 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FOR SALE: DUNKIN DONUTS PARK


The "For Sale" signs will be going up on Hartford's Dunkin Donuts Park soon,  if one Hartford City Councilman has his way.

On the agenda for Monday's night Council meeting is a resolution by Councilman Larry Deutsch to instruct Mayor Bronin to put the  park up for sale, with a  6% profit.

Deutsch's resolution reads:

(COUNCILMAN DEUTSCH) Resolution requesting the administration to advertise and put up for sale Dunkin Donuts Park for the price of total development cost plus 6% as soon as possible giving the current “corporate consortium” including Dunkin Donuts, Aetna, Travelers, Yard Goats ownership, Bear’s Barbecue, Hooker Brewery, etc. the right of first refusal. 

I think the Councilman left out the "low mileage" part and "never been used". I am sure there have been many days when Mayor Bronin had wished there was a way to dump the stadium, but somehow I think the bondholders who financed the project may have some ideas different than Councilman Deutsch, not to mention the legal aspects and I would imagine the Solomon's would have some legal claims also if the stadium were to be sold out from under them. But then again maybe they could cut a deal with the new owners.

Councilman Deutsch, is it too late to add a friendly amendment?  I suggest "Successful bidder is also required  take I Charles Matthews and the Hartford Stadium authority as part of the deal"

And we wonder why the suburbs and the region won't take us seriously


Monday, February 20, 2017

IGNORANCE AND DIVISIVENESS ARE INEXCUSABLE

I don't think I need to sit in front of my keyboard and defend the Hartford Police Department, but I do think I have an obligation to expose ignorant remarks and divisive behavior that undermines the relationships between our  Police Department and the community. Last week a resolution was introduced to the Hartford City Council by Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudes.

The resolution seemed to imply a conspiracy by Chief James Rovella, in conjunction with Mayor Bronin to dismantle and overthrow members of the Civilian Police Review Board. It appears, or was being insinuated, that this conspiracy was being orchestrated to cover up allegations of abuse  and findings from a June 4th incident . From what I know, that is the furthest thing from the truth.

One of the allegations is that "new video" had been uncovered from the incident. That is totally untrue  and reckless. The incident had been released to all of the media sometime in October. This video was part of the State Police investigation and despite the requests of Chief Rovella to obtain the video and release it to the public, Litchfield County States Attorney David Shepack refused Rovella's request.

During the investigation, Chief Rovella offered an invitation to community "leaders" for an opportunity for a briefing. I think  Chief Rovella called the meeting in part due to the lack of transparency and his desire to release the video that was being withheld by the Litchfield County States Attorney and the Connecticut State Police. Sadly I think three or four of us took Rovella up on his invitation and no City Councilmembers or any members of the CPRB were in attendance.

During the month of January I was made aware by a source that HPD Internal investigators were focusing on a specific video clip from a West Hartford Police dash cam that showed several plainclothes police officers kicking a handcuffed suspect while he was on the ground. The investigators identified the plainclothes police officers as HPD officers.

At the January Public Compstat I asked Chief Rovella and Deputy Chief Foley about the video. Although they wouldn't comment on the ongoing IAD Investigation, Chief Foley said that the video had already been released to the media in October. Unfortunately it was during a period when I was hospitalized and I didn't receive it. Foley said he would get a copy of all of this discs with video for me, and true to his word, within a couple days I had probably 12 DVD's with all of the video from HPD dashcams, CSP dash cams and West Hartford PD's dash cams. The same video investigators used and was given to the media previously

Would a Chief involved in a conspiracy or a cover up do that? I doubt it, but it sounds good if you want to start a conspiracy theory to further your agenda, whatever that agenda may actually be.

It was hours and hours of watching very boring video, until I found the clip from the cruiser dash cam of Officer Iacovino from West Hartford. I was a little surprised when I found the clip in question and wondered why I hadn't seen it anywhere before. I think everyone was focused on the Spell video and didn't take the time to thoroughly review all of the discs. So it really wasn't "new" video that had been hidden away as part of some  grand cover-up scheme. And any Council person could have made the same request as I did to obtain a copy, if they were really interested in the truth

The allegations regarding the Civilian Police Review Board shakeup are pure nonsense. Any member of a Board or Commission that claims they are backlogged and can't meet because they don't have enough members to make a quorum, and haven't been vocal  about the problem , should be removed.
There are plenty of ways to get the message out  and force action, but to just sit back and live with bad conditions until you are threatened with replacement, is the height of incompetence and inexcusabe.

