Jeff Cohen

Reporter

Jeff Cohen is a proud New Orleans native who now calls New England home. Or at least his second home.

He started in newspapers in 2001 and joined WNPR in 2010, where he is a reporter and an occasional fill-in host for All Things Considered.

In addition to covering state and Hartford city politics, Jeff covered the December 2012 Newtown shootings and the stories that followed.  Much of that work was featured on NPR.  Also in 2012, Jeff was selected by NPR and Kaiser Health News for their joint Health Care In The States project. That work resulted in several national stories, including ones on the Affordable Care Act and medical education.

Jeff was also selected by the Tow Foundation and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a fellow in their 2012 juvenile justice reporting project.

Before working at WNPR, Jeff worked as the city reporter for The Hartford Courant.  While at the Courant, he won a National Headliner Award for a Northeast Magazine story about the ostracized widow of the state's first casualty in Iraq; wrote about his post-Katrina, flooded out home in New Orleans; and was part of a team of reporters that broke the stories of alleged corruption at Hartford City Hall that led to the arrest of former Mayor Eddie A. Perez. 

He also worked at the Meriden Record-Journal and as a freelancer for The New York Times.

Jeff lives in Middletown with his wife, cats, and two trouble-making kids. Thanks to the kids, he's now writing children's books. The first, published by HarperCollins Children's Books, comes out in early 2014.  He likes to make bread and wine.

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Corruption
4:39 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Was Perez Working While He Was On Trial?

Convicted former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez is seeking what could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in back vacation and sick time.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, there's a question as to whether Perez was at work or on vacation while he was on trial last year for corruption.

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Taxes
3:12 pm
Mon April 18, 2011

Segarra Presents Budget

Corruption
8:53 pm
Tue April 12, 2011

Roldan Campaign Hires Perez Confidants, Including Former Chief of Staff

CtHouseDems via Flickr Creative Commons

Over the weekend, questions were raised about Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra’s ethics disclosures to the city and whether or not he may be in violation of federal housing requirements.  Now, as WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports, it appears the people behind those questions were paid consultants to Segarra’s political opponent and former advisors of convicted Mayor Eddie Perez.

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Contracts
3:24 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Nonprofits Take To The Capitol

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Connecticut's nonprofit service providers are trying to figure out how to improve their working relationship with the state in order to save money and enhance services.  Advocates for the state's non-profits gathered today/yesterday at the state capitol to talk about a recently released report that looks to answer this question: "How can we as a government smooth the path so that the non-profits can actually provide the services without having to worry so much about the bureaucracy and the red tape." That's Deb Heinrich.

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Public Notice
3:20 pm
Thu March 31, 2011

State May Allow for Online Public Notices

GiantsFanatic Creative Commons

Connecticut towns and cities are mandated by law to publish public notices in local newspapers.  But that could soon change.

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Corruption
5:13 pm
Wed March 30, 2011

State's Case For Perez's Pension Continues

In Hartford, a state court judge has allowed a civil case over whether former Mayor Eddie Perez can collect his city pension…to continue. Attorney General George Jepsen said he's pleased with the decision. He says a judge could eventually consider whether Perez is entitled to a portion of his pension. "At some point, if the issue goes to trial, the issue of how much of Mayor Perez's pension should be revoked will be something the judge will consider." Perez was found guilty last year on corruption charges.

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Obituary
5:18 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Colleagues Remember Abraham Giles; Dead At 84

Courtesy Rick Hartford/Hartford Courant

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Mayor
5:15 pm
Mon March 28, 2011

Perez Gone From Hartford City Hall, But Not Gone From City Politics

Chion Wolf/WNPR

In Hartford, convicted former Mayor Eddie Perez is gone from city hall.  But he’s not gone from city politics.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, former Perez allies are questioning the judgment of current Mayor Pedro Segarra. Segarra says it’s kind of strange to be criticized by allies of the man who's going to prison. “To blame me for transactions that were done by the previous administration by members of the previous administration are a little bit incoherent.” Perez was found guilty of taking a bribe from a city contractor last year.

