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Esserman Returning As Police Chief

by Paul Bass | Oct 17, 2011 2:00 pm

(101) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: City Hall

langevin.house.gov Dean Esserman, who helped establish community policing in New Haven in the 1990s, will return to town to take over as police chief.

Mayor John DeStefano is expected to announce Esserman’s appointment at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, according to a knowledgeable source.

Esserman (pictured), 54, replaces Frank Limon, whose departure from the force became official at a Monday afternoon press conference.

Esserman will begin work Nov. 16. Limon is officially chief until Nov. 15. But he’s on an extended “leave” in Chicago; Assistant Chief John Velleca is running the department in his absence.

After that, Limon (pictured) will receive a $90,000 “consulting” contract over nine months—in effect, a severance payment to avoid a costly lawsuit. The city could not fire Limon under the charter unless it had cause.

“There was no cause here,” DeStefano said Monday.

Esserman, most recently the police chief of Providence, R.I., declined comment when reached by phone Monday.

He arrives back in New Haven at a time of flux for the police department. He will be the fourth chief in three and a half years. Meanwhile, New Haven is on a record-setting pace for murders this year. And many people in New Haven has been consistently demanding—most recently in some of the Sept. 13 Democratic primary elections—a return to the neighborhood-walking-cop style of community-policing that led to dramatic reductions in crime over two decades.

Esserman knows about that. He served as then-Chief Nick Pastore’s deputy as Pastore instituted dramatic reforms in the department: Assigning cops on regular walking beats in neighborhoods; de-emphasizing arrests in favor of problem-solving before crimes occur; negotiating with gang leaders to reduce violence while also amassing massive intelligence from the public to help put several gangs out of business; aggressively recruiting female, black and Hispanic officers, and training them in new ways. Esserman created the present-day neighborhood districts. He also created the state’s first gang task force, in New Haven. Esserman was brought in part to try to soothe tensions between the chief’s office and the rank and file. He was more popular with cops who were resistant to changes in the department; at the same time he began building a national reputation as an apostle of community policing.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and New York University Law School, Esserman left New Haven to take over the M.T.A. Metro North Police Department. After that he went on to serve as police chief in Stamford, where he built bridges to the immigrant community and dramatically cut the crime rate.

Overall crime fell 70 percent under Esserman, according to current Stamford Chief Bob Nivakoff.

“He’s tough on criminals. He’s nice to the community. He’s good to the cops. For me that was a good blend,” Nivakoff, who served as a west side sergeant under Esserman, said Monday.

“He’ll keep you busy, I can tell you that much. You’ll see him all the time.”

Next, Esserman moved up I-95 to Providence, R.I. He recently left that job after an incident involving underaged drinking at his daughter’s high school graduation party, though people believe his departure had more to do with the election of a new mayor.  The police union there had also conducted a no-confidence vote against him.

Murders dropped 50 percent and overall crime around 30 percent in Providence during his tenure.

A heralded national effort to wipe out gang violence—called the National Network for Safe Communities and based on an experiment in High Point, N.C.—was announced in Providence. That’s because the U.S. Justice Department chose Providence’s department, under Esserman, to become the network’s first site city to roll out the program, which has federal and local law enforcement work with gang members and their families with a mixture of carrots and sticks. (Read about High Point, and a failed attempt to bring the program here in the past, here, here, and here.)

Here’s what the Providence Journal wrote about Esserman’s tenure running its city’s department:

“In eight years, Esserman brought community policing to every neighborhood, assigned detectives to investigate the cheating scandal, beefed up units investigating gangs, guns and internal affairs. He introduced computer mapping of crimes, so the police could evaluate what was happening in the city and prevent crimes, and opened the department up to partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, organizations and schools.

“The crime rate began to fall, longstanding drug markets vanished, and even murders plummeted. The department drew national attention for its crime-prevention initiatives and community-centered approach. Last fall, the department and Roger Williams University won a federal grant to establish the first educational institute for law enforcement in New England.

“But the department also endured scandal — four officers were caught up in a state police investigation into a drug ring last year, a detective was convicted of assaulting a handcuffed man this year.

“And Esserman’s temper and brusque style blistered colleagues and underlings, and alienated some city leaders. Some were celebratory when they learned of his resignation. Others were stunned.”

Office Cleared, “Waldo” Game Ensues

Paul Bass File PhotoIn New Haven, the police union at one point also held a no-confidence vote against Frank Limon (pictured), who had a rocky 19-month tenure in New Haven.

The news of his departure capped a day of wild speculation, then dueling press conferences, as the turmoil at the top of NHPD became a campaign issue.

Limon abruptly cleared out his office and left town Friday. The mayor announced that he was on an “indefinite” leave.

Word quickly spread that Limon is in fact leaving the job 19 months into his four-year contract. He told associates in the department that he is leaving for a mix of reasons, according to a person familiar with those conversations. Those include the fact that he misses his wife and son, who have remained in Chicago since Limon moved here last year; and tensions with Mayor John DeStefano, who he felt was micromanaging the department. DeStefano has been known to be frustrated with Limon’s leadership of the department as violent crime has risen this year, including 27 homicides since Jan. 1. Limon and his assistant chiefs have attended biweekly meetings in the mayor’s office to discuss progress in the department.

Limon could not be reached for comment Monday.

He came to New Haven 19 months ago to take over the department. He has a four-year contract. He succeeded James Lewis, another chief who came from out of town. Lewis served as chief for 20 months in what was always considered a temporary assignment; Lewis came in with a mandate to clean up a department reeling from a federal corruption investigation.

