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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

MAYBE IT IS TIME FOR ME TO RETHINK LAMONT

I didn't support Ned Lamont for Governor and I didn't think I would anytime soon, but I have to admit I am impressed , at least for now.

Maybe I was wrong, only time will tell, but after today I am cautiously optimistic. I watched the Governor's press conference today and I was impressed how quickly he moved to head off a potential problem.

He didn't act like a typical politician, he acted like a business person bringing a quick  and reasonable solution to the table. A solution that was devoid of any political rhetoric and almost entirely based in the private sector to solve with the tools available to him and not digging us into deeper Government debt.

Governor Lamont worked quickly with his previous business relationships and it looks like Webster Bank is stepping in to help be part of the solution to a potential problem for Connecticut residents affected by the Washington shutdown. Webster bank will apparently offer interest free bridge loans to Government employees who still need to pay their bills while the shutdown keeps them from getting their paychecks. It seems to be a low risk deal for Webster since the Federal employees will get their back pay when the Government re-opens and they will then pay back the loans to Webster.

One of the things that impressed me the most is the way Government Lamont handled the announcement. I wasn't there and I didn't watch the whole thing, but unlike our other politicians who take every opportunity to denounce President Trump and get on their soap boxes about how hard they are working to fight Washington, Lamont seemed to do it because it was the most appropriate and business like move to assist his constituents that he was elected to represent.

No campaign type speeches, just an elected official doing what seemed right, minus the venom we have become accustomed to in modern day politics

Maybe there is hope, time will tell.

AN ANDREW UPDATE


 Readers of my blog are already familiar with my nephew Andrew Haraghey. Andrew contracted viral encephalitis shortly after birth, most likely as the result of a mosquito bite. The result of that was Andrew developing Cerebral Palsy , which effected his leg muscle development.

As much as Andrew tried, he never was able to run and play many of the sports kids his age were competing in. For some reason my sister Sheryl, (Andrew's mother) decided to get involved with an Adaptive Sports program. As part of that , she became a certified Adaptive Ski Instructor and volunteered with the adaptive program at Mount Snow in Vermont along with Andrew's younger brother Ryan.

Andrew found his niche through that program and quickly became a competitive skier. Many days you can watch Andrew walk and become concerned how he stays upright, but put him on a set of skis and he will scare the hell out of you as he flies down the ski slope many times exceeding 65 miles an hour without any fear and competing against some of the best skiers in the world.

I am proud to say that Andrew has again this year been named one of a handful of Americans named to the US Paralympic Ski team for the 2019 World Championships.    Andrew represented the United States on the US Paralympic Ski Team this past winter in South Korea.

Andrew just finished this past week skiing with his younger brother Ryan (a UCONN student) in Utah and now is flying off to the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Slovenia.

Best of luck Andrew, stay safe. Bring home the Gold and there might be a Big Mac waiting for you at the White House when you visit again.

You can follow Andrew here on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andrew.races or at andrewraces.com


From the US Paralympic website:
Personal: Andrew Haraghey took up skiing at age seven, and began racing in about 2010...He received the 2014 Bob Casey Courage Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance in United States of America...At the age of six months, he contracted viral encephalitis, which resulted in cerebral palsy. He has severe muscle tension from the waist down...Son of Richard and Sheryl Haraghey...Has one brother, Ryan...Idol is Tom Brady...Hobbies include water skiing, kayaking, tennis, swimming and camping.

LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE ? NOT IN HARTFORD'S SCHOOLS

"Trust me, just follow my lead"


I am still trying to get up to speed on the contract issues ,so this will be a short post, but some things need to be said. Hopefully much more will be available after tonight's Board of Education meeting     ( but I kind of doubt it).

But my big question is this. As if today's release of the Audit report detailing insurance fraud taking place  out of the Hartford Schools Administrative Offices was enough to show the lack of management and incompetence at the BOE.

How can Hartford's Superintendent of Schools Leslie Torres- Rodriguez claim any leadership potential . How do you negotiate with struggling teachers, many of them working second jobs just to get by and raise their families and then claim you are negotiating in "Good Faith"?

How do you tell your lowest paid employees that budget times are tough and there will be no pay raises for at least the next three years. Oh, and by the way, those budget times apparently aren't really all that tough because the Superintendent was able to find enough money to give herself a $10,000 annual raise and boost her salary to reportedly to almost $270,000 per year, and while she wants to take sick days away from you, she has given more to herself every month.

