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Friday, October 20, 2017

THE HARTFORD SCHOOLS RESPOND TO ABUSE ALLEGATION WITH A SMOKE AND MIRRORS STATEMENT




If these policies they claim were in place, why were they not followed in this case. How was the Superintendent claiming she wasn't aware of the situation until a TV reporter apparently showed up at Board Headquarters yesterday.

And if the policies were in place and they were ignored, who will be held accountable?

How can a school security guard sit in on the interrogation of a student with no parents present? And did the Security Guard ever notify his/her supervisor of the incident? If so, how did the information never make it up the chain to the Superintendent or her Chief of Staff?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

WHY CAN'T THE HARTFORD BOARD OF EDUCATION LEARN?

I guess some things will never change in a system that is definitely broke.Remember back to the Eduardo Genao incident. We were told by the Superintendent of Schools that safeguards were going to be put into place to protect children from predatory behavior by adults.

After the  phone call I received yesterday, that apparently hasn't happened.

Sadly, my day started off yesterday with a very disturbing phone call from a parent of a Hartford Public Schools student.

The parent related a story that in and of itself was very disturbing, and the ensuing action by the Hartford Schools was even more disturbing.

And now keep in mind, this is information relayed from a parent, since the Hartford Schools will not comment and continue to operate in their cone of silence.

The parent stated that last week their  child, a student at the Mary Hooker School in Hartford was called into the principals Office and then interrogated by the Principal and a School Security Guard regarding any inappropriate behavior or inappropriate contact between the student and a male teacher at the school.

I apologize up front for keeping the details very generic, but I just want to lay out the scenario at this point.

One of the most troubling points is that this interrogation was conducted of a juvenile without the knowledge or consent of the child's parents. And where does the Board of Education think that it is proper for a principal, most likely more interested in her own reputation than the welfare of the child would be an unbiased objective party. And what training or expertise does the Security Guard or even the Principal have in interrogating or interviewing a potential victim of what could eventually be seen as sexual misconduct by an adult.

And it gets worse.

Only after family members observed the child acting differently, did they even become aware of what was going on.

Only after intervention by the parents, did the young child admit that she "thought she might have gotten Mr XXXXXXXX in trouble". Only after further questioning did the child relate being interrogated by the School Principal and a Security Guard.

The parent naturally made a beeline for the school and the Principal's Office and instructed the Principal in no uncertain terms that their daughter was not to be interviewed or interrogated any further without their presence.

The Principal assured the parents that the teacher in question had been removed from the classroom pending their "investigation". Apparently the Principal also did cover her bass and informed DCF as required as a mandated reporter.

According to a source familiar with the matter, DCF claims that the Principal told them she didn't feel there was any basis for a further investigation so no case was opened. Surprise, surprise. The principal was protecting her own reputation I am sure.

The father returned to the school on Tuesday and lo and behold Mr. XXXXXXXX was back in his classroom. The father immediately questioned the School administration and he claims that he was told "Mr. XXXXXXXX was spoken to, and we no longer see him as a threat so we allowed him back"  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I immediately contacted Chief Rovella and Deputy Chief Foley with my concerns. HPD claims they were unaware of the matter, they were never contacted by the Hartford Schools or  evn DCF after it was reported to them.

HPD has now launched a potential criminal investigation and a detective has been assigned to the matter. The Hartford Schools have also now suspended the teacher while the matter is investigated.

In the end it may show that there is nothing there or it may indicate a problem. Either way, every child that is enrolled in the Hartford School System as well as every parent that entrusts their precious children to the care and control of the Hartford Schools every day deserve nothing less. And that is for every school, whether it is a flagship school or the worst performing school in the district, the standards and accountability should be the same.

Furthermore, stringent policies need to be in place for dealing with these matters. Immediately once an allegation is made,, the Principal and other school staff should be taken out of the loop to avoid any perception of impropriety or bias. If we demand incidents such as a police shooting be investigated by an outside agency from the start, such as the State's Attorney or the Connecticut  State Police, then shouldn't we demand the same for Hartford's children when allegations are made involving a teacher.

Maybe someone could answer for me where a principal or a Security Guard received their training in investigating  a possible criminal matter of a sexual nature involving a child. And what damage is done to a child if it isn't handled properly? and why would we trust school staff to investigate their own friends?

I am relatively sure HPD has well trained detectives to handle such matters with the minimum amount of stress and embarrassment  to the child. They should be notified immediately when any whiff of impropriety arises.  This needs to be standard policy if parents are to have any trust and confidence in the Hartford Schools.

The Superintendent and the Mayor promised it after Genao, now they need to deliver if they are to be trusted.


UPDATE:  As of 5:00PM, despite a request for a comment from the Hartford Schools that I made  to spokesperson Pedro Zayas, no response has been received and sources have confirmed that a criminal investigation is proceeding and the Teacher in question has been removed from the school until a resolution of the investigation

UPDATE: 8:10PM - the Board of Education has apparently just notified parents of students at Mary Hooker School that the Principal, Ms.Thompson has now also been placed on Administrative Suspension. The Board is expected to release a statement tomorrow


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SOME PERSPECTIVE ON GUN VIOLENCE IN HARTFORD

For anyone that doesn't understand that Hartford is a violent City with way too many guns on the streets, here is a pic of the shotspotter activation's for the past week. About the only area safe from gunfire in the City is on top of the old landfill off Jennings Road and the middle of the Connecticut River.

Whoever made the suggestion for "per diem cops"? Here is the reason why not.