Paul Bass Photo Speculation about Limon’s departure spiked through the department and throughout town over the weekend. Monday the ante was upped, as police union President Arpad Tolnay, mayoral challenger Jeffrey Kerekes, and Edgewood neighborhood activist Eli Greer (a Kerekes supporter) slammed the mayor at a press conference outside police headquarters. They demanded that the cops and the public know who’s leading the department; Greer called it a game of “Where’s Waldo?” in “Homicide Haven.”

“If our top cop is gone,” the force needs to know, Tolpay, president of AFSCME Council 15 Local 530, said after the conference, which was covered by all three local TV stations. “We’re doing the best we can. We’re facing a lot of issues now. We get to a point where we can’t get any further.” Tolnay expressed his sympathy for Chief Limon: “If someone has to leave their position, they have to leave their position.” But city officials shouldn’t keep the news a “mystery,” Tolnay said.

Then DeStefano held a 3 p.m. City Hall press conference Monday afternoon to announce Limon’s departure and reveal that New Haven is paying Limon the $90,000 “consulting” contract.

DeStefano called Limon “a decent and straightforward partner.” “We’re a better place because of Chief Limon’s contributions,” he said.

The city charter protects Limon from being fired because an elected official disapproves of his performance. He has to commit a crime or some other egregious act to be removed from office. (As other mayors have discovered, termination is not easy even in that case.) Cities face expensive lawsuits if they improperly seek to remove a chief.

So the city and Limon struck a deal that would give him nine months of pay, at $10,000 a month, as a “consultant” in return for his departure. DeStefano said he and Limon had been discussing the details of that package for the past two weeks.

The rampant speculation around town that grew over the weekend hastened that process, DeStefano said.

Officially, Limon will consult with the department for nine months after his departure to “provide expert guidance to continue the progress made in establishing an Intelligence Unit and to continue the work in the Detective Bureau and Narcotics Unit,” according to a mayoral press release.

Mayoral challenger Kerekes, who’s running against Democrat DeStefano as an independent in the Nov. 8 election, told reporters after the press conference that DeStefano shouldn’t be appointing a new chief yet.

“Who’s been included in vetting the new chief?” Kerekes asked. “The people should decide when they elect the new mayor.”

Police Union President Tolnay (pictured), on the other hand, said he “welcomes the new chief, whoever that might be.”

“I’m hoping it’s someone who’s going to stay ... here long enough to see their plans be implemented,” Tolnay said. “It’d be nice to have a chief I can talk to six years from now and say, ‘We tried that, and it didn’t work.’”

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posted by: James on October 17, 2011  11:13am

What the hell is wrong with this city?

posted by: trollswell on October 17, 2011  11:24am

As if cops have anything to do with the health and wellness of the people of New Haven. Make real nutritious food FREE for the taking and you’ll find
crime drop radically.

posted by: Imago Dei on October 17, 2011  11:45am

The mystery around this lands directly on DeStefano’s door.  I was on the fence about who I’d support in the upcoming election, but this shows how deceptive, evasive, and to some degree, how outright dishonest DeStefano can be.  In how many other areas has he been less than transparent?  Kerekes or Destefano…the scale just tipped towards Kerekes.  I actually wish I had a third option.

Regarding the chief, I hope John Velleca gets the opportunity to lead the department without the micromanaging tactics of DeStefano.  The mayor, whoever he is, should hire the chief and then get out of his way!

posted by: lizvitale on October 17, 2011  11:56am

New Haven deserves a leader who will not disrespect its citizens.  For too long, the Mayor has relied upon the citizens to be apathetic to all that he does. That is why he thinks he can get away with such blatant lies.
Stop this nonsense once and for all.  Vote for Kerekes, you’ll get the truth.

posted by: Curious on October 17, 2011  12:06pm

DeStefano REALLY needs to go.  This is unacceptable.

I fervently hope that Chief Limon releases a public statement about his reasons for leaving the department.  I want to hear it from him directly, not spun by either DeStefano or by Kerekes.  Someone please make that happen.

posted by: ohboy on October 17, 2011  12:06pm

Dean Esserman running the PD, with DeStefano in city hall, ohboy what a show, maybe the world is coming to a end , at least the downward spiral of the Police Department would end, the BOTTOM would have been reached.

posted by: Curious on October 17, 2011  12:16pm

Limon quit.
DeStefano asked Limon to take vacation and not make a statement…
...so that DeStefano could have time to spin it, or find a replacement before anyone found out what was happening.


I am willing to bet that’s just what happened.  Now that cat’s out of the bag, though.

posted by: streever on October 17, 2011  12:16pm

The Mayor has said it best before—“transparency is a buzz word”.

He has admitted to deceitful governance, copping responsibility to giving sweetheart contracts out in exchange for support for his governor run.

He has admitted to not doing performance reviews or bids and allowing individuals who are not evaluated or managed to take in large city contracts.

How can one vote for a dishonest man who believes that citizens are best kept out of the process?

posted by: Community Policing First on October 17, 2011  12:19pm

With all the “good ole Boys” lobbying for the top spot, I think it’s time for New Haven to get its first female Chief. Asst. Chief Adger has all the skills needed, and more importantly, she has the support of the New Haven community—a necessary ingredient if we really believe in solid Community Policing strategies. New Haven needs someone they can believe in; not another cowboy or yes-man Chief.

posted by: Ex-NHPD on October 17, 2011  12:24pm

Please, not a repeat of Dean.

Google him and check out his run in Providence.

Overwhelming No Confidence Vote.

Suspended for one day after threatening to pour hot coffee on a Sergeant, during a meeting.  If he did that in public, what is he like behind closed doors?