To all of  the Hartford Teachers,  just do what your Union tells you and just go with the flow.

 Better days are coming, at least for the Superintendent.

INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT DETAILS INSURANCE FRAUD AT HARTFORD'S SCHOOLS

The final audit report into Health Insurance coverage in the Hartford Schools, conducted by the City of Hartford's Internal Auditor's is scheduled to be released tomorrow.  The report paints a troubling picture of potential fraud that is now being investigated by law enforcement officials, reportedly to include the Hartford Police and the FBI.

The allegations apparently span the course of several years and may have cost taxpayers upwards of $500,000 per year in improperly obtained benefits. At least one spouse identified as a result of the impending audit is estimated to have received $300,000 in claims while they were not eligible for coverage

 The auditor's also detailed other troubling details resulting from the audit. The report claims that auditor's had to obtain many of the documents independently since the Hartford Schools Administration initially refused to cooperate based on their "privacy concerns". Only after Hartford's Corporation Counsel became involved were the spreadsheet  given to Auditor's.

The report also details troubling information regarding the lack of protection regarding  a spreadsheet that was sent by unencrypted email containing the personal information such as the birth dates and Social Security numbers of approximately 3700 employees. (Has anyone heard of identity theft at the Hartford Schools?)

The entire report, or at least the first chapter of this next BOE saga is below

Monday, January 14, 2019

FROM HPD

18-27523/Recovered Stolen Vehicle (Arrest Made)

 

On Monday, January 14, 2019, at 1315 hours, a Hartford Police patrolman was notified by an anonymous citizen that a stolen white Pontiac was observed in the area of Colt Park. The vehicle was observed pulling

into the parking lot of 57 Park Street and the operator was detained for investigative purposes. After further investigation, it was determined that the vehicle was a stolen 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix and

was reported stolen in the City of Hartford on 9/13/18. The owner of the vehicle was notified, and an arrest was made on scene.

 

Arrested: Sanchez, Jose (DOB 6/20/68) 66 M. Imperial Drive Manchester, CT

 

Charges: Larceny 3rd Degree, Misuse Registration Plates, Operating M/V without a License

 

14-18101/Serious Assault with a Firearm Arrest

 

On June 4, 2014, at 2248 hours, patrol officers were dispatched to 1534 Park Street in response to a shots fired complaint. Upon arrival, officers located multiple shell casings in various calibers. A short time later, a victim arrived

at Saint Francis Hospital reporting that he had been shot in the area of 1534 Park Street. The victim sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his left ankle. The case was assigned to Detective Reeder and Detective

Corvino. Detective Reeder's and Corvino's relentless effort in the investigation resulted in positively identifying a suspect. On October 29, 2018 an arrest warrant was applied for and granted. At this time, the accused is incarcerated

at Macdougal-Walker Correctional Institute on unrelated charges and the warrant was served habeas by Court Liaison Officer Cricco.

 

Accused: Keith Shepard, 5/8/91, 17 Great Hill Road, East Hartford, CT

 

Charges: Assault 1st, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Carrying a Pistol without a Permit, and Weapons in a Motor Vehicle

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

CITY OF HARTFORD INSURANCE FRAUD INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

Several sources are confirming for me that potential criminal investigation is underway into alleged insurance fraud by Hartford City employees and Board of Education employees.

The allegations are that at least 17 Board of Education employees and possibly as many as 20 City of Hartford employees had been collecting health insurance benefits for themselves and dependents while not being eligible for such claims. Many of the claims apparently resulted in persons staying on the City insurance after a divorce or other event which would have made them ineligible to collect benefits.

Sources familiar with the investigation  stated that the matter is being investigated by several law enforcement agencies, including the Hartford Police Major Crimes Division detectives, the Hartford County States Attorney's Office and the FBI.

Currently, according to sources, the States Attorney is looking at the financial threshold for losses to be pursued for any criminal charges. At least one employees is estimated to have collected at least $700,000 in benefits they were not entitled to , although the threshold may be set at anyone collecting $2,000 or more in benefits they were not entitled to.

