Three months after promising a national search to find a new chief operating officer, the city of Hartford says it hasn't yet started to look for one. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, this comes on the heels of a search for a police chief that got mixed reviews.
Earlier this year, Mayor Pedro Segarra spent $50,000 on a national search for police chief only to pick James Rovella in the end. Rovella was already serving as acting chief. That move rubbed some on the city council the wrong way. And, at the time, even Segarra's chief of staff Jared Kupiec said the process wasn't ideal.
"Again there's no guidebook, there's no rule book, and I think what the mayor has learned from this process -- and what he will apply to future processes or future selections like this -- is that sometimes you need to go through this process to weigh and measure other possible options that are out there." Now, the city is looking for a new chief operating officer following the departure of David Panagore. When Panagore left in September, Segarra's chief lawyer -- Saundra Kee Borges -- also became the interim COO.
In an email, the city says it has done nothing to find her permanent replacement. Shawn Wooden is the city council's president. "This is one of the most critical positions for the city and for the mayor and I have to, at least for now, trust the mayor's judgement on whether or not it's working." By charter, Segarra has four months to find a replacement.