Resigned after public uproar got too loud about a party for his daughter at his house that had underage age teens drinking alcohol.  He was home at the time.  When he learned of the drinking, he “broke it up” and sent everyone on their way.  He let intoxicated teens leave without any escort/supervision to make sure they got home safely.

Dean Essserman in NHPD?  Been there, done that.  No thanks.

posted by: William Kurtz on October 17, 2011  12:43pm

Beyond the unnamed ‘associates’, where is the new information in this update justifying the statement of fact in the revised title?

posted by: A-Roid on October 17, 2011  12:50pm

New Haven needs a chief that won’t be a puppet for the greedy magistrate of 165 church.

Put the power back in the elected police officials hands not the politicians!!

posted by: anon on October 17, 2011  12:59pm

As far as I am concerned the NHPD has been in the dog house since at least the 1960s except for a few months during which Lewis was chief.

I couldn’t care less if anyone thinks that is a cynical statement. As far as I am concerned it is as plain as day.

As for Destefano’s relationship with the PD, it is bizarre, dysfunctional and secretive. I am sure there is a lot more to it and that we will never know it all. And I don’t need to speculate or know as I am surely not going to vote for him. I have never voted for Destefano in any primary or general election. It is my firm position that intelligent people who do vote for him - among these voters are friends of mine - kid themselves every time they do. They admit as much, that they rationalize it every single time.

Not worth it. Life is short and these people are awful.

posted by: westville man on October 17, 2011  1:06pm

New Haven citizens continually vote for Destefano for all the wrong reasons: things arent that bad, fear of the unknown opponent, pockets of business “successes” and of course- politcal favors. 
For all those who complain about him, NOW is the time to get rid of him. Doesnt this story, and all that leads up to it, prove it once and for all??

posted by: My Hood on October 17, 2011  1:23pm

You Jeff Kerekes fans need to just stop. The last thing New Haven needs in these hard times is an amateur politician learning on the job.

posted by: streever on October 17, 2011  1:35pm

Oh, the Mayor is a seasoned professional, he graduated with a masters in “Being the Mayor of New Haven”. I guess you are right, we should let him be Mayor until we find another guy who has more experience at the job.

posted by: westville man on October 17, 2011  1:37pm

my hood

thanks for quickly proving my reason #2 for why you vote for Destephano…

posted by: Bill Saunders on October 17, 2011  1:44pm

My Hood,

The first years of any new administration is going to be two-pronged.

A ‘holding pattern’ of necessary and essential services, and an untangling and eradication of eighteen years of corruption from the system.

That process needs to start immediately.

posted by: James on October 17, 2011  1:49pm

MyHood: Can he do much worse than DeStefano this past few years?

posted by: Insider2 on October 17, 2011  1:52pm

Is the City on the hook for the rest of Limon’s contract? We need to look at this.  Further, as a Latino, I feel used by Destefano, because he paraded Limon and his wife 19mths ago through downtown New Haven as the new Chief. Why did he bring him here? To get the Latino vote.  Destefano did not want this to get out until after the elections, because he knew that if it did, it would affect the Latino vote.  Well, it has definitely affected mine. Destefano is a snake. It seems strange that Esserman has already been reached for comment.

Finally, none of A/C’s are qualified to run this department,

...

posted by: Cedarhillresident on October 17, 2011  2:02pm

Well said Bill!

posted by: Che Buffett on October 17, 2011  2:03pm

does “mystery hurt the force” because the NHPD are unable to ever solve any?

posted by: Billy on October 17, 2011  2:18pm

They need to bring Pete or Sid back. We need a local to run the force, not an outsider!

posted by: Curious on October 17, 2011  2:19pm

MyHood,

Exactly wrong, New Haven needs an AMATEUR politician.  An EXPERIENCED politician (like John DeStefano) just plays politics and runs the city into the ground.

posted by: Tax Payer on October 17, 2011  2:21pm

What the Heck $90,000 ? More Tax Payer’s Money out the Window, City needs to Re Do Rules, Stop Hiring from Out of State!
We have Plenty of High Qualifying “New Haven Police Officers” Right Here in NEW HAVEN CT!

posted by: Curious on October 17, 2011  2:22pm

If Limon left Friday, how is DeStefano going to have a replacement ready to be named by tomorrow?

Either this was already in the works and the mayor was lying about Limon’s departure, or DeStefano is not taking the selection of a new police chief very seriously.

(P.S. NHI, it’s “Tolnay”, not “Tolpay”.  Check your text.)

posted by: doug on October 17, 2011  2:31pm

Guy left his family in Chicago for the job ... ouch. Obviously a bad idea in retrospect. Let’s wish him luck. Hopefully his family is OK.

posted by: Fairhaven Dave on October 17, 2011  2:43pm

When you look at the abundant PCP usage,  aggressive locals,  liberal media scrutiny, and frivolous litigators per square mile in this town; one can hardly blame the Police for not doing anything unless absolutely necessary.  You can’t even rough a guy up to catch a murderer anymore.

We need an Elliot Ness and we keep getting grant writers and quitters.  Get an angry local boy who is tired of seeing his birthplace get flushed down the toilet.  Take suggestions from city hall, but not orders, it’s obvious they have an agenda that does not make public safety the top priority.