Mayor Bronin, here is what happens when a City is short over 100 Police Officers, and this was a relatively quiet week

MORE GUNPLAY ON HARTFORD'S STREETS

FROM HPD:
EDGARDO MONTANEZ


On June 23, 2017, Hartford Police Department Patrol Officers were conducting in an area likely to have shots fired, when he heard gunshots coming from the vicinity of Park Street at Hungerford Street. Additional HPD Patrol Officers and Detectives from the Focused Violence Reduction Team responded to the location. A crime scene was located and six .380 caliber shell casings were recovered. Extensive property damage was found to both the interior and exterior of The Best Barber Shop, located at 563 Park Street. It was determined that a brazen daytime gun battle had occurred involving the exchange of gunfire between two shooters. HPD FVRT Detectives Medina assumed further investigation of the incident. In the course of the investigation a suspect was developed and later positively identified as one of the involved shooters, Hector Rios-Pabon. An arrest warrant was submitted and approved charging Rios-Pabon appropriately. On August 31, 2017, Rios-Pabon was taken into custody without incident during an apprehension operation. As the investigation continued the Detectives were able to identify the second shooter from the incident, Edgardo Montanez. An arrest warrant was approved by a Superior Court Judge charging Montanez with Criminal Attempt Assault 1st Degree, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Weapons In a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Risk of Injury to a Minor (2 counts), and Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree.
On October 16, 2017, Detectives from the Focused Violence Reduction Team and the Hartford U.S. Marshal's Violent Fugitive Task Force conducted an apprehension operation in regards to the aforementioned arrest warrant. Numerous apprehension attempts were conducted at various locations within the South End of Hartford. As a result Edgardo Montanez contacted the Detectives via phone and agreed to surrender himself. Montanez was later taken into custody without incident by the Detectives and transported to 50 Jennings Road for debrief. Montanez was then transported to the PSC for booking and processing procedures and held on a judge set bond of $450,000.

Arrested: Edgardo Montanez (dob 9/23/86) of 11 Annawan Street, Hartford, CT
Charges: Criminal Attempt Assault 1st Degree, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Weapons In a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Risk of Injury to a Minor (2 counts), and Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree

ANOTHER HARTFORD HOMICIDE

FROM HPD:

On 10/14/17, patrol units were dispatched to 35 Whitmore Street for the report of person shot. Upon
arrival, officers located an unresponsive male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Medical attention was provided by officers until the arrival of Hartford Fire and EMS. The victim was transported to Hartford  Hospital by Aetna Ambulance and listed in critical condition.

A crime scene was established and secured by patrol officers. The Major Crimes Division, Crime Scene Division and an Inspector from the Hartford State's Attorney's Office responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. Detective  K. Salkeld has been assigned as the lead investigator.

This afternoon (10/17/17) the victim was removed from life support and pronounced deceased at 2:45 pm.
 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IS HARTFORD'S MAYOR VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW...AGAIN

You would think that someone that claims to be an attorney, would have a better understanding of Federal Law.You would also probably think that someone that was elected  would have thicker skin and be able to take some criticism.

 But not Hartford's King Luke

Luke Bronin doesn't deal well with anyone that challenges him or criticizes him, apparently especially when that person is a City of Hartford employee.

Bronin didn't fare too well when he stepped afoul of Federal law and was rebuked by a Federal Judge when he refused to indemnify Hartford Police Officer's from a Federal Court judgment, You can read more about that here.

Yesterday , apparently a City of Hartford employee voiced his displeasure with King Luke through a posting on social media venue "Twitter" as follows:


The City employee was quickly met with a response from the thin skinned Bronin as follows:

Apparently in the Kingdom of Luke, Federal law doesn't matter. But lets give King Luke the benefit of the doubt, can we really expect Mayor Bronin to keep up on Federal law as he is guiding us down the road to Bankruptcy.

Our Federal Courts recently ruled that an elected official can not block their constituents from criticizing them on social media, no matter how thin skinned they are.  It determined that the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause does indeed prohibit officeholders from blocking social media users on the basis of their views
In the Federal Court decision of  Davison vs Loudon County Board of Supervisors it involved the chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Phyllis J. Randall. In her capacity as a government official, Randall runs a Facebook page to keep in touch with her constituents. In one post to the page, Randall wrote, “I really want to hear from ANY Loudoun citizen on ANY issues, request, criticism, compliment, or just your thoughts.” She explicitly encouraged Loudoun residents to reach out to her through her “county Facebook page.”

That Kind of sounds like Luke Bronin's campaign promises to be "open and tarnsparent" . That is until you criticize him and then you will be BLOCKED.

Davidson sued, alleging a violation of his free speech rights. As U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris explained in his decision, Randall essentially conceded in court that she had blocked Davidson “because she was offended by his criticism of her colleagues in the County government.” In other words, she “engaged in viewpoint discrimination,” The Court cannot treat a First Amendment violation in this vital, developing forum differently than it would elsewhere,” Cacheris wrote, “simply because technology has made it easier to find alternative channels through which to disseminate one’s message.”which is generally prohibited under the First Amendment ,Judge Cacheris explained. 

Maybe Luke is just emulating Donald Trump , who has been criticized for the same behavior. Another decision noted that citizens can use social media to “petition their elected representatives and otherwise engage with them in a direct manner.” The decision’s reasoning can also be applied neatly to Trump’s practice of blocking Twitter users with whom he disagrees. When Trump blocks Twitter users, they can still see his tweets—by, for instance, viewing them in an incognito window. But they cannot engage directly with his tweets, at least not without resorting to an intricate and unreliable workaround. 

 Toughen up Luke and grow a set, it goes with the territory. We have much greater issues to deal with than your feelings being hurt on Twitter.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

JUDGE KILLIAN TALKING CHAPTER 9 ON MONDAY'S SHOW

On Mondays, "WE THE PEOPLE " program we will be talking Chapter 9 and Hartford's possible bankruptcy filing with retired Probate Judge Bob Killian. Get past the hype and the bad information, hear why it may make sense and what it really means. Bob Killian is very knowledgeable on Hartford's history, what got us to this point and how do we try to fix it and what structural changes he may feel need to be made to get us back on a sustainable financial path..

 It should be a very interesting and educational hour and it will be posted on youtube afterwards.