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Small Business
3:10 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

New Market At Hartford 21 Set To Open

STEPHEN DUNN / HARTFORD COURANT

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Speech
7:43 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

Hartford Mayor Segarra Gives State Of The City

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra gave his state of the city speech Monday night.

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Hartford City Hall
4:17 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Hartford Parking Semi-Amnesty

Photo by Mira Hartford via Flicker Creative Commons

Looks like if you have overdue -- the wrong kind of "outstanding" --  parking tickets in Hartford, this could be your chance. From the press release it sounds like you’ll be able to pay the ticket but not the related fees. Release is below.

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HARTFORD ANNOUNCES PARKING TICKETAMNESTY PROGRAM
—NEWS ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25—
4:00 p.m. — Mayor Segarra and the Hartford Parking Authority will announce a Parking Ticket Amnesty Program for the month of March.

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Hartford Schools
6:10 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Hartford Superintendent Process Continues to Stir Debate

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra's decision earlier this week to intervene in the board of education's search for a superintendent continues to reverberate.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

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Hartford
3:57 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Board of Ed Chairman Disappointed in Segarra, Says He’s Considering Next Steps

Chion Wolf Photo

One day after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra upended the search for a school superintendent at the last minute possible, the chairman of the city's board of education sat down with WNPR and expressed his displeasure.

David MacDonald became chairman of the Hartford board of education just last week.  He said he was disappointed in Segarra's call on Tuesday for a national search.  MacDonald says that Segarra's concerns about the transparency of the search for a new superintendent showed great disrespect.

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Hartford Schools
8:51 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

Questions Arise About the Filling of the Hartford School Superintendent Job

Chion Wolf WNPR

The Hartford board of education is scheduled to meet Tuesday to pick a successor to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, who is leaving after this year.  But there's some concern in the community that the process was flawed.  The district’s spokesman has been advocating for one of the two candidates to take Adamowski’s place.

You might know the name Elizabeth Horton Sheff.  She's the Sheff in Sheff vs. O'Neill, the landmark school desegregation case in Hartford.

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Governor's Proposal
4:14 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Budget: Shared Sacrifice, Fair Sacrifice

Governor's Budget
2:31 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Malloy Presents His Budget

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy presented his plan to close the state’s $3.2 billion budget gap to a joint session of the state legislature today. 

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Elections
2:25 pm
Mon February 14, 2011

Merrill Wants More Elections Authority

Hartford City Hall
2:50 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Segarra Says He's Under Attack From Perez Allies

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra took over last summer after Eddie Perez was found guilty of corruption and resigned his office. Now Segarra is running for mayor, and he says Perez’s political allies are targeting him. Segarra appeared on WNPR’s Where We Live with John Dankosky. He suggested that efforts by at least one of his opponents, State Representative Kelvin Roldan, have the feel of Perez politics.

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Hartford Development
3:37 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

Front Street in Court

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The retail development known as Front Street in Hartford is finally built and looking for tenants.  But the project took years to materialize, and now it's in court.

Front Street is a publicly-subsidized development that was geared to attract area people to downtown Hartford and the adjacent Connecticut Convention Center.  Here’s how George Royster puts it. He's an attorney for the state:

“Because people coming to Hartford with no place to go would not be likely to return to the convention center or the hotel if they had no entertainment or retail or places to eat.”

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Hartford Schools
4:13 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

Segarra: School Bonuses Could Be "Inappropriate"

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is taking the city's schools superintendent to task for issuing a series of bonuses to district employees. Segarra says he understands the bonuses total about $2.7 million -- a figure that seemed to frustrated the mayor of this cash-strapped city. In a letter to Superintendent Steven Adamowski, Segarra said he wants to know why these bonuses were issued, what criteria was used in a awarding them, and who approved them.

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Transportation
3:00 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Pep Rally for High-Speed Rail

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