And remember, “No one pushed him, he FELL.” ... until he talked.

posted by: anonymous democrat on October 17, 2011  2:55pm

I dont follow this fiasco, it just isnt worth the time following who is our chief and what group is protesting him, valid or not.
  I do think who ever is put in charge will have to deal with a LOT of crap. How about a sky high murder rate? how about residents that are always looking to crucify you for anything real or perceived ? How about a city hall that might have a lot more say in the police department than they might let on ? WE GOT IT ALL.

posted by: NewHavenerToo on October 17, 2011  3:01pm

How much can we pay DeStefano in return for HIS departure?

posted by: Anon on October 17, 2011  3:15pm

City is claiming a 96-percent homicide clearance rate this year. I am sorry, but a 96-percent rate is the most shocking and suspicious thing I have ever heard.

Couple that with the high profile rejection of a case by state’s attorney Michael Dearington - who refused to prosecute it - you have to wonder what the hell they are doing over there at NHPD.

I find it extremely hard to believe that a city of this size with a 96-percent clearance rate is not framing innocent people. It is an impossible number to achieve with the type and number of homicides it has and in its population class/size of city. With NH’s crime rate, that rate is like winning a gold medal at the Olympics. It’s not believable. I doubt there is a peer jurisdiction that has a rate even close to that anywhere in the US.

I wish a 96-percent were something to celebrate, and it would be if it were a realistic number, and it may be if somehow in some fluke, like winning the lottery, the number is true.

That number is not a number to celebrate. First and foremost, it is a number to investigate.

posted by: DKR on October 17, 2011  3:19pm

oh boy,..talk about a slap in the face to the tax paying residents of new haven if esserman is brought in,..you think it’s dad now,...the ship will definitely sink if he is brought back…..

posted by: Ellis Copeland on October 17, 2011  3:20pm

@James—the answer to your question would require several thick volumes.  Actually there is a one line answer was Paul won’t run it since it goes against the drive to butt-kiss the Establishment.

Limon was a damn good chief. I’m sorry but not surprised at how it went down.  Johnny Boy seriously needs to go but it won’t happen.  He’ll die in office of old age 50 years from now.

posted by: Russ on October 17, 2011  3:24pm

New Haven has been in the grips of the magistrate at 165 church and now he needs another Chief to pull the stings and stop his political hemorrhaging.

New Haven needs a chief that will stand-up and direct the department as a leader not a muppet!

Wake up New Haven and remove the puppet master who cares more about HIS legacy then your equality!

posted by: Dorthy on October 17, 2011  3:27pm

I will consult for $5000.00 per month.

posted by: Noteworthy on October 17, 2011  3:35pm

It’s confirmed: DeStefano is a liar. And not about something small, this is big. The police department is the second largest budget item in the City - and regularly spends $100K a week on overtime. The safety of our citizens is at stake and more importantly, the integrity of the office of mayor is at stake.

John is shameless and didn’t even both apologize for lying. He just said he’s the mayor - like somehow that means its ok to lie. In case my children watch the news, we will discuss it over dinner to make sure that they understand even if DeStefano doesn’t, that what he did was wrong. There should be consequences. Maybe he needs to be hooked up to a shock therapy device that zapps him every time he lies. If that happened, he’d have scorch marks on his shorts.

posted by: Anon on October 17, 2011  3:35pm

Gee Fairhaven Dave, sure sure, I’ll go with what you said: 

“When you look at the abundant PCP usage,  aggressive locals,  liberal media scrutiny, and frivolous litigators per square mile in this town; one can hardly blame the Police for not doing anything unless absolutely necessary.  You can’t even rough a guy up to catch a murderer anymore.
We need an Elliot Ness and we keep getting grant writers and quitters.  Get an angry local boy who is tired of seeing his birthplace get flushed down the toilet.  Take suggestions from city hall, but not orders, it’s obvious they have an agenda that does not make public safety the top priority.

And remember, “No one pushed him, he FELL.” ... until he talked.”

AND I will add this:

When you have police policing themselves and a weak IA, a micromanaging mayor and a history of corruption, a worst case scenario only FBI, a decent chief for only a few months [lewis] and a sycophantic Civilian Review Board co opted by the mayor and PD, yes, you do need Elliot Ness.

Go weed and seed, or seed and weed, or seed the weeds

posted by: My Hood on October 17, 2011  3:38pm

I’m sure Mr. Kerekes is a fine sincere gentleman
although I have not met him, but do you really think he could have harassed Limon into quitting?
The Sta Puff marshmallow man looks tougher than him. This city would chew him up and all you would-be revolutionaries would turn on him in a New Haven minute. Destefano might be a jerk,
but he is an experienced jerk with the necessary
skills to navigate what is going to be a rough couple of years.

posted by: Cedarhillresident on October 17, 2011  3:42pm

@ My Hood (welcome new to posting here I see) :) Inside joke

posted by: yz on October 17, 2011  3:49pm

@ My Hood
What reason would we want to have a mayor “tough” enough to harass his police chief enough that the police chief then decides to leave town, leaving taxpayers with a $90,000 extra consulting bill? We don’t need a mayor micromanaging the police force. As you can see by our current homicide numbers, DeStefano tightly controlling the police chief hasn’t lowered city crime.

I’d rather see DeStefano and his wasteful practices gone than have his politician’s experience at twisting facts.

posted by: Our Town on October 17, 2011  3:52pm

Please, please not Deano…last time he moseyed through New Haven, ... Last thing we need is another know it all, my way or the highway type.

posted by: westvillelocal on October 17, 2011  3:59pm

As expected, another flat out lie by Johnny Boy! He knew for 2 weeks and had the stones to stand there and tell the people some story about family issues and whatnot. Why is it every time Johnny screws up it costs the city more of money!

