Ex-Tokers Get 2nd Shot At NHPD Badges

Christopher Peak PhotoAfter owning up to smoking pot, three top-scoring police recruits almost didn’t get the job —  until police commissioners intervened and voted to let their past drug use slide.

In a special meeting at 1 Union Ave. on Tuesday night, the Board of Police Commissioners evaluated a total of 13 candidates who’d flunked the background checks, putting them a vote away from rejection.

The department had moved to eliminate the 13 candidates from a list of potential cadets who had passed a civil-service test and been extended provisional offers.

In a series of split votes, the commissioners spared three applicants who’d gotten high on pot as far as two decades ago.

By contrast, commissioners signaled that more recent bong rippers, cocaine snorters and juvenile offenders still aren’t cut out for the job by upholding recommendation to reject nine of those applicants.

Another candidate who complained about the department’s handling of his personnel file also got a reprieve.

The four who won reprieves Tuesday night return to a pool of applicants who passed background checks and now advance to the next stages of the process: a lie-detector test and a psychological evaluation. By late April, the department will choose a 40-person academy class from the list.

Hush Hush

It’s impossible to know exactly why the police commissioners voted the way they did Tuesday. Four candidates didn’t show up at all, and six others pleaded their case behind closed doors. The commissioners deliberated in private for 11 minutes.

And the department won’t publicly reveal a newly approved hiring policy concerning past drug use  —  a refusal that the Independent is challenging as a violation of the state’s open records law.

 

The commissioners’ votes this week suggest they’re carrying out a new set of rules, instituting a progressive drug policy that affords leniency to those who puffed on marijuana at some point. One recruit who admitted to smoking five years ago got a reprieve, while another who smoked within the last year did not.

“We just looked at the policy, and that’s what we went by,” said Anthony Dawson, the commission’s chair. “It’s changing, it’s changing all over: medical marijuana, all this stuff, some places already had it legalized. We have to look at society the way it is.”

“We’re trying to be reasonable,” Stephen Garcia, another commissioner, jumped in.

“We need numbers,” Dawson went on. “So what is it? What can you take and not take? We’re not trying to treat anyone differently. We’re just trying to look at how do you get the best candidates possible.”

The police maintain that they can’t disclose what’s in the new guidelines without foiling their background checks. They argue that releasing specific timelines for acceptable drug use would encourage applicants to lie to investigators.

Several wannabe cops, however, said they’d rather have clarity on the rules than have wasted everyone’s time. One pointed out that if the lie-detector test can’t catch falsehoods, then the current system actually punishes those who come clean, as he did.

The background checks eliminated some of the front-runners to become cadets.

Alex Alvarez, the second-highest-ranked applicant among the 440 recruits with a passing score, just missed perfection with 99.86 points on his civil service test. He was excluded because of his history, and he didn’t try to contest it.

Other top scorers flagged by investigators included Ronald Turner, 11th best, at 97.83 points; Miguel Pittman, Sr., 15th best, at 97.09 points; and Robert Spino, 17th best, at 96.80 points. Commissioners would keep two of them on the list and leave one behind.

The Police Commission originally scheduled votes to formally rescind the conditional job offers on Feb. 27. “You may attend … to provide a brief testimony or information for the Board’s consideration,” Assistant Chief Racheal Cain wrote in a letter.

But that special meeting was abruptly cancelled. Starting a half-hour late, the commissioners read the agenda, introduced themselves, and without any discussion, unanimously voted to adjourn. The whole meeting lasted less than two minutes.

Two days later, the commissioners got together again to discuss a drug policy for new hires. After an hour-long executive session, they passed the policy unanimously without any public discussion, or even acknowledgement of what they were voting on.

After that meeting, city lawyers and department brass denied requests to look over the new policy, and they refused to answer questions about what it contained. The Independent filed an appeal to the Freedom of Information Commission on Monday, requesting disclosure of the policy and any notes from the closed-door meeting.  (Read more about that here.)

“I’m Not Proud Of It”

With the new policy in place, commissioners regrouped on Tuesday night to review the 13 candidates who’d been disqualified by their backgrounds.

Starting around 5:30 p.m., eight of the job-seekers trickled into police headquarters. Waiting in the lobby until the meeting started, they traded stories about what had tripped them up. (They asked that their names be withheld from this article to candidly discuss past behavior.)

One spoke of experimenting with drugs in college, trying marijuana and a prescription stimulant more than five years ago.

