I guess we are about to find out just how bad the deal is. According to several law enforcement sources, at least one and most likely two criminal investigations will be launched as early as tomorrow into the deal.
One investigation is expected to be launched by HPD into various issues with the the deal, the other investigation is allegedly a Federal investigation requested by Mayor Pedro Segarra during a request he made to US Attorney Deirdre Daly earlier today.
The investigations are believed to the result of red flags raised by numerous questions in regard to the development deal. One question is the amount of work that has been claimed to have been done already on the site and payments made by the City using Capitol Improvement funds approaching $700.000. Much of that work and the scope of the work is apparently now in question.
According to City Hall sources, a stop payment order was placed on a check today that had been issued for additional work in question amounting to $305,000 . Numerous other questions have been raised regarding the authenticity of a letter of credit apparently given to the City by the developer showing credit of $404 million dollars from Barclay Bank as of June 2015. That letter appears to be signed by an individual, according to sources, that has not worked for Barclay's since 2004.
It is unclear the involvement or how this information was passed by numerous City Hall individuals, including Councilman Ken Kennedy, a major proponent of the project or Development Director Thomas Deller.
This deals needs to have the breaks put on and much more scrutiny needs to be shined on this project before moving forward.
With all the good work HPD and the Shooting Task Force do to take guns off our streets, it doesn't help when carelessness by their own officers are putting deadly weapons back on the street.
A hatford officer left his fully loaded HPD issued firearm, and two fully loaded magazine on the seat of his personal vehicle when he was off duty and went into a home in Hartford's southend. The officer parked his vehicle after midnight Wednesday morning. After returning to his vehicle around 7:30 am Wednesday morning he noticed the window smashed out and his gun, holster and gunbelt was gone. The incident report is below. The case is currently under investigation. I is unclear if the officer will face criminal charges for failing to secure the firearm as required by law.
If someone truly loves Hartford as much as he tried to make us believe during the recent campaign, Pedro Segarra needs to forget the ego and start showing us that love, if it really exists.
Now I understand politics a little bit. I also understand that a "lame duck", especially one soundly defeated, will try to leave is mark as he leaves.
The problem simply is that the direction of Pedro Segarra's administration ,as well as that of his predecessor, has left a terrible void in Hartford's leadership. The next Mayor deserves to shift and replace whatever is needed to begin making real change. Last minute replacements throughout City Hall as well on Boards and Commissions are simply an attempt at establishing roadblocks to impede the forward movement of the next administration.
Segarra's last minute moves to appoint an Assistant Fire Chief and now filling slots on the Pension Commission are sleazy attempts to stymie the next administration. The slots on the pension Commission are actually not vacant and although the terms of the 2 Commissioners expired as far back as two years ago, both were were still serving, so there was no rush to fill their positions. Except when you look at the fact that the two current Commissioners are believed to be supportive of the Bronin Campaign and the 2 Segarra appointees are apparently Segarra loyalists and donors to the Segarra campaign.
Does a campaign donation really warrant an appointment to the Pension Commission? The pension Commission is too important of an appointment to gamble and rush with. Currently the Hartford Pension Commission manages in excess of nearly $1billion dollars in retirees pension investment dollars .The future of Hartford's retirees demands that these appointments not be taken lightly or relegated to political payback or retaliation.
If the two individuals brought forth by Segarra are qualified to serve, then so be it. But that is a decision that should be left up to the next Mayor and the next Hartford City Council as they build their own team for the future. The same rings true for Assistant Fire Chiefs also.
Mator Segarra, if you are a man of your word and truly support your successor for a transparent shift, as you publicly stated in Burr Mall, then show us you still have integrity and do it.
Some people plan and plot just to get into politics. Others are thrust into the political scene.
Hartford's Fourth District State Representative Angel Arce is one of our rare politicians who has found his calling as a true public servant.
Angel is someone I consider a good friend and I have gotten to know him after he was thrust into the limelight of Hartford's politics. Angel showed that he was a tireless fighter after a tragic hit and run accident that eventually claimed the life of his father. Angel fought hard to see the evading driver brought to justice. Arce eventually answered the call to represent his neighbors in the legislature and was elected as a State Representative.
Angel is one of those rare political figures that actually remembers why he was elected and seems to thrive on helping his constituents. Angel is much more comfortable walking through his district and talking to the residents than he is attending a political cocktail party. A walk with Arce through his District should be required education for every other State Rep. entering the legislature.
Angel's popularity stems from his genuineness, not from any political game playing. The people that approach Angel when walking routinely voice their thanks for everything from help in obtaining a job interview to keeping their lights on when threatened with a shutoff notice. Arce is a product of Hartford and its neighborhoods and clearly understands the trials and tribulations his constituents face for every day survival. Crime, poverty, health care issues are all problems that Arce comes forward to help his thankful neighbors with.
The attached posting on Angel's Facebook page recently shows just how far Arce will go to assist his constituents. This was copied from Angel's Facebook page. Angel had no idea I was going to post this, but it shows the true quality of the man I am honored to call my friend.
"One of my constituents called me today and said, "I have not seen my sister in 25 years and she is in New Jersey visiting for a few days . I'm looking for someone to take me to see my sister" I told him don't worry I take you. . so here we are on our way to see his sister . love to make people happy. New Jersey here we come."
If only more of our politicians had the same understanding that Angel has of what Public Service actually means we would be much better off.
Subject: City of Hartford employee fired and arrested
On August 18, 2015 a supervisor in the Hartford Police Department Property Room learned that during a regular audit of property, at least one bag of marijuana submitted as “Found Property” was missing. The supervisor reported this discovery to the Hartford Police Department Internal Affairs Division. The supervisor was able to determine through his initial audit that a civilian City of Hartford clerk assigned to the HPD Property Room, Liza Aponte (40yo of Hartford) was the source of the missing property. An immediate internal investigation was initiated, to include an expansive audit of property room evidence to include all drugs, money, jewelry and weapons. Aponte was transferred pending the outcome of the investigation.
The investigation expansive audit revealed a total of three bags of property missing. Internal Affairs investigators, based on video surveillance and closely maintained property room logging records were able to confirm the missing evidence was taken by Liza Aponte.
On September 3rd, 2015 after the appropriate administrative process, Aponte was terminated. Internal Affairs investigators interviewed Aponte. Based on evidence and her own statements, on September 15, 2015 investigators applied for an arrest warrant for Aponte. On September 21, 2015 it was approved. On Wednesday September 23, 2015 Aponte turned herself into the Hartford Police Department. She was arrested and booked for 2 counts of Larceny 2nd Degree and 2 counts of Unlawful Removal of Records. The charges came with a $10,000 judge set bond.
Of Note: Liza Aponte was hired by the City of Hartford in an effort to civilianize certain positions within the police department. She was hired in January of 2015.
Three bags were removed from the property room by Aponte. All contained small amounts of marijuana. One bag contained an unknown type pills. All bags were submitted to the HPD property room as “Found Property”. This means they are not attached to any criminal proceedings or criminal investigations.
The expansive audit did not reveal any other missing property.
Further safeguards have been put in place to prevent civilians from misappropriating evidence.
Complete details of the warrant will be made available through the GA14 Clerks Office.
After getting fed up with the lack of openness in Hartford City Hall, I decided to begin a program on Hartford Public Access Television called "WE THE PEOPLE". Through tips received we have been able to expose numerous issues that the Perez Administration would prefer to keep quiet.
Any information received is kept in strict confidence, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860-883-2297 with any information.