For those in Hartford, you can watch live on Hartford Public Access, Channel 5 at 1:00PM

MAYOR BRONIN HOLDS A DANCE RECITAL AT PUBLIC COMPSTAT AT HPD

Mayor Bronin arrived a half hour late for the awards ceremony at the Public Compstat meeting Thursday. The awards were given to four Hartford Police Officers for outstanding life saving efforts above and beyond what they do every day. It is no surprise though that Bronin's watch was off since he has not shown a huge amount of support for our first responders, both police and fire, during his tenure.

But Bronin's dance recital didn't come during the awards ceremony, it came when he showed his total disrespect and trust for community members present and his lack of understanding of the word transparency. It came during a point when community members present were heaping praise on HPD Chief Rovella regarding his  service to the City and his announcement that he would be retiring in February.

During that praise, community activist Hyacinth Yennie asked the Mayor point blank if the selection of HPD's next Chief would be an open and transparent process. Here is where the Bronin dance began. It is probably one of the worst kept secrets in Hartford's history that the next Police Chief has already been chosen. There was no public input, not one bit. The King has spoken and has made his choice.

Now Bronin is within his rights to do that. As Mayor, Hartford's charter allows him the power to select Department Heads, the Police Chief included. And those Department Heads serve at the will of the Mayor, with one exception. Connecticut Stater law governs the removal of a Police Chief " for just cause" only to avoid political retribution.

There is probably no more important Choice for Hartford's Mayor to make than his selection of Police Chief . In this current climate, that choice can make or break the City and how the City, more importantly its residents, work with the men and women of the Hartford Police Department. We saw what happened with the last Police Chief that was shoved down our throats without any public input. Patrick Harnett may have had a stellar career at NYPD , but he was a terrible fit in Hartford and never was accepted by the community and there was never any community "buy in" to his plans or his management style.

Harnett lasted a little over a year and never really moved HPD forward or gained acceptance from the community.

Compare that to James Rovella, who wasn't Mayor Segarra's first choice for Chief after Daryl Roberts left. If it was up to Segarra, we might have had a Chief that a national search produced. A Chief who had been charged with a DUI a short time before his introduction to us.

Luckily, we as community stood our ground and made our voices heard. After public interview's, some called them inquisitions, Rovella was eventually made acting Chief and then appointed permanent Chief of HPD by Segarra.

The public input was important in the selection. What Mayor Bronin doesn't seem to understand is that, yes the Charter gives him the power, but the public buy-in and participation in the process is extremely important. This Chief is someone that most residents need to feel comfortable with and see as a willing partner to further the relationships necessary for the trust and working relationships in our community. Community policing in Hartford is huge, and the reason it works is because of the trust and relationships between the Chief and everyone else from Lieutenants in the neighborhoods to the men and women of the Hartford Police Department.

Now, no one can ever accuse Luke Bronin of being a good communicator. He did it from the beginning with everything from our Unions to the community groups. His styl;e is that the King has spoken and as loyal servants we will blindly obey.

Now I understand Bronin's dance and his solid effort to avoid Hyacinth Yennie's question as to the selection and transparency. But it might have prepared people a little more if he were to say something like "I have already made the decision on the next Chief, it is someone I feel will be a good fit and will serve the Department and the City well. Furthermore, I have a candidate that I have confidence in that  will hit the ground running and continue the great work of the Hartford Police Department without any interruption.  There is no need to waste the time and expense of a National search"

Bronin's selection for Chief may very well be a great choice to run the Department and be a strong leader. Unfortunately, Bronin's lack of transparency has already put the next Chief at a disadvantage and he will have an uphill chore to catch up and gain the trust that transparency would have started him off with.

It would have probably also made sense, and shown some courtesy for Bronin to contact Hyacinth after Compstat . A simple call saying " Hyacinth, I have already selected the next Chief, I wasn't ready to announce it in COMPSTAT, but I will introduce you to the next Chief and make sure you feel comfortable with him. I know your partnership with HPD is critical for our success and I am not trying to hide anything from you" 

That is called courtesy and communication Luke, it might not be in the Kings playbook, but it is how you need to treat your community partners.

Hartford's Next Police Chief, David Rosado


So in the full effort of transparency, please let me introduce you to your next Chief of the Hartford Police Department. I would hope that despite the Mayor's secrecy, we will support him and give him a fair chance to succeed. The future of our City and the excellent relationship we have with the Hartford Police Department is too important for anything less.

Lieutenant Colonel David Rosado is currently the highest ranking Hispanic Officer in the Connecticut State Police. Rosado is expected to assume the role of Hartford's Chief in March of 2018 according to numerous high ranking sources in Hartford government.

According to the Connecticut Latino News:  "Rosado is a product of Hartford’s South End and is the son of Puerto Rican-born parents who came to Connecticut as teenagers. Growing up he said he had the “best of two worlds, speaking Spanish with his parents and English with his siblings. He said being bilingual is a big help in his job.Looking back at his boyhood, Rosado said it was a “different time” and “we could play in our backyards all day.” The game that most attracted the young Rosado was baseball. He played centerfielder at Bulkeley High School and for the University of Connecticut. After graduation, he remained active as a member of amateur league tceams and currently suits up for the Glastonbury team in a central Connecticut men’s league.

Lt Colonel Rosado will have some huge shoes to fill as Chief Rovella's replacement , but I would hope that he will be given a fair shot at success by us as a community and the men and women of the Hartford Police Department  and not be treated differently because of the lack of transparency by Mayor Bronin.

And Mayor Bronin, it is not too late to begin to fix this to give Rosado a good start, and that means proper community involvement, oh, and some transparency.

"I DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT GUN COULD HAVE COME FROM"

There is no other way to put it, there are way too many guns on Hartford's streets. And way too many irresponsible gun owners in Hartford. Or maybe the proper term is gun possesors, ownership seems to imply a legal right to have the gun.