One reported getting blackout drunk last year and waking up with a bloody nose, leading him to suspect he’d done coke.

Three more said they smoked marijuana: one a year ago, one 10 years ago, and one 19 years ago. “I’m not proud of it,” said the one who admitting toking from 1995 to 1999. “I’m a better man today.”

After the meeting was called to order, recruits took turns making their final pitch to the Police Commission. With their career on the line, some argued that the background reports were inaccurate; others, that they shouldn’t matter.

After one session, a candidate plopped down right on the floor, saying the presentation had wracked her nerves.

Two applicants chose to make their appeals in public: one went procedural; the other, emotional.

Pittman, the 15th-ranked recruit, runs a study group on how to get hired. He argued that the police had given him limited time to review his personnel file, violating the state open records law along the way.

The police department didn’t allow him to take home a copy of his 90-page dossier, even though he’d successfully appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission in 2016 about that very practice, he said.

“Again, the New Haven Police Department is not releasing a copy of my file, so my lawyer could be able to prepare me to go before the board,” Pittman argued. “I am getting my rights denied.”

Spino, the 17th-ranked recruit, admitted to making mistakes eight years ago, but he said they were long behind him.

“The incident that is keeping me from continuing in this process happened when I was 18 years old. It was a bad situation I was in, and I made bad choices. I regret it every day when I wake up,” he said. “Since then, I changed my pattern of behavior. I served my country [in the Marines]. ... I got my degree in criminal justice, and right now, I’m being certified to be an EMT. Everything I have done to become a better person to prepare for this career.”

Unspecified “Statute Of Limitations”

After that appeal, the police commissioners brought everyone back into the room. Garcia called off each name on the list for a vote. The recruits stood silently with their hands clasped, looking ahead. Dawson slammed the gavel after each count, sealing each candidate’s fate.

Nine candidates, including Spino, were axed by unanimous vote; one, the man who got high way back in the 1990s, was kept on unanimously.

The commissioners split on the other three. Pittman squeaked by on a 2-to-3 removal vote. The other two pot-smokers made it in 1-to-4 removal votes.

After the vote, Dawson, the commission’s chair, said the new policy effectively offers a “statute of limitations” on candidates’ past drug use.

“When is it going to be? Everlasting? We’re not the only ones grasping with that; every police commission in America is wrestling with that,” he said.

“You see the numbers; you see how many retirements we got. We’re not going to have police on the street in a while. That’s not what we’re trying to get to.”

Dawson added that the standards will be consistent going forward: “Everybody that’s going through this process will have the same policy.”

Assistant Chief Cain declined to comment on what’s in the department’s drug use policy. She referred questions to Michael Wolak, the senior assistant corporation counsel, who said he couldn’t discuss “confidential information.”

A “Right To Know”

One rejected applicant said it was “bullshit” for the department not to release its drug policy.

“We have a right to know,” he said. “I’d never have put the time in if I’d known.”

Another candidate who didn’t make it past the commission said he’d been punished for telling the truth. “I didn’t have to tell them; it’s not on my background,” he said.

He pointed out that other candidates might have lied about their drug use, figuring they could game the polygraph test. That wouldn’t be hard to do, he added.

“A lot of states are going away from the polygraph,” he said. “People beat it all the time.”

As the American Psychological Association has written, “There is no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception. An honest person may be nervous when answering truthfully and a dishonest person may be non-anxious.”

That candidate also said he wished he’d known what is in the drug policy. He asked the police for a copy. They declined to turn it over.

Ex-Top Cop Weighs In

 

A retired top New Haven cop, meanwhile, came out in favor of making public the hiring drug policy.

The cop, retired former Assistant Chief John Velleca, said he understands the concern over revealing the precise rule on how recent drug use will disqualify a candidate. But he said that the public is left having less confidence in the police if they don’t know the department’s policies.

“I don’t think it’s a battle you need to fight. We look like we’re hiding things,” Velleca said during an appearance on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven” program about the New Haven department’s decision to keep the policy secret along with any discussion of it. “We’ve just got to put it out there.”

Velleca said that in New Hampshire, where he ran a local police agency, applicants could access a link online that showed them the policy. In New Hampshire, applicants are disqualified if they’ve used marijuana within the past two years.

Closer to home, Hartford’s Police Department is clear that it doesn’t permit any marijuana use in the last 12 months, said Deputy Chief Brian Foley. Their department also includes a “subjective review board,” made up of representatives from the NAACP, community organizations and department leaders to double-check some eliminations.