Any Board as important as the CPRB is to public trust in our Police Department ,would easily attract media Attention if Commission members dropped a dime to any TV station or media outlet. To sit on their hands and accept a backlog of cases and and lack of a quorum for months ,if not years, is disgusting and any Commissioner worth their weight should be ashamed in their lack of action. The public deserves better and so does our Police Department.

Another fact that seems to be conveniently overlooked is that Chief Rovella launched the initial investigation over his concerns after being made aware of the condition of the suspects in their arrest photos. People who usually are involved in a conspiracy and cover-up don't make the initial complaint to begin with.

It also should be made clear that Chief Rovella and Deputy Chief Foley have been extremely transparent when it comes to HPD.  Sometimes that transparency is almost nauseating when I start getting messages and "tweets" from Foley at 6:00am on a weekend, but it is transparency.

I mentioned ignorance a couple times at the beginning of this post. It may be a strong term, but there is no other word to describe not taking advantage of opportunities to educate yourself. Especially when you are going to go off and write less than accurate resolutions that you know nothing about. As part of HPD's transparency , there are numerous opportunities for self education, unless of course that doesn't fit in with your personal agenda or desire to actually be somewhat knowledgeable as to what you are talking about.

The Public Compstat sessions are a product of Rovella and Foley's efforts at transparency. It would be enlightening to anyone that wants to know more about their Police department to attend one. It would definitely be beneficial to a CouncilPerson to maybe learn a little more  about what our Police Department does and what actually goes on  in Hartford .if they were to attend. To this date I don't ever recall seeing Councilwoman Bermudes at a Compstat meeting, athough I have seen Council President Clarke, Councilman Sanchez as well as Councilwoman Jennings there. I have never seen the Chairman or Vice Chair of the CPRB there either.

The next Public Compstat is this Thursday at 5:30PM at HPD Headquarters  at 253 High Street. They are not intimidating, there is no need to sign in or even identify yourself. Just go to the front desk , tell them you are there for Compstat and someone will give you directions to the elevator and the 2nd floor Compstat meeting room. Questions and input are welcomed during the meeting and a lot of valuable information is shared and you can also talk to police officers and Command staff before and after the meetings.

To view my previous posting and the related videos to the incident, click here


On February 18th, HPD issued the following statement:

Council Person Bermudez is correct, the Police Department should not have any say on who sits on the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB). Yet we have the right to say when CPRB is non-existent and failing the city. We realize how important effective and relevant oversight is to our community. But when CPRB is asleep at the switch for far too long, not paying attention to what is happening and then drags the police department into their political squabble to save their jobs- yes we respond. I believe Councilperson Bermudez was notified of the CPRB replacements well before they asked for the names of the officers. I believe she has the emails to prove it.

My full statement is below:
To effectively and actively lead the external oversight of the Police Department, the Civilian Police Review Board must take great care and effort to examine and understand circumstances, practices and facts. Many things in the resolution put forth last night are just incorrect. The resolution itself and some of the things said last night are likely reflective of the lack of effort and knowledge of the current CPRB.
External, independent oversight of the Hartford Police Department is critical to us and the Hartford community. That oversight has been non-existent. It’s unfortunate that only now they, the CPRB, have come to life, using the West Hartford incident as a political bargaining chip to save their positions. Oversight must be based on fact, not politics. Their lack of knowledge in the process and this ongoing investigation demonstrates a clear need for new effective and active oversight of the Police Department. We welcome and support external oversight.
We also share the same transparency goals as the CPRB. We have consistently been a leading police department in transparency and outreach. We have demonstrated this on many levels and on many occasions, including the handling of sensitive ‘use of Force’ incidents in our city. This resolution put forth is centered on the discovery of “new video”. The fact that the CPRB is claiming they have “new video” is insulting, embarrassing to them, and again demonstrative of their lack of involvement and effort. We put out all the video we had, (including the referenced “new video”) months ago, to every media outlet, the day after we received it. This “new video” was released to community members and media on October 5th, 2016. We made copies and provided DVD’s to anyone who asked, for free. From the moment we received it, this “new video” has always been and will be a part of our internal investigation. This “new video” has been and will be a part of the ongoing external criminal investigation.
Again, this West Hartford incident involving Hartford Police Officers was investigated outside of our jurisdiction. It occurred outside of Hartford and was investigated and is being prosecuted in another part of our State. The transparency of that external criminal investigation was not consistent with our own transparency practices. It should be noted that we initiated the investigation, on our own, hours after the incident occurred.
Separate from the ongoing criminal investigation, we also have an ongoing internal administrative investigation. We again are committed to making this internal investigation public upon its completion. We have also cooperated with the Civilian Police Review Board as it relates to this investigation. We give them everything they ask for and more in a timely manner.
The City of Hartford Civilian Police Review Board is external and separate to the Police Department, as it should be. We the Hartford Police Department, as well as the community, rely heavily on the active critical oversight provided by the CPRB. Regardless of who sits on the board, we will continue to cooperate with them completely, as required. We look forward to working with a functioning, active CPRB.
Deputy Chief Brian J. Foley