We the People first reported on this story in the following post back in August of 2018, although the Board of Education was less than forthcoming in releasing any details https://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/2018/08/executive-director-of-financial.html

HPD CHIEF DAVID ROSADO'S RESPONSE TO TROMBONE ARREST

> From: "Rosado, David"
> Date: January 9, 2019 at 5:16:49 PM EST
>
> Subject: RE: musician arrest in downtown
>
> Good evening all:

> Please see (italicized) responses to your questions below, as well as police reports attached.  Overall, our department has not been and will not be pursuing any specific enforcement of the noise ordinance, and in terms of this incident, I hope it will be clear that our officers tried to deescalate the situation several times before it unfortunately resulted in an arrest.  As always, I am available to discuss this issue or any other issues.


> Can you please provide more details?

> Over the past several weeks, several officers have responded to noise complaints related to Isaiah Robinson playing a trombone in the area of 811 Main Street (Burger King).  Our dispatch records show seven citizen-initiated complaints logged between November 16, 2018 and Mr. Robinson’s arrest on December 20, 2018.  These complaints have come from Mr. Charles Wareham, owner of Valark Financial located at 750 Main Street.  Each of the police responses were initiated by a complainant and not by the Police Department or any of the officers.

> The responding officers have made numerous attempts to mitigate the complaint and find a compromise between the complainant and Mr. Robinson.  The area Community Service Officer, Adam DeMaine, had several interactions with Mr. Robinson including one on December 3, 2018 where he documented his efforts under case number 18-36716.  This report outlines the complainant’s issues, details Officer DeMaine’s attempt to explain the City noise ordinance to Mr. Robinson, describes Mr. Robinson’s uncooperative and combative attitude, lists some of the suggested compromises and a referral to Janice Castle, Director of Community Engagement, and ultimately documents that Officer DeMaine issued Mr. Robinson a verbal warning and informed him he could be arrested if the violations continued.  Due to the behavior exhibited by Mr. Robinson, Officer DeMaine call a supervisor, Sergeant Ramundi, to the scene to further attempt a dialogue.  Mr. Robinson did not cooperate with Sergeant Ramundi either.

> In the weeks leading up to the December 20th incident, at least six other officers responded and attempted to resolve this issue, none resulting in an arrest.  Due to the allegation that race was involved in this arrest, it is important to note that responding officers over the course of the previous weeks included males and females of different races, including Officer Tiffany Wilson, a black female, and Sergeant Steve Austin, a black male supervisor.  Mr. Robinson was also referred to Janice Castle by CSO Adam DeMaine.  Mr. Robinson met with Ms. Castle and refused her advice, indicating that the only problem was that the police were harassing him because he is black.

> The Hartford Business Improvement District also attempted to mitigate the issue.  They purchased and delivered a device for Mr. Robinson’s trombone that would allow people passing by to hear his music, while muffling the sound for people in the distance.  The device was purchased on December 4th and delivered by Block by Block Supervisor Rodney Crockett.  Mr. Robinson refused to use the device.

> On December 20th, the police were again called again by Mr. Wareham to 811 Main Street for a noise complaint related to Mr. Robinson playing the trombone.  The initial officer responded and attempted to speak with Robinson.  Mr. Robinson would not speak with him and ultimately stated, “Fuck you! I’m gonna play my horn until you arrest me” and walked into Burger King.  The officer requested an additional unit for backup.

> When backup arrived, they attempted to speak with the complainant, Mr. Wareham.  Mr. Robinson charged toward the complainant and officers, yelling profanities and calling the complainant a, “bitch.”
> Mr. Robinson was instructed to back away because he was causing the complainant alarm and not allowing the officers to investigate the complaint.  He was warned that he would be arrested and did not cease his aggressive behavior.  His actions justified his arrest for interfering with a police officer and breach of peace.  At this point there were two officers and a probationary police officer of field training present.  When the officers attempted to arrest Mr. Robinson, he physically resisted.

> Officer Cotto then says over the radio, “Get us more cars here…now!”

> The dispatcher asks if he is all set and Officer Cotto responds, “Not right now, that’s why we need more cars.”

> Not knowing what was happening, several units began to respond to the officers’ location.  While waiting for help to arrive, the three officers on scene continued to struggle with Robinson.  At one point Robinson was able to pull away and run out into the street away from the officers but was re-secured.  Mr. Robinson was eventually secured in the back of a police vehicle.  He then began kicking the window frame from the inside, bending the door of the police car out away from the frame.