The Waterbury Police Department doesn’t have a “hard, set policy” on drugs, instead reviewing candidates on a “case-by-case basis,” based on the frequency of use, the amount used and the time that’s gone by, said Deputy Chief Fred Spagnolo. Similar to Hartford, Waterbury’s department also has a panel that decides which backgrounds disqualify a candidate. Those decisions can then be appealed to the Civil Service Commission.

Bridgeport’s police chief did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

Click on the above audio file or Facebook Live video below for the full WNHH FM “Dateline New Haven” interview with John Velleca, which also touched on the police budget and on the Parkland massacre.

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posted by: connecticutcontrarian on March 9, 2018  4:10pm

it’s interesting to hear people who want to be officers complain about being held accountable for past action or expecting to be lauded for telling the truth. Lets hope those who squeeked by extend that same grace to people they encounter on the other side of the badge.

posted by: narcan on March 9, 2018  5:15pm

Sounds like the department voted to take on some serious headaches. Let’s hope they don’t turn into lawsuits or worse.

Unusual they are refusing to release their hiring standards. It is very common to list time frames for drug history with hiring qualifications.

posted by: Matterhorn on March 9, 2018  7:30pm

I don’t understand how ex-cons keep getting hired by the NHPD (or just making it this far in the hiring process).. it makes absolutely 0 sense and the city will suffer for it.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 9, 2018  9:44pm

The commissioners split on the other three. Pittman squeaked by on a 2-to-3 removal vote. The other two pot-smokers made it by in 1-to-4 removal votes.

I know Mr.Pittman.He is a good man.

posted by: Westville420 on March 9, 2018  9:59pm

It’s a joke any ways.  I did drugs with a bunch of NHPD cops while we attended UNH.  All just lied to get in.  What’s up guys and girls?

posted by: Chrisssy on March 9, 2018  11:12pm

It is bullshit. This one kid got in trouble at 18 years old and after that he went to college and got a degree in criminal justice and served this country as a marine and he’s not qualified to become a NH cop. He’s overqualified if you ask me!  You should consider yourself lucky this kid even considered NH. Hey kid, keep your head up, there’s better departments out there that will give you the opportunity. Half of NH doesn’t respect the cops anyway. Go apply at suburban dept, make more money, get more respect and not as dangerous. Forget about gun wavin new haven.

posted by: Hill North on March 10, 2018  1:32am

Wow, the board is moving in a positive way.  Congratulations to the Police Commissioners Donald Walker, Evelise Riberiro, Kevin Diaz, Gregory Smith and Anthony Dawson for recognizing that a change is needed. I heard that Miguel Pittman doesn’t need the job financially. But he is sacrificing his time, resources and money to make sure that everyone has a fair opportunity in the process. Congratulations Miguel Pittman keep fighting for change.

posted by: southwest on March 10, 2018  4:07am

First, smoking pot,years ago should not be a disqualification for qualifiers to become a 👮 when it eventually is going to be legalized like alcohol is now. I’m 100% sure all officers have smoke pot in their youthful moments and some had did coke,excessive booze drink,steroids, popping pills excerta,and the list goes own..Problems I have is when a recruit have knowingly sold drugs,busted,went to jail,had record sponge and then arrested for a fraudulent offense years ago and got that exponged I definitely got a serious problem with..This is not hear say but facts.. There have to be some standards set when it comes to recruiting new candidates because so many we have now slid. threw and it’s costing the taxpayers of New Haven dollars amt and will continue to as long as they are employed…Just because your Daddy,Moma,sister brother ext was a cop doesn’t nessarily make you a good candidate…Also if they feel they are so qualified why not apply to other departments.We hire some of these so call quality candidates who bad mouth the city of New Haven while collecting taxpayers dollars and once they are hired,trained get promoted experience then they go to other departments and end up with two pensions laughing all the way to the bank saying what a sucker New Haven were and they got there money and moved on to pimp another department.. True facts to the naysayers just do your research. There have been good committed officers who was dedicated and committed to the people and did their job from their heart and soul and their are some younger ones who are doing the same…As always you got that 20% who going to cause problems and make the good guys and gals look bad..True facts..Just because a candidate score high on any exam doesn’t mean they are going to do a good job..If that were the case the country plus the world wouldn’t have all the problems they have now and things would be smooth sailing instead of the rough sea…just saying…