All those people and groups that say they are supporting DeStefano should reconsider their positions ASAP!

posted by: SouthWest on October 17, 2011  4:15pm

The Mayor got to go. I no he’s trying to hang in there for two more years to get his pension as a taxpayer who’s percentages goes toward the Mayor’s salary and the Chief. I’m fed up with his incompetent decision that keep costing us more money. The Mayor acts like these funds are coming from his personal
“piggy” bank not from the taxpayers. Just think $90.00 to do consulting, that’s a joke and if we fall for that line then we have issues. One thing for sure his priorities
are not ” the crime rate, 27 homicides along with other violent crimes”.

posted by: Curious on October 17, 2011  4:31pm

“Esserman Returning As Police Chief” = DeStefano already had this in place, and has been lying about it.  No way do you grab a police chief in 3 days.

posted by: Jon Doe on October 17, 2011  4:34pm

All I have to say is New Haven Voters have to step up Nov,8 and vote him out we Now have a choice in Jeffrey Kerekes.

So stop complaining and Vote him out of Office !

posted by: Sal Consiglio -NHFD-FAIR HAVEN on October 17, 2011  4:39pm

90 grand of taxpayer dollars that could have been used somewhere else.The crack staff who hired this chief should pay it out of their own pockets starting with Destefano.Consulting fee for what to tell us how he is going to travel to and from Chicago. Once again this administration made a major mistake. You wont vote in a independent democrat-Everyone who votes for Destefano should have their heads examined and you all want to give him two more years are you kidding me! What the f do you think is going to change. Stop with the sheep mentality and change your course it cant get any worse ,we are at the bottom now -GIVE JEEFREY A CHANCE! So afraid of change yet you will be lead around and BS’ed and complain but do nothing about it. If you re-elect him and this administration we all get what we deserve plain and simple SMARTEN UP NEW HAVEN -CHANGE IS GOOD AND NEEDED! AS ONE GREAT MAN SAID WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF AND HE GOT US OUT OF ONE HELL OF A MESS.

posted by: streever on October 17, 2011  4:40pm

Wait, wait, wait.

Was there a contract put up for bid for the 90,000?

Is our municipal government REALLY allowed to authorize ALMOST ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR NINE MONTHS FOR AN INDIVIDUAL BECAUSE IT HELPS OUT THE MAYOR IN AN ELECTION SEASON?

Is that legal?

Why the BLEEP is it legal?

posted by: ADD IT UP on October 17, 2011  5:12pm

Add another $90,000.00 paid to an incompetant City Employee hired by DeStefano. Can some add up all the law suits paid out by our mayors poor decisions? He’s got to go.

posted by: Ozzie on October 17, 2011  5:28pm

You have got to be kidding! Who’s next Nick Pastore as Assistant Chief. Big deal Esserman was an Ivy League Graduate and a prosecutor in New York.  He had no experience as a cop when Pastore hired him the first time and has been bouncing form job to job( Metro North, Stamford , and Providence) to pad his resume since his last stint as Assistant Chief in New Haven. What a slap in the face to Velleca, Redding, and Adger. I guess they’re not good enough to be the leader of the Department but then again they might not want to be. The place has gone down the tubes since Pastore was in charge the last time and I’m sure you’ll see old Nick back in some way or another. But then again the rumor was he was always not far away from Destefano’s ear to begin with. That’s probably why Esserman is going to be the Chief !!!!!

posted by: sic of lying!! on October 17, 2011  5:44pm

From what I heard Johnny D asked the Chief to resign several weeks ago but the chief said No, Johnny D, you have to buy me out..Soon after the chief stop showing up at work and now I hear he is a $90,000.00 consultant from his home in Chi-town! Way to go Lemon(lol) slap Johnny in the face..Oh I sorry, I feel the same way Johnny feels, MONEY AIN"T COMING OUT MY POCKET,I’LL JUST LAY OFF MORE COPS..

posted by: L on October 17, 2011  6:06pm

NINETY GRAND severance?! Out of MY tax dollars?! Seriously? “There was no cause here,”DeStef says. Um, the cause is that he failed, he kept running home to Chicago, and then it sounds like he just took off. Sounds to me like there is no severance needed, no lawsuit that could be filed. Is there something we’re missing, Mayor? The silver lining is that this Esserman sounds experienced and tough.

posted by: Ex-NHPD on October 17, 2011  6:22pm

The entire Limon debacle, from his hiring to his final departure, is all on Johnny D.

After Lewis bolted, the NHPD was crying for LEADERSHIP.  Lewis had the goods, but he was only in it for a paycheck and to boost Kenny G’s resume.  Lewis led the NHPD with distinction and honor as the NHPD dealt with the tragedy of the Aponte/Gonzalez accident.  But, it was only for a moment.

Johnny D. then brought in another PERF Superstar in Limon.  Limon was mighty impressive on paper.  if you read his resume and credentials, he looked great.  But, alas, Limon did not have a single drop of Leadership in him.  He was completely disconnected from the rank and file and never made an attempt to connect with them.  He had zero communication skills.  Within a month of arriving with his 2 Chicago cronies, he was taking off for Chicago.  EVERBODY knew that as soon as his wife headed back there, his frequent sojourns back there were an indication that he was not long for New Haven. 

Johnny D. knew Limon was not performing up to expectations.  Obviously anything he may have done to try to correct Limon was unsuccessful as the frequency of the get aways increased. 

It is obvious to me that the courting of Esserman probably began once he resigned from Providence in June, 2011 (if not earlier). 