MORE ON THE OFFICE OF CHILD ADVOCATES REPORT

It is very rare that I post someone else's writing here, but this posting is from Dr. Aaron Lewis, who has been involved in this abuse incident from the beginning.

Dr. Lewis originally called me asking for help reporting this incident, at which time I contacted the Hartford Police Department through Deputy Chief Brian Foley and Chief Rovella. Immediately, Chief Rovella assigned investigators and within two hours, investigators were travelling to New York state , during a snowstorm, to interview the juvenile victim. At least someone took it seriously and moved quickly when the Hartford Schools and the Hartford Board of Education didn't.

Here is Dr. Lewis's posting;







There’s a war going on in Hartford’s Public School District. Several neighborhoods schools are slated to shut down despite persistent parental and community opposition. Governor Dannel Malloy must close a $1.7 billion budget deficit which will result in inevitable funding reductions to education. Malloy has proposed to reduce education aid to wealthier towns in a conscientious effort to redistribute those funds to needy urban school districts. This decision comes against the backdrop of an age old controversial conversation of whether the wealthier towns should fund poor urban districts even if its schools are consistently failing.
Even the most ardent supporters of the “redistribution of wealth formula” cannot deny that funding dysfunctional school models and funding persistently failing schools has created a fiscal nightmare that even the most skilled actuaries would have a difficult time finding a solution to. There simply aren’t enough students to meet the capacity requirements of the school buildings, yet more schools are slated to be built.  Charter schools, magnets schools, neighborhood schools all pull from the same funding sources, which is not only a failed initiative but has created a financial burden on the city, the state, and even the federal government. Yet we continue to do the same thing, expecting different results; Einstein’s formula for insanity.
In the middle of this mess, Dr. Beth Schivano Narvaez, Superintendent of the Hartford School district decides to abandon the ship in arguably the worst crisis in Hartford’s public school history to accept her “dream job” to lead a U.S. government education initiative in Korea and Japan. Her fellow board members, including the chair, Attorney Richard Wareing did not remind her of her inaugural and assuring promises that she vowed when she accepted the more than $250,000.00 annual position that she would faithfully serve the children and families of the City of Hartford. Instead, everyone gave her a well-wishing send off, during a bloody war in our school district. No one held her accountable.
On Friday, February 10, 2017, amidst these dire concerns, the Office of The Child Advocate for the State of Connecticut released a 76-page report of findings regarding compliance of Hartford Public Schools with State Laws Regarding Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect.  What did they find? They discovered that for more than a decade there has been compounded reports of neglect and abusive behavior toward Hartford’s children. This report was sparked by the tip from human rights activist and child advocate Dr. Aaron Lewis concerning alleged sexually implicit behavior between a high-ranking Hartford Public School administrator, Eduardo “Eddie” Genao who subsequently resigned and was arrested on a felony, Risk of Injury to a child for sending sexually explicit text messages to a 13-year-old child.
The recently appointed, since December 9, 2016 acting superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, has been given the challenge to respond to this report and these multiple abuses many of which began, while she was a college student at UCONN.  Dr. Torres-Rodriguez has fortuitously and continually stated that she will do all that she can to deal with this issue, even to the point of admonishing teachers and school staff that if they “see something” and fail to “say something” they will be held accountable. While, I believe wholeheartedly that Dr. Torres-Rodriguez has the best interest of Hartford’s children at heart, I also see a bloody yet familiar handwriting on these walls, one of which she may not be aware.
When this crime involving Genao was initially committed, Dr. Torres-Rodriguez was not the interim superintendent, and did not have any authority to reprimand high ranking employees. However, Rich Wareing, the board chair, a local attorney and partner at his firm, was fully aware of these allegations as he was given a tip 13 days before things turned criminal, yet chose not to respond or take any solid action to prove to Hartford’s constituents that the safety of the children was his primary concern.  Instead, Wareing deflected and abrogated his responsibility by ignoring the email, apologizing for not seeing the email, and then continuing to cover-up the then Superintendent and her appointed chief of staff, Dr. Gislaine Ngounou for their neglect.