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on March 10, 2018  8:09am

Matterhorn, it is state policy to encourage all employers to consider hiring ex-offenders who are qualified for the job (CGS § 46a-79). Obviously, the hiring decision has to be based on the facts in each case - I wouldn’t want the NHPD hiring someone convicted of assault two years ago. But as Chrisssy points out, there are ex-offenders who have turned their lives around.

posted by: Hill North on March 10, 2018  12:30pm

@southwest

First, smoking pot,years ago should not be a disqualification for qualifiers to become a 👮 when it eventually is going to be legalized like alcohol is now. I’m 100% sure all officers have smoke pot in their youthful moments and some had did coke,excessive booze drink,steroids, popping pills excerta,and the list goes own..Problems I have is when a recruit have knowingly sold drugs,busted,went to jail,had record sponge and then arrested for a fraudulent offense years ago and got that exponged I definitely got a serious problem with..This is not hear say but facts

I agree that marijuana is going to be legalize like alcohol. The Chief knows there is a problem with drugs used in his department.  To solve the problem you have to admit first there’ is a problem.
What also puzzled me about your comment. How could someone go to jail (should we assume that they got found guilty of all charges) and get two separate cases expunge? I don’t think the judicial system work that way. If so, share it with us since you said that it is a fact. I’ll wait for your proof or comment.

posted by: markcbm on March 10, 2018  1:07pm

@conncontrarian,

here here!

posted by: robn on March 10, 2018  1:22pm

The hiring policy of employers in general should be less worried about the name of whatever substance a potential employee consumes and more worried about the actual effect it might have on their job. That goes for food, drink, drugs; all of which consumed modestly might be invisible to an employer, but consumed voraciously, might affect the potential employees work performance (the only thing that employers should be concerning themselves with). It sounds like the departments policy WRT marijuana is lacking a contemporary time/use scale.

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 11, 2018  6:18am

Is this the same Miguel Pittman that was arrested and charged with fraud and credit card theft because he was trading cash for SNAP benefits to stock his family’s restaurant Sandra’s???

posted by: Hill North on March 11, 2018  11:49am

@posted by: T-ski1417 on March 11, 2018 6:18am

Is this the same Miguel Pittman that was arrested and charged with fraud and credit card theft because he was trading cash for SNAP benefits to stock his family’s restaurant Sandra’s???

Yes that him. I did my research. I couldn’t find any information about the outcome. But one should assume that the charges were dismissed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be this far in the process.

[Ed.: Yes. Charges were dismissed. He denied wrongdoing.]

posted by: 1644 on March 11, 2018  2:40pm

T-SKI:  THE NH Register reported that the Miguel Pittman involved with the Sandra’s fraud was 53 in 2014. https://www.nhregister.com/connecticut/article/New-Haven-restaurant-owner-charged-in-scam-to-11335625.php

posted by: Hill North on March 11, 2018  9:01pm

Ed.: Yes. Charges were dismissed. He denied wrongdoing.]

Ok, the charges was dismissed. Let us not talk negatively about him. Doing my Google search reveals he feed over 500 people for Thanksgiving.

posted by: Westville420 on March 12, 2018  12:52am

I also wanted to add that this was the best quote in the article:

“One reported getting blackout drunk last year and waking up with a bloody nose, leading him to suspect he’d done coke.”

Last year!! Blacked out, got a bloody nose and that “led him to suspect” he did coke.  Sorry that’s not how it works.  Hope that guy didn’t make it.

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 12, 2018  6:16am

@HillNorth

I was not speaking negatively I was speaking factual. He was arrested, charged and the case was dismissed. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t do it, but it was dismissed none the less.

Also nothing against Pittman but according to 1644 he was 53 in 2014 so that puts him around 56-57 now. I know it was mentioned that he didn’t really need the money but at a 25 year minimum retirement he would be around 78-79. Don’t see how he city benefits from hiring someone so long in the tooth.

posted by: Hill North on March 12, 2018  8:59am

@T-ski1417 on March 12, 2018 6:16am

Also nothing against Pittman but according to 1644 he was 53 in 2014 so that puts him around 56-57 now. I know it was mentioned that he didn’t really need the money but at a 25 year minimum retirement he would be around 78-79. Don’t see how the city benefits from hiring someone so long in the tooth.