> Several units arrived and where released by the on-scene supervisor because Mr. Robinson was already secured in the vehicle.

> Attached you will find the incident report, the use of force report and photographs of the damaged police vehicle from case number 18-38529.  You will also find the incident report for an earlier noise complaint, case number 18-36716 (12/03/2018). The dispatch audio recordings and the video are available to listen to and view upon request but are too large to attach via email.



> 1) How many officers were called to the scene?

> Initially one officer responded to the call.  Two officers, one of whom was a Probationary Police Officer, also arrived shortly after the first officer arrived.

> One of the three officers radioed for additional help when Mr. Robinson began resisting arrest, but did not specify how many additional officers were needed.  If everyone that was responding to the call actually made it there, a total of twelve officers, one sergeant, and one lieutenant would have been on-scene.  However, some officers were called off as others arrived.



> 2) Who called to make a complaint?

> ·         On 11/16/2018 at 12:55 P.M. Charles Wareham called police from 750 Main Street for a noise complaint.

> ·         On 11/26/2018 at 2:11 P.M. A citizen called another city office, which reported a noise complaint at 811 Main Street (Burger King).

> ·         On 11/29/2018 at 3:16 P.M. Charles Wareham called police from 750 Main Street for a noise complaint/breach of peace.

> ·         On 12/03/2018 at 1:11 P.M. Charles Wareham called police from 750 Main Street for a suspicious person/noise complaint.

> ·         On 12/10/2018 at 3:27 P.M. a “Charles” called police from 750 Main Street for a noise complaint.

> ·         On 12/17/2018 at 2:44 P.M. Mr. Wareham also called police for a noise complaint.

> ·         The complainant on 12/20/2018 was Charles Wareham who works at 750 Main Street.  He called at 12:33 P.M. reporting a noise complaint.



> 3) What does the arrest entail?

> Isaiah Robinson was charged with the following:
> Interfering with Police                                    53a-167a
> Criminal Mischief in the first degree 53a-115
> Breach of Peace in the second degree           53a-181
> Excessive Noise                                               City Ordinance 23-1

> Interfering with Police – As Officers Bell, Cotto and Probationary Officer Rome attempted to interview the complainant, Mr. Robinson yelled profanities at the complainant and officers and refused to back away so that the officers could conduct the investigation and, “making it impossible for [officers] to speak with the complainant” and hindering the investigation.  Mr. Robinson then resisted arrest, broke away from officers and attempted to flee, and physically resisted getting in the police vehicle, kicking officer Bell in the process.

> “Sec. 53a-167a. Interfering with an officer: Class A misdemeanor or class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of interfering with an officer when such person obstructs, resists, hinders or endangers any peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d or firefighter in the performance of such peace officer's, special policeman's, motor vehicle inspector's or firefighter's duties.
> (b) Interfering with an officer is a class A misdemeanor, except that, if such violation causes the death or serious physical injury of another person, such person shall be guilty of a class D felony.”

> Criminal Mischief in the first degree – Mr. Robinson used both feet to kick the rear door of the police car from the inside, causing the door to bend out away from the vehicle frame (attached photos).

> “Sec. 53a-115. Criminal mischief in the first degree: Class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the first degree when: (1) With intent to cause damage to tangible property of another and having no reasonable ground to believe that such person has a right to do so, such person damages tangible property of another in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars, or (2) with intent to cause an interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public and having no reasonable ground to believe that such person has a right to do so, such person damages or tampers with tangible property of a utility or mode of public transportation, power or communication, and thereby causes an interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public, or (3) with intent to cause damage to any electronic monitoring equipment owned or leased by the state or its agent and required as a condition of probation or conditional discharge pursuant to section 53a-30, as a condition of release pursuant to section 54-64a or as a condition of community release pursuant to section 18-100c, and having no reasonable ground to believe that such person has a right to do so, such person damages such electronic monitoring equipment and thereby causes an interruption in its ability to function, or (4) with intent to cause an interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public and having no reasonable ground to believe that such person has a right to do so, such person damages or tampers with (A) any tangible property owned by the state, a municipality or a person for fire alarm or police alarm purposes, (B) any telecommunication system operated by the state police or a municipal police department, (C) any emergency medical or fire service dispatching system, (D) any fire suppression equipment owned by the state, a municipality, a person or a fire district, or (E) any fire hydrant or hydrant system owned by the state or a municipality, a person, a fire district or a private water company, or (5) with intent to cause damage to tangible property owned by the state or a municipality that is located on public land and having no reasonable ground to believe that such person has a right to do so, such person damages such tangible property in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars.”
> Breach of Peace in the second degree – While officers were interviewing the complainant, Mr. Robinson, “charged up to Wareham, cussing at him for calling the police.”  Mr. Robinson refused to step back from the complainant and officers and continued, “yelling and cursing at the complainant while flailing his hands about” and calling the complainant a “bitch’ and saying, “Fuck you!”
> Officers reported that the complaint was, “alarmed” and “visibly shaken.”
> Officer Bell indicated in his report that he, “became concerned that Robinson was going to assault the complainantbased on his erratic behavior.”