The bloody trail continues. Now, “the system” has used a familiar tactic of shifting the blame from whom it squarely belongs to implicate bystanders, to once again cover up their decades-long crimes of child abuse. The system has chosen scapegoat, Dr. Torres-Rodriguez to lead this army as its Commander in Chief, in a bloody war that includes the teachers, the parents, and the ultimate casualties—the children. No one seems to ask the obvious question, why is Dr. Torres-Rodriguez responding to any of these concerns? She was unaware of these reports? When the United States House of Representatives held the Benghazi hearings, President Barack Obama didn’t speak to the matter at all. Secretary Hillary Clinton spoke to the matter as it was her responsibility as Secretary of State to answer for the lives of those lost. That is called accountability.
Neither the two-time board chair, or any board member until now has publicly said one word about the allegations concerning Eddie Genao. Yet, they’ve cleverly chosen Dr. Torres-Rodriguez to become the sacrificial lamb to cover decades of systemic corruption at the Hartford Board of Education, an evil yet clever move. As a scripted speaker, she continues to urge teachers and staff to “report, report, report.” Yet, it is crystal clear that proper reporting has never been the real issue at all. There is no lack in reporting incidents or even filing reports for that matter. If people weren’t reporting there would not be a 76-page report of findings from the OCA. So then, dozens if not hundreds of people are reporting. Dr. Aaron Lewis reported on Eddie Genao.
Watch what happened. Instead of the OCA commending him for stopping child abuse, they alluded that he should have reported sooner, even though the local authorities made it clear that had he reported it sooner, Mr. Genoa would have never been arrested as the evidence a mere 13 days earlier was insufficient to get a judge to approve a search warrant to provide enough evidence for an arrest and a possible conviction. This is a classic tale of “wag the dog.” What happened for more than a decade when reports of incessant abuse were filed? Why weren’t they dealt with? Why didn’t the public hear about these abuses until now? They were obviously written down and filed otherwise the OCA wouldn’t have been able to compile such a sickening report.
What happens when someone abuses or neglects a child? Protocol should be to inform the Department of Children and Families. Unfortunately, that is not the first response for HBOE employees. They choose to deal with all matters internally first as to cover it. It is reported, it reaches the legal department of which Attorney Jill Cutler Hodgman has direct oversight. Hodgman, who has been with the HBOE since 2002 and has been its Chief Labor and Legal Counsel since 2010 has the responsibility of reviewing all reports and issuing appropriate reprimands and consequences for suspect and illegal activity in Hartford Public Schools. In 15 years, under several different Superintendents of Schools Mrs. Hodgman has been the only consistent and permanent figure throughout all of these report of findings, yet no one has questioned her or investigated whether she had appropriately done her job.
No one questions the legal department, not the mayor, certainly not the board chair, or the board. So, consider this, if the corruption stemmed directly from years of illegal covering-up, possibly falsifying and destroying documents and reports from parents and teachers; who then could demand that Mrs. Hodgman and the entire legal department become accountable and truly transparent?  For the past decade and a half, that answer has been no one. The issue is not and has never been lack of reporting! People have been shouting from the rooftops for years. Dr. Torres-Rodriguez must understand that people have been reporting for 20 years or more. According to a Channel 3 News report, a former office secretary at Sports and Science Academy reported that Eddie Geneo was kissing a girl inappropriately and passionately. She was fired. Yet this same system bizarrely continues to encourage people to speak up.
Genoa’s defense concerning his passionate kissing technique was that he used the same technique on all young girls even his own daughters. Perhaps that made the situation better from the legal department’s perspective. When that report was filed, Genao wasn’t fired, but rather promoted by Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamoski. The secretary was fired for reporting and Genao was promoted. Understand, reporting wasn’t the issue. The issue was that the report was inappropriately handled, and swept under the carpet by legal, since the primary interest of the legal department and the board members is NOT the children as they tirelessly claim. Their interest and loyalty is clear—TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THEIR COLLEAGUES, of which, they do a remarkable job.