1) We have a young police force. We need someone with life experience.
2) If he’s well off financially (what other people said). The odds are slim that he could be brought. 
3) He’s a Community Advocate that live in the city.
4) He was one of the people that push for a change in the hiring process to create an even playing field for people of color.
http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/marijuana_police/
5) The NHPD canceled their pilot program to help New Haven citizen with the process of becoming a Police Officer in the city. He funded his own program.
Policeentrylevelstudygroup.com

That’s how the city will benefit from his leadership.

posted by: alphabravocharlie on March 12, 2018  9:45am

Very disappointing.

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 12, 2018  3:55pm

@HillNorth

Well based on his arrest history listed in this article I’d definitely say he has life experience, and your not the only one who knows Pittman and his history and I can’t see him having much credibility but good luck to him.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 12, 2018  5:04pm

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 12, 2018 6:16am
@HillNorth

I was not speaking negatively I was speaking factual. He was arrested, charged and the case was dismissed. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t do it, but it was dismissed none the less.

Look at your statement. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t do it, but it was dismissed none the less.So if it was dismissed why bring it up and what was you point.In fact how many people of color are kill by the poilce and we know they did ti.But the the case was dismissed.Like I said I know Mr. Mr.Pittman.He is a good man.

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 12, 2018  6:35pm

@3/5

I brought it up because:

1. I wanted to know if this was the same person
2. Because I can and have a right to ask
3. Why not bring it up since it’s public record and speaks to his credibility as a potential police recruit

I honestly don’t know how many people of color are killed by police, assuming your not just referring to African Americans.

I’m sure you believe he’s a good man as I’m sure some people think he’s not, just like Detective Conklin, some feel he’s bad and some good. It’s a matter of opinion.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 12, 2018  8:29pm

@T-ski1417

You do have the right to ask.My problem was when you said That doesn’t mean that he didn’t do itThis is why I said but it was dismissed none the less.So if it was dismissed why bring it up and what was you point.Now as far as Detective Conklin.Look at his record.Det. Daniel Conklin,At the time, the department’s internal affairs division had already concluded the Conklin defied department policy and abused the public in three separate incidents, and in some cases told untruths about his conduct, according to files made available to the Independent under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act. Conklin denied the allegations of misconduct.In one instance, investigators found, Conklin destroyed evidence on a bogus stop. In a second, he harassed and arrested a man outside his home on trumped-up charges. In a third, he shoved and threatened to tow the “fucking car” of a “motherfucker” fisherman who’d parked on a bridge. He served a total of one day of suspension for all those verified misdeeds.

And he is back on the force.care to comment on this?

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 13, 2018  3:03am

@3/5

Yes I will comment. I am in agreement with you regarding Conklin, he got off extremely easy on what were obvious incidents of abuse of his authority. This leads to obvious issues with his credibility to properly do his job as a police officer.
The same can be said about Pittman. He was arrested, charged with theft and fraud which were later dismissed. This does not mean that he didn’t do it, like Conklin he may just have gotten away with it.

Again you asked why bring it up and I’ll say it again, why not. Pittman, like Conklin, is owed nothing and as a public figure his history is public record and since he is seeking to become a police officer the citizens of New Haven, which I also happen to be, have a right to know who can potentially be serving their community.

Good luck to him.

posted by: 1644 on March 13, 2018  9:45am

Pittman sounds like trouble, a barracks room lawyer who will moan about his “rights” rather than do his job.  NHPD should consider offenses, indiscretions, etc. in terms of severity and distance in time.  Given the powers and trust we should have in police, the standards should be high.  One of the problems with US police today is departments care less about whether or not the public can have confidence in them then they do about the “rights” of employees to continued employment.  The allegations against Pittman are extremely serious, i.e., a complex and continuing scheme to defraud.  They are also recent, only a few years ago, and when he was old enough to know better.  As T-Ski says, the fact that the charges were dismissed doesn’t mean he is innocent, and should not be dispositive.  Can I trust him not to let a cell phone in the evidence room disappear to help a fellow officer who cannot control his temper?  The answer is no.

posted by: MiguelpittmanSr on March 13, 2018  1:00pm

@T-ski1417, 1644 and others that think like them.

I am another Blackman who endured a 5 hour and 50 minute thorough interrogation (yesterday) by New Haven Police Department Background investigators who don’t look like me—after the board voted for me not to be removed from the list.
I am another Blackman that always stands strong through my trials and tribulations.
I am another black man that knows that no weapon formed against me shall prosper.
I am another Blackman that loves my people.
I am another Blackman that loves my family.
I am another Blackman that has a conscience.
I am another Blackman who’s ancestors suffered in this country.
I am another Blackman that believes that odds don’t apply to me.
I am another Blackman that’s willing to suffer and endure the pain for what I believe is right.
I am another Blackman who knows who’s for me and against me.
I am another Blackman that will leave a legacy for Black Men and Women to pick up the torch and finish where I left off.
I am another Blackman, I am another Blackman, I am another Blackman that fears God!