One can logically assume that Johnny D. believed by this summer that Limon was not the answer.  He then began negotiating a buy-out, knowing that he had Esserman waiting in the bullpen.  Yet, Johnny D., when faced with the overwhelming evidence that Limon had abandoned the NHPD and the City on Friday, chose to “misstate” the situation.  He knew he was being untruthful to the Press, the NHPD, and the public when he said that Limon was still the Chief.  How else could he have a new Chief in place so quickly?

Johnny D. goes on to say that the $90,000 consulting fee is to “provide expert guidance” .  Just say what it is—-A Buy-out to get rid of an ineffectual Chief, who in hindsight, probably did not deserve to be hired in the first place.  Johnny would probably get more Street Cred for admitting that, rather than to continue the double talk.  Instead, it looks like the City will be paying $240,00 for a Chief and a Consultant. 

I was here when Esserman made his initial foray into Law Enforcement as an Assistant Chief under Pastore.  It would not be too fair to criticize him on the job he did, as well as his leadership, since it was all new to him. He was learning as he went. I hope he has learned a thing or two along the way in his other stops as Chief.  My readings about some of his actions in Providence lead me to believe that he still has some distance to go in honing his inter-personal skills.  I can not wait to see how Chief Esserman and Consultant Limon get along with each other.

Good luck to my brothers and sisters at the NHPD.  You will need it.

posted by: cedarhillresident on October 17, 2011  7:35pm

This one goes out to the mayor! Truly a sad day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHub8SQmngk

posted by: DKR on October 17, 2011  7:47pm

wow,..new haven we are in big trouble,....i do believe the ship has sunk…...!!!!!

posted by: observor on October 17, 2011  8:03pm

I will only say one thing at this point.The new chief should be a well qualified RESIDENT of new haven who PAYS taxes to new haven. A person with a vested interest in the city.Not a suburbanite who runs out of town at the end of the work day to pay their taxes elsewhere and supports their town and not new haven.And surely not another out of towner !!

posted by: Thomas on October 17, 2011  8:05pm

This city needs its own, if not Rudy Guilliani at least an Ed Koch who would give this city the kick in the pants it needs.

posted by: R. A. Gibson on October 17, 2011  8:10pm

Ninety-thousand dollars of New Haven taxpayers’ money could pay for several new teachers, policemen, firemen or librarians.  New Haven definitely cannot afford to give away that amount of money to pay a Chicagoan to be a long distance consultant to the New Haven Police Department.

The people of New Haven would be fools if they sit silently and let the Mayor of our city give our money away.

Has the Mayor, for political reasons, orchestrated the removal of an unpopular,controversial, part-time police chief at the expense of the taxpayers in a desperate attempt to hold on to power less than a month before the next election?

Does the Board of Aldermen have any power or authority to stop the Mayor from making such deals?

Do the people of New Haven have the courage to exercise their own power and authority to stop the direction our city is going?

Now is the time for the people of New Haven to take charge of their City!  Now is the time for a revival of true democracy here.  For the first time in more than 20 years the people of New Haven have a real choice in this mayoral election.  The one-party oligarchy must end!  The people must get out and vote for new leadership, new vision and new direction for New Haven.  Make Election Day, November 8, a day of liberation for the people of this City from the same old lackluster leadership.
Jeffrey Karekes for mayor!

posted by: concernedwestvilleres on October 17, 2011  8:21pm

Again we have the Kerekes people calling DeStefano a liar because he didn’t come out and say he asked Limon to leave.  It goes to show people don’t understand how you do things and you don’t just come out and tell people everything.  It appears DeStefano wasn’t happy with Limon (increasing homicide rate, unhappiness in the dept, etc.) and he asked him to leave (he can’t fire him under law and contract and he had 29 months left in his contract - so even Kerekes couldn’t fire him if he were to win the race).  So, it would take time to convince him to leave and negotiate the terms.  Otherwise Limon could sue and cost the city much more.  Knowing he was planning to get rid of Limon he pursues a choice for police chief while negotiating with Limon to minimize the impact. It appears they reached an agreement last week and Limon left on Friday (maybe he asked to think about it or he wanted to get out of town to avoid the press).  DeStefano waits until all the arrangements are in place and announces Limon is leaving this afternoon and then firms up arrangements with his replacement.

Overall DeStefano handled this well. We didn’t need a press conference on Friday announcing Limon’s departure, we don’t need many press conferences announcing every step, and we don’t need to have the appearance no one is in charge.  They could have asked Limon to wait until this afternoon to clear his office and there wouldn’t be any problem although the Kerekes people would be complaining about something regardless.

DeStefano may not be the best mayor and it is time for him to consider retiring and bringing in new blood and new vision.  However, Kerekes is not qualified to be Mayor as shown by his platform.  Kerekes has no business experience (other than union organizing), managing in a large organization, government budgeting (despite being a self-proclaimed budget watchdog), laws regarding immunity (as evidenced by his Ricci payment comments), or financial planning (his comments about DeStefano transferring property to his wife).  The City can’t afford to turn the city over to this person. Also, the whole gist of Kerekes campaign is he’s not DeStefano.

posted by: RIResident on October 17, 2011  10:02pm

Good luck with Esserman. He was a self promoting disaster in Providence. Arrogant know-it-all that road the national crime decline as his own horse. Wait until you see his compensation package. I am sure he negotiated a crazy salary, probably a gig teaching at Yale as well. RI is happy to send him on his way.

posted by: SaveOurCity on October 17, 2011  10:05pm

Please let this be the straw that breaks Johnny D’s back…..as far as the concern about Kerekes not having experience - - could he really do worse than this?  If we’re willing to elect a President of the US with no applicable experience, we should be willing to role the dice on a city of 150,000.