From HPD, the incident below is a perfect example, this occurred today at Main and Westland Streets:

On 9/23/17, at 0326 hours, HPD responded to the above intersection on a report of a motor vehicle operator "slumped" over the steering wheel. Upon arrival, officers aroused the operator and asked her to step out of the vehicle. Once outside of the vehicle, officers observed a firearm on the floor of the operator's front seat. The .22 caliber firearm with one round in the chamber, and obliterated serial number, was recovered and secured. The operator was taken into custody without incident. The operator stated that she did not know who the firearm belong to. Sgt. Michels was notified. Excellent job by all officers on scene!

Arrested: Milner, Shanell Latisha (10/13/92) 149 Barbour Street, Hartford, CT Charges: Weapons in a Motor Vehicle, Altering or Removing ID Markings, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, and Carrying a Pistol without a Permit.

Recovered: (1) Chrome GPC Model 10 with (1) .22 caliber round in chamber Towed: 2016 Blue Ford Focus, CT Reg. AJ35227, VIN#1FADP3K26GL352169 Registered Owner: Cooper, Latecia 116 Freeman Street, Hartford, CT


Thursday, September 28, 2017

HPD AND HFD MAKE QUICK ARREST OF SUSPECTED ARSONIST

Hartford, Conn. (September 28,2017) –   

 Today, the Hartford Police Department arrested a male suspected of starting three fires around the City. The incidents occurred in Keney park, on Oakland Terrace, and a mattress in a separate location at Keney Park.  

Around 11am, employees from the City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works (DPW) noticed a fire next to a storage container near the football field in Keney park.  Upon further investigation, they observed a male stoking that fire with a stick. The DPW employees immediately notified Hartford Police Department (HPD).  HPD promptly responded to the area and conducted a search for the suspect.  A short period later, the suspect was observed walking north on Oakland Terrace in the vicinity of 153 Oakland Terrace, where Hartford fire department (HFD) personnel were actively engaged in fire suppression activities on a detached garage. 

The suspect was taken into custody at the intersection of Greenfield Street and Oakland Terrace.  At the time of the arrest, the suspect had in his possession a plastic bottle with a flammable liquid, two lighters, and a bag of heroin. “The City of Hartford will utilize every resource to hold individuals who intentionally set fires accountable. I applaud the efforts of our DPW employee, Hartford Police Department and members of Hartford Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Office for their prompt action and professionalism” said Fire Chief Reginald Freeman.

Because of the collective efforts of members from DPW, HFD, and HPD, the City of Hartford is a little bit safer today.

HOMESTEAD AVENUE CLOSED DUE TO MDC WORK

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: ROAD CLOSURE ON HOMESTEAD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE


HARTFORD, CONN (September 28, 2017) – This afternoon, Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) workers doing sewer repair work on Homestead Avenue discovered an approximately 20-foot long and approximately 14-foot deep void beneath the road surface along a sewer line.  They immediately contacted the City, and now the Hartford Police Department, Department of Public Works, and the MDC are working together to secure the area.  To prevent a potential collapse, Homestead Avenue is shut down to the general public between its intersection with Albany Avenue and its intersection with Woodland Street until further notice, effective immediately.


“We are taking this action as a necessary precaution, as we believe there is some risk that the void underneath the road on Homestead Avenue could have caused the road surface to collapse under extreme weight,” said interim Department of Public Works Director Reginald Freeman.  “The City and MDC are working closely together to determine the scope of the problem and we will update the public as we learn more.”


West-bound drivers on Homestead will be redirected either North or South on Woodland Street and drivers on Albany Avenue will not be able to turn onto Homestead Avenue at all.


Residents of Baltimore Street will be able to enter and exit the street from Albany Avenue because it’s a two-way street.  Kent, Adams, and Milford Streets will remain one-way streets but the Police Department will allow residents to use Homestead to enter or exit their street as needed.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

IS HPD SERIOUS ABOUT HIRING?

From the "Get Hired Hartford" website:"Join Goodwill, NBC Connecticut and Hot 93.7 for the premiere career expo in the state. Over 70 employers will be on hand to hire for over 5,000 open positions. Job seekers can get their resume reviewed and updated onsite."

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the Hartford Police Department is missing from the list of over sixty employers who will be there next week. Despite the hype and publicity from HPD, I still keep getting calls from people who had made attempts to contact the HPD recruiters either through the website, e-mail or phone and have had no response back.

These recruiting positions almost need a sales type mentality and recruiters that are able to "close" the deal, unless of course the City of Hartford and HPD are not really serious about filling these much needed positions. Even the New York City Department of Corrections is coming to Hartford to recruit according to the list below, but HPD is apparently a no-show. Is it maybe just for show and there is no money to hire cops?

Let's get serious and do some real recruiting before we have a real Public Safety disaster on our hands

click her for more info on the "Get Hired Expo"

Here is the extent of the HPD recruitment webpage

Here is how NYPD recruits

Below is a listing of companies recruiting at the Get Hired Expo next week
    • A Caring Hand (ECHN)
    • Aetna
    • Albertus Magnus College
  • Allied Universal Security Services
  • American Eagle Financial Credit Union
  • Automated Business Solutions
  • Big Y
  • Burris Logistics
  • Cabela's
  • CBS Radio Hartford
  • CEG-Center for Economic Growth
  • Chili's Grill & Bar
  • Combined Insurance
  • Comcast
  • Companions & Homemakers
  • ConnectiCare
  • Connecticut Community Bank
  • Cox Communications
  • CT Science Center
  • CT Transit
  • CTFastrak - CT DOT
  • Data-Mail, Inc.
  • Dattco
  • District 53 Toastmasters
  • Dominos
  • Electrical Wholesalers
  • Enterprise Holdings
  • Expert Staffing
  • Express Pros
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Fastenal Company
  • FedEx
  • Foresters Financial
  • Goodwill
  • Guida's Dairy
  • Hartford Healthcare
  • Hartford Public Schools
  • Hilton, Courtyard, Convention Center Hyatt
  • Home Depot
  • Kaman
  • Kelly Services
  • Latin Premiere Insurance Marketing Group
  • Liberty Bank
  • Loureiro Engineering Associates
  • M. Frank Higgins & Co.
  • Macy's Warehouse & Logistics
  • Marriott Htfd., Sheraton Bradley, Lord Jeffery Inn
  • Merry Maids
  • Michel's Corporation
  • Morris Group
  • NAFI CT, Inc.
  • NBC Connecticut
  • NESCOR
  • NYC Dept of Correction
  • Oak Hill
  • People's United Bank
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Project Genesis
  • Raymour & Flanigan
  • Securitas
  • Southern Auto Auction
  • The Hartford
  • Tradebe Treatment & Recycling Northeast, LLC
  • Trumpf
  • Turbine Controls, Inc.
  • Ultimate Nutrition, Inc.
  • United Personnel Services
  • United States Postal Service
  • UPS
  • Verizon
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • WB Mason
  • Webster Bank
  • Whole Foods
  • XL Center
  • YMCA of Greater Hartford