Peace.
Miguel Pittman Sr.

“In the end it is not the voices of our enemy that we will remember, but the silence of our friends.”
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

posted by: nhguy1 on March 14, 2018  6:33am

Let us not get so far ahead of ourselves. As a candidate and possible hire for class XXIII, anyone who is going into this academy needs to not write mini essays touting themselves and celebrating what type of person they are. Trust me, getting hired will be the easy part. Making it through that academy is what determines who you really are. I wish you well, but you have a million miles to go. If you are a possible hire you shouldn’t even be reading this. You should be outside putting miles on your sneakers and nothing else. I hate to disappoint you but you accomplished nothing.
When you graduate and get through FTO then you can tell us how wonderful you are.
Good Luck.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 14, 2018  8:13am

@Miguel Pittman Sr.
My man.Well Said!!!!

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 15, 2018  7:25am

@nhguy1

My Man, Well Said…

posted by: freefromthamatrix on March 15, 2018  10:08am

@NHI readers-  I have no doubt if a white person on the civil service list posted anything close to what Miguel Pittman Sr did, the whole City would be crying racism and demand that person be dropped. As a minority, I’m personally disgusted with his racial outburst. Judging by his own statements in the article and his racial outburst here, he’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. No common sense to control his own emotional outbursts. I can just imagine him having authority over someone AND having a gun. I wonder who he knows in the city!

posted by: Hill North on March 15, 2018  12:48pm

@freefromthamatrix

As a minority, I’m personally disgusted with his racial outburst. Judging by his own statements in the article and his racial outburst here, he’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Really your a minority. You don’t pass the smell test. Stop wanting to be someone your not. Read some of your pass comments.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/cop_dashes_back_to_new_haven/

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 15, 2018  4:42pm

@Hill North

What does a minority smell like?

@freefromthematrix

Well said….

posted by: Hill North on March 15, 2018  9:49pm

@T-ski1417
What does a minority smell like?

Definition :
Smell test
Noun
(plural smell tests)

(idiomatic) An informal method for determining whether something is authentic, credible, or ethical, by using one’s common sense or sense of propriety.

posted by: freefromthamatrix on March 15, 2018  11:45pm

@hill north, I can appreciate you can copy and paste the finer points of grammar, but what I cannot forgive is YOUR horrible spelling. I also cannot forgive how you think a minority must be of a certain race or political entity/group as YOU’RE alluding to.

Not that I feel required to qualify myself to anyone, but I AM a minority. One of the smallest groups in the nation, in fact.

I am also a Libertarian. I oppose government intervention in any aspect of my life which it’s not absolutely necessary.

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is black. Please don’t put me in your box of stereotypes. If I stereotyped you, I’m sure you would not appreciate it.

That being said, I also voted Clinton over Trump and believe Trump should be impeached, indicted and charged with treason.

On the same note, I also believe hiring should be merit, character, and competence based.

If Mr.Pittman was arrested for fraud, the arresting officer would need Probable Cause to arrest him. If not, that officer could be held liable civilly. Although Mr. Pittman was not convicted, doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. Then again, neither did OJ Simpson, but, I digress.

And let’s not forget both Frank Lucas and All Capone fed the poor. Are they suddenly upstanding citizens?

I hope Mr. Pittman’s file is opened, for him and the public to view. The public has a Right to Know a person who is potentially criminal may be forced into their house.

Furthermore, I would rather have a well qualified black person over a less-than-qualified candidate of any other race. My argument is qualification. And, sorry, based on what I have heard and seen of Mr. Pittman, he does NOT satisfy my criteria as a good candidate. New Haven is not the only place where he has had negative contact with law enforcement. It’s only the place without enough sense to still seriously consider him.

FYI, don’t bother responding to me. I have nothing else to say.

posted by: T-ski1417 on March 16, 2018  5:02pm

@HillNorth

I didn’t ask for a definition of smell test, I ask what does a minority’s smell like based on your response to freefromthematrix. Apparently they are not a minority based on their response and your opinion. So how would a minority respond??