posted by: Distressed on October 17, 2011  10:32pm

I agree with Liz Vitale, “New Haven deserves a leader who will not disrespect its citizens.”  For too long, the Mayor has relied upon the citizens to be apathetic, uninformed and too buried under the burdens of all that is wrong in NH to keep track of the LIES he has been telling. Sunday evening the Mayor said Chief Limon had not resigned; he was simply taking a few days off to deal with personal health issues and attend a police chief’s conference. 
    On the 6pm news today the name of a new chief was announced.  It takes time to negotiate a contract with a new police chief; that had to have been in the works for some time.  Why make a statement on Sunday at all? Why LIE?
      Not since Nicholas Pastore, has the NH Police Dept had a chief who has been allowed to do his job without the mayor running the dept from City Hall. How ironic that Chief Lewis would only stay 19 months (we were told then that he wanted to be back with his family); however, in a few weeks Chief Lewis was back in NH working as chief for Yale University! Why wouldn’t he work for the NHPD?
    Regardless of who comes to NHPD, someone needs to tell Mayor DeStefano to be the Mayor and stop trying to be the Police Chief also. No real professional chief wants to be a puppet. Mayor DeStefano seems to be a major part of the problems in the NHPD. How much more are the residents of NH prepared to take?  He defends the administrators in a chaotic and dictatorial situation at Wilbur Cross; he allows on-the-job-retirements in the Dept. of Education; he looks the other way at some of the things he should be attending to such as the monument situation in Wooster Square Park and many more less obvious but more disturbing matters.
    After 18 years as mayor, he should be a master at it. Yet, he makes mistakes expected of an amateur.  Mayor DeStefano needs to pay closer attention to quality of life issues in New Haven; clearly, with a ton of money in the bank and no really vibrant opposition, he is assured of re-election unless of course, people stop believing in a fore-gone conclusion and really decide to VOTE HIM OUT OF OFFICE on Nov. 8.

posted by: Ben Berkowitz on October 17, 2011  10:35pm

This is the best news that has come out of NHPD in a while.

Chief Esserman is a phenomenal grab. I have seen him speak in Providence and he is inspring and representative of the kind of policing we need in New Haven.

I have been saying for a while that we should never have lost him but I never expected that we’d get him back.

Great stuff Rob Smuts!

posted by: Ben Berkowitz on October 17, 2011  10:37pm

Here’s the video of the speech I was referring to:
http://www.channels.com/episodes/show/12493662/BIF-6-Dean-Esserman

Tell me you don’t want this guy to be our Chief?

posted by: CH on October 17, 2011  10:41pm

My Hood writes:<<The last thing New Haven needs in these hard times is an amateur politician learning on the job.>>

Heck, if it’s good enough for the president of the United States, it’s good enough for us!

posted by: HhE on October 17, 2011  10:43pm

Well, at least we didn’t end up buying this guy out of his contract…

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2010/11/08/news/doc4cd84ac6957bd161157822.txt

Pathetic.

If Limon wanted to quit, let him.  If Mayor DeStefano wanted him gone, maybe he ought to have done a better job interviewing Limon.  Every time I heard Chief Limon speak, I was very unimpressed.  He was not intelligent, insightful, or articulate.  Nor honest.  At one community meeting, Chief Limon claimed he took a cut in pay to come here, but 30 minutes on Goggle told me he got a pay raise coming to New Haven. 

http://www.riverforest.com/News/Articles/03-16-2010/With_Limon_leaving,_River_Forest_considers_next_steps

posted by: Vote Him Out on October 17, 2011  10:54pm

Don’t forget who hired this guy.
Don’t forget last winter’s plowing.
Don’t forget our ‘drop out factory’ schools.
Don’t forget your astronomical taxes.
Don’t forget laid off cops.
Don’t forget the Ricci-Supreme Court Decision.
Don’t forget the cronyism.
Don’t forget the DA won’t prosecute NHPD cases.
Don’t forget that the Governor hates him too.
Don’t forget mid-block.
Don’t forget being #4 in USA in violent crime.
Don’t forget the patronage that keeps him king.
And most importantly…

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE -VOTE HIM OUT!

posted by: richgetricher on October 17, 2011  10:55pm

The Mayor lied while looking straight in our collective faces. He only came clean when he was caught in a bold-faced lie. And it wasn’t some piddling matter - it concerned who was running the show at the police department when blood is running on the streets. He hoped he could make it through to election day with this lie, and he even paid Limon $90,000 of our tax money to buy his silence. He thinks we’re all so dumb with our limited lives that he can get away with anything.

posted by: PPD on October 18, 2011  12:03am

Thank You New Haven from those of us who survived Esserman’s stay in Providence. May the Lord have mercy on you!

To the people of New Haven: expect your crime rate to drop by over 50%; ON PAPER ONLY. It was no secret in Providence that Esserman manipulated our crime stats. (ie. there were 22 murders in his first year and there were 21 murders in his last full year..yet, he claims a 50% reduction in the murder rate???) No police chief will ever outdo Esserman when it comes to making statistics work in his favor.

To the police administration: be prepared to spend hours upon hours going over every police report looking to downgrade every crime possible. (ie. On one particular weekend we had a rash of 17 robberies in one neighborhood and Esserman had the bosses sit in a room and review each report until they found a 40% reduction (downgrade) to 10 robberies. He also had the department change it’s way of counting stolen autos which resulted in an immediate 35% reduction. Plus, by no longer including “Arson” in our FBI reporting, we claimed another 11% reduction in crime.