MORE TROUBLE IN THE KINGDOM OF LUKE

It appears that "team building" is not a strong point for Mayor Luke Bronin and his reign over the Kingdom that includes Hartford City Hall. Bronin's list of Department heads still left is dropping faster than the City's Bond Rating.

DPW Director, gone. MHIS Director ,gone. Health Director, gone. HR Director, gone. Police Chief, going. And now add to the list, Daryl Hill, the Finance Director who resigned today effective November 4, 2017.

It is probably not much of a resume builder for Hill to be the Finance Director or Chief Financial Officer of a City about to declare Bankruptcy. But then again, not much of what Hill has done in Hartford would bolster a resume. The baseball stadium and the debacle of the Dillon Stadium fraud were two of Hill's claims to fame in our City.

I think Hill's departure was inevitable based upon calls I have been receiving from City Hall insiders who have been eyewitnesses, or maybe "ear witness's" to the frequent raised voices and shouting matches coming from the area of the Mayor's Office and the COO's Office on the second floor of Hartford City Hall.

(Helpful hint to the King- City Hall is like a canyon and those voices echo throughout the building quite clearly)

I will give the King as pass on the well deserved retirement of Chief Rovella, Chief Rovella has served the people  of Hartford  and has proven to have vision  as well as creativity to be able to still operate under such adverse conditions as he has been placed under during his tenure, and still produce impressive results.

I am still concerned about our Fire Chief and the pressure being placed on him by the King to manage two very difficult Departments after the Public Works Director quit last year. Chief Freeman was doing a very good job of returning the Hartford Fire Department back to order before his efforts were diluted when he took over DPW as the acting Director.

And even though King Luke will surely try to put a positive spin on these departures, it does not bode well for the stability of his Administration during these difficult times. How do you explain not having a permanent HR Director and even the acting interim HR Director calls it quits during Police contract negotiations? And departing when there is a need to hire over 100 firefighters and approaching 125 or more Police Officers.

Luckily the guillotine  is gone, or City Hall would be a much messier place to work than it already is.


Monday, September 25, 2017

HOW IRONIC, THE HYPOCRISY OF IT ALL

A little over a year ago, March of 2016 to be exact, people were calling for the discipline of a Hartford Police Officer. some here even called for his termination. Why, you might ask? Because he had the audacity to display a Trump bumper sticker on a laptop inside his cruiser. I think we might call that Freedom of Expression , but apparently many think Police Officer's forgo their Rights to free expression when they put on a uniform.

Apparently that forfeiture only applies to certain uniforms and certain professions and NFL uniforms are exempt. The same people that were ready to terminate the Police Officer are now standing in solidarity with NFL players over their choice to disrespect our flag. And yes, call it what you want, but I feel it is disrespect for our flag and our Country, and I have the Freedom to say that, whether you like it or not.And this has nothing to do with our President, we are all Americans no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, and we need to show the proper regard for the many people who shed their blood and gave their lives for out rights to act as ignorant as we choose.

Shouldn't the rights of Freedom of Expression and Speech apply the same to one and all? Regardless of the choice being made, whether it is to support a political candidate or the choice not to support the symbol of our nation and the  Freedom's many have fought and died for?

Whether you are a police officer or a tight end in the NFL there is no different degree to the freedom's we all are allowed to enjoy in this great Country, unless of course you are a hypocrate.


Let's get over the hypocrisy and get back to what has made our Country great

Saturday, September 23, 2017

FROM HPD: COMMUNITY HELP NEEDED IN OVERNIGHT SHOOTINGS

FROM HPD:

The Hartford Police Major Crimes Division is actively investigating two separate shootings that occurred in the North End of the city on September 22, 2017 and September 23, 2017.  The first shooting occurred in the area of 16 Durham Street at approximately 7:10 pm September 22, 2017.  One of the victims from 16 Durham Street was fatally wounded and the other was treated and released from Saint Francis Hospital. The surviving victim is not being completely cooperative at this time.  

The second shooting occurred in the area of 1164 Albany Avenue at 12:38 am on September 23, 2017. Four people were shot during this incident. One of the four was fatally wounded, a second person has injuries that were described as “catastrophic”. He is currently listed in extremely critical condition. The doctors tending to him don’t expect him to survive. The two remaining victims are being treated for non-life threatening gunshot wounds.   

In total six (6) persons were shot in the city between 7pm-1am  last night, two are deceased and one is listed as extremely critical. The Major Crimes detectives are talking to potential witnesses and attempting to locate any video surveillance in the area that may have captured the incident. We are going to need assistance from the community with respect to both of these shooting. We still need to identify potential witnesses that may have information related to either of these incidents. The area of 1164 Albany Avenue is heavy populated during the hour that this shooting occurred yet no one has come forward as of yet.  Any information we can get would be greatly appreciated.

No information related to any of the victims is being released at this time pending next of kin notification with family members.  Thanks in advance.  