> “Sec. 53a-181. Breach of the peace in the second degree: Class B misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of breach of the peace in the second degree when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, such person: (1) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a public place; or (2) assaults or strikes another; or (3) threatens to commit any crime against another person or such other person's property; or (4) publicly exhibits, distributes, posts up or advertises any offensive, indecent or abusive matter concerning any person; or (5) in a public place, uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or (6) creates a public and hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which such person is not licensed or privileged to do. For purposes of this section, “public place” means any area that is used or held out for use by the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests.”

> Excessive Noise – Officers used Google Maps to estimate the distance from where Mr. Robinson was playing the trombone to both the complainants business, 750 Main Street (350 feet) and to where Officer Bell exited his patrol car and heard the trombone, Main and Pearl Street (220 feet).
> “City Ordinance 23-1 - In the absence of a sound level meter, noise will be plainly audible when noise can be heard at a distance of one hundred (100) feet from its source, by a person of normal hearing.”



> 4) Will other officers be called to scenes for other individuals who are busking or street performing artists in Hartford or is downtown being targeted as a specific area?

> There is no proactive enforcement in place related to busking activities, and there is no specific charge for busking.



> 5) Previous to this busking arrest, how many arrest does HPD typically do in the downtown area for busking? For average purposes would like to know how many arrests occurred from 2017-2018 in downtown.

> There is no specific charge for busking.  City Ordinance 23-1 addresses noise and does not speak specifically to busking or list it as an exception.


> *Due to this arrest, does this now mean that HPD is now cracking down on busking in general?

> As stated, there is no proactive enforcement in place related to busking activities.  As indicative by the six previous Hartford Police responses to this issue at 811 Main Street, officers attempt to resolve these issues without making arrests or issuing citations.



> Thank you,

> David Rosado
> Chief of Police
> Hartford Police Department
> 253 High Street
> Hartford, Connecticut 06103
> Cell (860) 508-2575
> Office (860) 757-4025

> From: Rosado, David
> Sent: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 5:24 PM
> To: Fox, Claudine
> Cc: Leslie Hammond ; Bermudez, Wildaliz ; Medina, Rafael ; Bowsza, Brian J. ; Torres, Agnes ; Sanchez, James ; Thomas J. Clarke II ; Rosado, Maly ; Winch, Rosezina J. ; Kirkley-Bey, Kelly ; Green-Ortiz, Haylee ; Murray, Kevin ; Perez-Caraballo, Jeniffer ; Thody, Jason C. ; Montanez, Thea ; Srivastava, Vas
> Subject: Re: musician arrest in downtown

> Good evening all:

> Thank you for your correspondence. We are in the process of gathering the requested information and should have a response by close the of business tomorrow.

> Thank you for your patience.
>
> David Rosado
> Chief of Police
> Hartford Police Department
> 253 High Street
> Hartford, Connecticut 06103
> Cell (860) 508-2575
> Office (860) 757-4025

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MAPLE AVE. N.R.Z. TO MEET THURSDAY

The Maple Avenue Revitalization Group will meet Thursday evening at 6:00PM in the basement of Saint Augustine Church at 10 Campfield Avenue.

Topics  on the agenda will include an MDC update and A Public Safety update by the Hartford Police Department.

All are welcome , refreshments served