If HBOE legal didn’t want OCA to discover these horrific and repeated reports of child abuse, then they should have destroyed the evidence, which of course, would have be illegal. However, that would have made a bit more sense. It’s like a drug dealer who keeps meticulous records of every transaction yet denies that he sells drugs when confronted by the police. This is outrageous! The problem has gone on too long and this war has costed far too many lives. Instead of the board members taking a stand and confronting the evil actions of Mr. Wareing, they continue to meet twice monthly and act like everything is fine, despite witnessing a bloody field of abuse of Hartford students right in front of them.
Accountability is the issue at hand. No one is accountable yet central office uses “accountability” as the buzz word of choice to fool teachers and parents into believing that they care. When the incident with labeling special needs students with stickers happened at SAND school, did Mr. Wareing lose his Chair position? No. Did the then Superintendent Schivano-Narvaez lose her job? No. Did the board hold them accountable for their lack of leadership? No. Did Jill Cutler Hodgman warn the school of the high-stake risks to the district with regards to such discriminatory practices and violating civil rights? No. Why? Because accountability is a farce at the HBOE. It isn’t real. It’s an illusion, one that unassuming parents and teachers have gullibly believed for decades.
OCA report of findings determined Dr. Lewis who is a humanitarian, publisher, child advocate and spiritual leader and has never held a position with Hartford Board of Education, as a mandated reporter. Yet the same report does not charge any high-ranking Chief, Executive Director or Central Office Worker with the same mandate since they do not have direct access to children. This “lack of accountability” created the atmosphere and continues to create the environments conducive for repeated child abuses; sexually, psychologically, physically, and verbally. If the leaders are not mandated, then by virtue of their immunity from such mandates make them the easiest candidates to victimize the children, since they are insulated from indictable consequences. If in fact, they are not mandated to report by law then such a law is unjust in nature and ensures a continuous platform by which these abuses will continue to occur.
The Final Battle
Now the stage has been set for the final battle, one in which no one wins. This battle is the battle that Wareing and his political buddies are allowing to happen because it exempts him and his friends from personal and careful examination. The teachers in the district are not the problem! Yet the language being used in the local media makes it appear that in order to fix the problem in Hartford schools, we must make teachers more accountable. Teachers must snitch on fellow teachers. Students must tell when things are not right. This is another classic “wag the dog” approach to shifting the blame on the teacher, thus creating a hostile environment between teachers and parents while an entire conscious-less board goes free again, failing to address concerns that are crucial to the life of this school district.
In the spirt of the French physician and prophet Michel de Nostredame, widely known as Nostradamus, I predict that if someone does not exercise courage to end this battle ensuing between teacher and parents, and confront the corruption in central office, that that the City of Hartford, will suffer greatly and Mayor Bronin will not be able to contain the situation. Teachers are daily on the frontlines, and to disrespect, dishonor and disguise this problem as one that they produced is a lie and an insult to those who educate our children. To the cowards that hide during times of crisis, the school principals are not the problem either. While there have been incidences of principals who did not properly act in certain matters, as were teachers who improperly acted in certain matters, these incidences are NOT the norm but rather the exception.
The only “constant” that has endured for nearly two decades is the cover up, and the lack of accountability by people who were set in place to protect and serve our children. The Office of the Superintendent since the time of Dr. Schivano-Narvaez going back 10 years ago to the beginning of the OCA report, should be in question. Every board member serving during those superintendent tenures should be in question concerning their response or lack thereof to these findings. An entire legal department who has consistently ignored the hundreds of reports filed with them should not only be investigated but should be charged with neglectfulness and possibly criminally. That is accountability!
My Promise to You
Teachers I’m fighting on the sidelines for you. Principals keep doing what you do. School staff don’t be afraid to bond with the students in fear that you will be charged with inappropriate conduct. Continue to lead, to love, to mentor, and to challenge Hartford’s students to be and become all that they can be. If no one stands up and tells the truth, stop passing off responsibility, stop forcing Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez to speak to issues of which she doesn’t have proper understanding, and stop creating a war between teachers and parents—I predict that this will be the war that ends all wars—A Fight Where No One Wins.
Dr. Aaron Lewis, Ph.D.