HPD-860-757-4000

Thursday, September 21, 2017

IT'S NOT JUST THE HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY , IT IS A CITYWIDE PROBLEM

In a city that keeps claiming to be broke, the salaries paid are amazing, as well as the number of highly paid positions.

Here are the salaries for the Hartford Schools, stand by for the upcoming post for other City Hall and Department salaries.

This list I guess gives new meaning to the phrase we keep hearing, "doing more with less".

Also take a note of the "hometowns" and see how many of these checks go outside of Hartford, especially the one listing Atlanta, GA. ,Director of the Office of Institutional Advancement, $179,799, and what exactly does that have to do with educating children?

I guess maybe they don't want to put their kids in Hartford's Schools ,so they live out of town

Saturday, September 16, 2017

MORE ON HPL QUINN-CAREY



Below is the actual NYC Comptrollers Audit Report into allegations of Fraud and Misuse of Library Funds and Credit Cards, as well as a couple of other news articles.

Since Library Board member David Barrett has commented here that these accusations are baseless and were refuted prior to the Hartford Public Library hiring Bridget Quinn-Carey as the CEO, I have offered to him the opportunity to post any documents he may wish to disclose to show that the Library Board exercised proper due diligence before hiring Quinn-Carey. As of this point, no documents have been provided.

The offer still stands, but the Comptrollers Audit Report seems to speak for itself. Although Quinn - Carey's behavior isn't quit as egregious a that of Bronx CEO Galante, it is still very troubling for someone to  condone and also participate in the level of corrupt activity outlined in the allegations in the report

 I have also submitted numerous FOI requests to the City to obtain further information on any background investigation or verification gathered before the hiring of Quinn-Carey as the CEO .
Stay tuned for more.

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/03/23/the-deposed-king-of-queens-library-the-legacy-of-bad-nonprofit-leadership/

From "Non Profit Quarterly.org"

The investigation found that Galante and Bridget Quinn-Carey, the former library Chief Operating Officer (who subsequently served as the interim CEO and President), had used their organizational credit cards to make more than $310,000 in prohibited or inappropriate purchases during the 2012 to 2014 fiscal years. 

http://gothamist.com/2015/07/08/queens_library_corruption.php

From the "Gothamist" article:According to Stringer's findings, Bridget Quinn-Carey, Galante's interim successor and the QBPL's former COO, also failed to take the moral high ground. Both Quinn-Carey and Galante allegedly filled their work cars (yes, public library executives get work cars) with thousands of dollars in gasoline, on non-work-related car trips in 2012 and 2013—$12,396 in fuel for Galante, and $4,151 in fuel for Quinn-Carey.

Friday, September 15, 2017

SOME UNSUNG STATE OF CONNECTICUT EMPLOYEE'S


FOI Commission Attorney's Valecia Harmon and Tracy Brown at MARG Community Day

Usually when we think of State employees our minds almost immediately jump to a nightmare experience at DMV or some other State agency. But two agencies hardy ever get noticed, but they have great employees who are true Pubic Servants.

One is the Freedom of Information Commission. FOI is a State agency that keeps our government honest and transparent.. I received a quick indoctrination into FOI when I started this blog. At that time, my focus was Hartford City Hall and City Hall was about as transparent as a concrete wall painted black and covered by a black tarp to keep any sunlight from shining in. With the help of FOI and their employees, I quickly learned the ropes and learned how to obtain documents that were normally hidden away from public view.

Tom Hennick,  AttorneyValecia Harmon and Attorney Tracy Brown have always been extremely helpful in assisting me to find my way through what can be a complicated maze of obtaining documents, and they will probably admit that more than once I have put them through their paces in my quest to get to the truth. I think Tom Hennick still uses me as an example in his seminar's of how a government official SHOULD NOT respond when complying to a FOI request from a citizen. Former Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose responded to one of his subordinates in regards to one of my earlier FOI requests through an e-mail asking "Carl, how can I shut this asshole down?" Then Attorney Rose, being the brilliant legal mind that he is, apparently didn't notice he had copied me on the e-mail before he hit the send button.

Ahh, that is what makes Hartford the gift that keeps on giving.

But moving on, Attorney Harmon and Attorney Brown are a presence at every monthly meeting of the MARG NRZ, a community group meeting I try to attend every month. They are both there and have information in Spanish and English and will answer any and all questions regarding FOI and access to public documents. Their efforts are well above and beyond what their jobs require and they even go so far as being regular participants in the MARG NRZ Annual community Day as they were the last Sunday in August, complete with bookbags to hand out to kids getting ready for back to school , bags of popcorn and some great homemade Lemonade and grape juice mixture made by Valecia's mother.

Two other unsung State employees come from the Judicial Side of State government. Prosecutor Tom O"Brien and Chris Pleasanton put the "Community" in Community Court. They are both in attendance every month and give a report on the work of Community Court. an effort that was born out of concerns starting at the MARG NRZ to enforce quality of life issues that were often not addressed by the much busier Superior Court on Lafayette Street. Residents frequently address their concerns directly with Prosecutor O'Brien on issues such as prostitution, ATV's and other issues affecting their neighborhoods.

Judge Norko, who until recently,prior to his retirement and cut back of his hours was also a regular attendee at the meetings. Judge Norko was a unique Jurist who understood and exemplified the need for the efforts of the Community Court , and the resident's always appreciated his unique perspective and attention

WE THE PEOPLE SHOW SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

WE THE PEOPLE SHOW AUGUST 28, 2017

7

FEDERAL JUDGE TO BRONIN ADMINISTRATION: YOU ARE WRONG ON INDEMNIFICATION OF POLICE OFFICERS

US Federal Judge Willaim Garfinkel issued a decision this week that appears to slap Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and his decision not to indemnify City Police Officers when thy are sued over the performance of their duties.

