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.
The Hartford Courant reported Sunday that Segarra had issues on his hands relating to rental property owned by his spouse. The city’s ethics commission is taking the matter up and federal housing officials have said they’re reviewing the matter. Segarra said that if he erred in his ethics filings, he would amend them.
But he also said the Courant’s story was the byproduct of nasty politics from the camp of state representative and possible mayoral candidate Kelvin Roldan – a former Perez advisor and employee.
As it turns out, on that point, Segarra may be right.
According to campaign finance disclosures filed this week with the city, Roldan has paid two Perez confidants. Matt Hennessy was Perez’s chief of staff. His new company has billed Roldan nearly $16,000 for consulting services.
And Roldan has paid $5,000 to a man named Derek Donnelly – the former Perez advisor whose sweeping request for information to the city first raised questions about Segarra’s ethics disclosures.
On Monday, WNPR asked Roldan whether he knew that Donnelly was doing background research on Segarra. He wouldn’t give a direct answer.
Roldan: You know, you can’t blame the question…who asks the question.
Cohen: I’m not blaming it. I’m just asking you if you asked it, or if you knew Derek was asking it.
Roldan: As I said, you can’t blame the person who asked the question.
That’s not how Phil Sherwood sees it. He’s Segarra’s campaign manager.
“Roldan has some gall after associating himself with Eddie Perez to suggest that he’s the one that can be trusted to clean up city hall. Frankly, it looks like these guys are still taking orders from Eddie Perez, and they’re upset that they’re not in power anymore and their boss is on their way to jail.”
Also noteworthy in the campaign filings is this – Segarra has loaned his campaign $23,000 from his personal funds. Also, he had to return $1,000 to his spouse – Charlie Ortiz. It appears Ortiz contributed more to the campaign than allowable.
For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.