Judge Garfinkel wrote, in no uncertain terms:

"The City’s position, in addition to being unsupported by precedent, is bewildering. How can Hartford maintain a qualified police force when it is willing to expose its officers to personal liability for compensatory damages for civil rights judgments? What capable officer, in his or her right mind, would want to work for such a city? And what message does this send to the community, the residents of Hartford, when their governing officials promote a position that, in all likelihood, will leave them without full compensation for injuries in the event that they are the victims of a civil rights violation? The Court readily understands the need, as a general rule, to deter police officers from the sort of outrageous conduct that warrants punitive damages. But this is not that case. The result in this case, in a second trial after a jury could not reach a verdict in the first, was a close call. This case arose from a confrontation apparently instigated by Fabian Edwards, who lost his case, and involved something of a melee in an enclosed environment in which the officers were initially outnumbered.3 It is safe to say that no police officer would expect to be abandoned by his employer with respect to an award of compensatory damages in this case, even if a jury unexpectedly also awarded punitive damages. Nor should any officer expect that." 

As Judge Garfinkel stated, Bronin's decision not to support his Police Officer's was "bewildering". I think one of the key points was that the officers who were originally sued , in the Judges opinion , did not display any wilfull misconduct or malicious intent but were merely performing their duty

And yes, in a violent City like Hartford unpleasant things can happen under adverse conditions. Who in their right mind would come work in a City that leaves them on their own even when they are acting in good faith. It sends , and it did send, a chilling message to our Police Officers

You can read the full decision below. Thank you Judge Garfinkel for applying common sense to this matter, even when City Hall couldn't or wouldn't

Thursday, September 14, 2017

IS IT DEJA VU AT THE HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY?

The Hartford Public Library is currently the subject of controversy in the community as members of the public have organized to oppose closing of several library branches

It would appear though that the Executive Director of the Hartford Public Library is no stranger to controversy. Much of that is detailed in the New York Daily News article below from 2015.
.http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/city-controller-da-irs-probe-queens-library-article-1.2284767

That article detailed allegations of misuse of funds and what the New York City Auditor described as
a "significant likelihood of fraud and/or embezzlement.Financial abuse at Queens  Library was so out of control that city Controller Scott Stringer urged  the IRS and local prosecutors to launch criminal probes against both Thomas Galante, the library’s ousted president, and his successor, Bridget Quinn-Carey.

Stringer found that Quinn-Carey used her credit card for lavish meals, personal gasoline bills and other costs that are not regarded by the IRS as deductible business expenses and that also violated the library’s own prohibition against using the organization’s credit cards for personal expenses.

According to the article “I urge the current board to have a serious discussion about whether someone who was a party to so much malfeasance can effectively lead this organization going forward,” Stringer said.

And here is another article describing Quinn-Carey's behavior.http://licpost.com/queens-library-delusions-of-confidence.

Does this pattern of behavior sound familiar? According to the article"This and other illicit activity covered in the Comptroller’s reports engaged in by Mr. Galante and by current Interim Library President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey (who served as Chief Operating Officer when Galante was in charge) took place while “the Library was eliminating services to the reading public, cutting operating hours of Queens branches by an average of 4 hours per week,” according to Stringer.

"Between 2008 and 2013 when library branches in Astoria, Court Square, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, and Woodside, among many others, reduced hours and programs which had a tremendous impact on almost everyone–especially school children and senior citizens."

Apparently the Board decided she couldn't, and she then appeared in Hartford.

Some things never change, especially in Hartford

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED

I don't think I have ever done this before, but this posting and this cause are very important to me.

I need your help and information.

I have received several calls over the past couple weeks regarding Animal Control in the City of Hartford and the killing of impounded dogs. The callers have claimed that captured dogs are not being properly advertised as required by Connecticut Law before they are killed.

Imagine your pet being impounded by the City of Hartford and killed before you could even get a return call to check on them or find out if they had been found

And I don't want to make this an indictment of Hartford's Animal Control Officer, I understand he is overworked as the only active ACO in Hartford since the Bronin budget cuts forced the lay off of two other ACO's last year and one more is out on some sort of sick leave.

If you have had difficulty in contacting ACO's in  Hartford or in trying to recover or adopt a dog or if you have information on dogs being killed while in the Hartford pound, please contact me either by e-mail or phone or if you wish, comments can be left on this posting also.

We need to be the voices for our beloved pets

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

HOW BROKE IS THE HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY?

Apparently not very broke by the looks of some of the salaries.

A lot of discussion has been going on regarding the intention of the Hartford Public Library Board of Directors decision to close several library branches.. Below is a list of salaries paid at the Hartford Public Library.
For a relatively small operation, I just wonder how much could be saved to keep branches open by possibly paying more realistic salaries.
A Chief Administrative Officer , and an  Executive Director. And $101,151.96 for  a "Customer Experience Officer"? Is that like a greeter at Walmart?
And it looks like more "directors" on that list than a Hollywood movie set.

Bridget Quinn-Carey, Chief Executive Officer 860-695-6348
Mary T. Tzambazakis, Chief Administrative Officer
860-695-6312
Leticia Cotto, Customer Experience Officer
860-695-6335

Brenda Miller, Executive Director of Hartford History Center
860-695-6347
Homa Naficy, Executive Director of The American Place
860-695-6334
Gilda Roncari, Director of Donor Relations 
860-695-6296
Don Wilson, Director of Marketing & Communications
860-695-6282
This is the Hartford Public Library, not the Smithsonian.
A meeting will be held tomorrow night at City Hall with the Hartford City Council regarding the Library.

The Hartford Public Library Board of Directors is as follows:
Officers Gregory C. Davis, President
Geraldine Sullivan, Vice-President
Edward C. Keith III, Treasurer
Ana Alfaro, Secretary
Directors
Arunan Arulampalam
David Barrett
Amy M. Barron
Melvyn Colón
Andrea Comer*
Miguel Correa
Andrew Diaz-Matos
Marc A. DiBella
Stephen B. Goddard
Antonio J. Matta
Phyllis Shikora
Ex-Officio
Hon. Luke A. Bronin, Mayor

Click on the "HPL Salaries" line below to view the full size document

  Hpl Salaries by on Scribd

Thursday, September 7, 2017

LUKE-TAKE SOME ADVICE FROM NIKE



As I have said here several times previously, Luke Bronin's "Chicken Little" act is wearing  thin. The sky is falling chants are wearing real thin. We have been hearing the threats for almost two years now , and nothing has changed . There is still no viable plan for sustainability as requested by the big three CEO's who are still holding the purse strings tight on their pledged $50 million dollar contribution to help the City.

That money will only be released when and if the 3 feel  comfortable that Mayor Bronin actually has a plan. So far, it doesn't seem to be a priority for Bronin and no plan has been submitted.

I am not sure Bronin actually has a plan or is even capable of devising a plan. Bronins suburban "share the pain " crusade was pretty much a flop. His shame the Unions into cooperation efforts pretty much went no where, and his constant forays into the halls of the Capitol during the recent session were probably more of an annoyance to Legislators rather than producing any positive results

Originally I would have been opposed to a Chapter 9 Bankruptcy but now in talking to numerous parties, including attorneys familiar with the process, I have to say, in the words of Nike...JUST DO IT.

Nothing has changed financially under Bronin as Mayor. Let me rephrase that, nothing has changed positively financially under Mayor Bronin. It has gotten much worse under Bronin and on the positive side, our financial ratings can't drop much lower.

Every day we listen to Chicken Little, is one more day wasted before we get on the road to recovery, Enough of the false promises and gambling on Hartford's recovery.

A couple months ago, Bronin borrowed in excess of $20 million dollars to be able to pay Hartford's bills. Apparently Bronin felt comfortable borrowing the money based on a promise from a Hartford Legislator that the State of Connecticut would cough up money to bail Hartford out. That might actually be the honorable thing for the State to actually pay their fair share for all the Tax exempt property in Hartford.

But considering we are going on several months with no state budget and the State of Connecticut facing a billion dollar deficit themselves, who would like to place a bet on the odds of any State representative from Hartford  riding in on the white horse to save the day.  And who in Hartford's delegation has the pull to get the majority of the legislature to buy into Hartford's bail out and get it passed? Clearly not the same State Reps who convinced Bronin the check was going to be in the mail month's ago.

Stop the phony narratives, stop the blackmail techniques and get to work on a plan to turn Hartford around , and give up your plans to balance your budget on the backs of Hartford's Unions. If that involves a Bankruptcy filing then do what you were elected to do and begin leading. It may hurt for a while that you were the Mayor that led Hartford into Bankruptcy, and is probably isn't the next step on the ladder you expected for your political career.  More importantly, hopefully, a few years from now, you will also be known as the Mayor that led Hartford out of it

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

HPD WORKING TO CLEAN UP DIRTY BODEGA'S

Probably one of the biggest complaints at neighborhood community meetings are the negative impact on quality of life that many small neighborhood grocery stores have on street corners and neighborhood quality of life.

 The complaints range from  drug sales to illegal alcohol sales to loitering and gun violence.

Today the Hartford Police Department and several City and State agencies  conducted unannounced inspections of several of the businesses. Hartford Police officers, Hartford License and Inspections, Hartford Health Inspectors and the State of Connecticut Labor Department and Revenue Services focused on compliance with State and City regulations throughout the South District. Nine locations in total were inspected, and five of the stores were shut down immediately due to violations.

Carolina Grocery at 865 New Britain Avenue and Town Market at 1637 Park Street, had no violations found. Anthemy Supermarket at 3 Wethersfield Avenue had several violations, but none serious enough to shut down the store, although the health Department immediately ceased all food service. The State Labor Department opened an investigation into their staff issues and the Fire Marshall's Office began an investigation into Fire Code violations.

The Baldwin Grocery at 2 Baldwin Street was allowed to remain open after fixing electrical code violations.

The Platinum Grocery at 347 Wethersfield Avenue was shut down after  Health code violations were found, including an expired Health permit and they were ordered to stop selling food. Revenue Services issued summonses for sale of untaxed cigarettes and  the Labor Department also found labor violations. STORE CLOSED

Last Stop Market at 427 Wethersfield Avenue was shut down after State Inspectors found Revenue (Tax) issues and Labor violations. STORE CLOSED

The Beltre Family Grocery at 955 Broad Street was shut down after inspectors found Labor and Revenue issues and Health Inspectors found no current Health Permit for the operation. STORE CLOSED

G&C Grocery, 760 Park Street was shut down after State Inspectors found Workers Compensation issues. STORE CLOSED

El Comerio Grocery at 307 Zion Street was also shut down after State Inspectors found Worker's Compensation issues and Revenue Inspectors issued summonses for Tax violations.

Good Work addressing Quality of Life issues in the South End by all involved, including the Southend CSO's, Sergeant Kevin Oulette and Lieutenant Ian Powell as well as all other City and State inspectors involved


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

PROBABLY NOTHING TO JOKE ABOUT, BUT...

This is probably nothing to joke about, but these are the same people that are terrorizing the world with threats of Nuclear war? And we think we have problems?

A VERY TOUGH COMMUNITY SERVICE LESSON FOR UNDERAGE DRINKERS

 
 
Usually community service through the Hartford Community Court is pretty tedious, picking up trash, cleaning graffiti, etc.

Today that community service took a turn for a few  underage drinkers who had been summonsed at the recent Florida Georgia Line Concert at the Xfinity Theater.  The minors had been ticketed for underage drinking.

As part of their arrest and Community Court appearances, the underage drinkers had been assigned to litter detail cleaning up Hartford's Keney Park.

 A source familiar with the incident said that the underage drinkers were cleaning litter from a trail in the Park when they discovered the body of Hartford's latest homicide victim.

Hartford Police were immediately notified and the homicide investigation began and the violators suddenly became witnesses to a homicide scene.

The injuries were reportedly quite gruesome and will probably have a lasting impression on the minors