To Union Pres. Tolnay: Contact FOP Lodge#3 and get the names of retired and present officers who can warn you of Esserman’s attacks on Police Officers and their families. Also, just toss your contract out the window; he’ll do what he wants!

To the men and women on the NHPD: Know that Esserman will immediately move to replace and/or destroy all Captains and above. Then he will find one or two Sergeants or Lieutenants willing to stick it to fellow officers to get ahead and they will become his hatchet men. In Providence, he found a willing Sgt and put him in charge of IA to do his dirty work. When the Sgt failed two lieutenant’s test, Esserman appointed him an Inspector making Captain’s pay. Then when he failed his third Lt’s test Esserman filed a grievance and had one candidate removed from the list so as to promote the Sgt. Finally, Esserman promoted this now junior Lieutenant to Major weeks before the new Mayor took office.

To Mr. Kerekes: Forget searching the Providence Journal when vetting Esserman. The Journal was his personal public relations rag. Check out GOLOCALPROV.Com or contact 630 WPRO Radio and speak with Host Dan Yorke or Buddy Cianci for the real Esserman stories. You will hear story after story of him using his BADGE for personal gain.

Finally, to the New Haven Govt. leaders: Expect your police budget to explode; just like it did in Stamford and Providence. Also, if you want Esserman to spend most of his time in New Haven, DO NOT allow him to include a clause in his contract whereby the City picks up his seminar and travel expenses. He spent almost as much time out of the State and Country as he spent in Providence and our taxpayers paid for it.

Good Luck!

posted by: Billy on October 18, 2011  1:55am

R.A. how far do you think 90k goes in the land of fat union contracts?

posted by: Nick on October 18, 2011  2:05am

I’m glad that Limon is gone. He didn’t seem to get on with the mayor or the officers, and his heart was firmly in Illinois.

People shouldn’t knock Esserman now unless they have constructive ways in which he can improve on his past performances. He might turn out to do a great job. Heaven knows we need someone great.

The really important issue now, which I haven’t seen any details of: what are the terms of Esserman’s contract? If he turns out to do a bad job, are we going to have to pay $90k to get rid of him too? Does he have a clause in his contract that prevents him from being removed a month either side of a tricky mayoral election? NHI could do some useful research here.

posted by: Noteworthy on October 18, 2011  5:05am

Why does the mayor make so many bad decisions and then hand us the bill to fix it all? $90K for Limon; $5 million for Ricci plus $1 million for city side legal fees; $50K for police abuse; millions for tearing down the jewlry store on Chapel. It never ends. No wonder we are broke, we keep paying for all these bad decisions.

Cedar: LOL ...you always find them.

posted by: Kris Lee on October 18, 2011  6:19am

Esserman is the most arrogant, condescending, quick-tempered person Providence Police ever knew.  Seriously, the man has a personality disorder ...  constant lying and rudeness towards subordinates.  He has a serious problem relating to female subordinates - he even made female employees cry!  All I can say to New Haven’s finest is, from the outset, don’t stand for his tyrannical ways.  Underlying his worn-out speeches containing all the right politically-correct buzzwords is a man who lacks the fundamental interpersonal-relationship skills required of any leader.  Good luck New Haven, you are going to need it.

posted by: Willie on October 18, 2011  7:41am

I cant believe we are paying Limon $ 90,000.00People wake up—DESTEFANO HAS TO GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!City of New Haven has to get lived in not trampled on——-the $ 90,000.00 could go for kids in school—what happened John to kids first—-you are a joke John—time to say good night!!!!!!!!

posted by: ozzie on October 18, 2011  7:43am

Seems to me Destefano is grasping at straws by getting Esserman. He left the last time. It’s quite obvious he now needs a paycheck since he left Providence . What gets me is when a person keeps moving from job to job, it leads me to believe that the person is not qualified to do the job in the first place.
    Now the City is going to be saved by his return . Give me a break. Is his return to Community Policing going to be like Chief Pastore’s( going out onto the street corner and shooting dice with the hoods). Then the next day when you stop them on a drugs complaint they pull out his business card and say I’m a friend of the Chief’s .  The only way to reduce crime is to take the hard line approach by getting these thugs off the street. There not hanging on the corner talking about what good grades their getting in school. Chief Lewis had that mind set, but the Mayor doesn’t want the backlash. So lets get another liberal who wants to coddle all the criminals. Oh and by the way did Esserman ever qualify with a hand gun the last time he was here ????

posted by: Sunday on October 18, 2011  7:52am

Esserman did a good job when he was here with Pastore. I got to know him when he was chief and believe in his leadership style. If he can help this city crime rate go down “so be it” let him be the next chief. He can’t do any worst than the pass chiefs’‘’‘’‘’‘’. Good Luck Dean’‘’‘’‘’‘’‘’’

posted by: PPD on October 18, 2011  8:18am

Sorry, I forgot a few important items in my first posting:

To the New Haven minority community: Esserman will say all the things you want to hear, but watch the WALK not the TALK. Contact Cliff Montero, former Providence Police officer, and local leader of the NAACP in Rhode Island. Cliff was suckered in by Esserman for the first 5 years, but then saw the light. The TALK was great, but the WALK showed fewer minorities hired and for the first time in over 60 years there was one police academy with all whites.

To the Jewish Officers: There is only room for one Jewish Top Cop in the Department and do not try to share the spotlight with him or your career will be over. Just remain a Patrolman and you will be fine.(Check with the PPD) 

To the gang bangers and murderers: Don’t worry; if you find yourself in the hospital with serious wounds, Esserman will be by your bedside holding your hand and telling you that you are safe now. (numerous true stories on this fact) NOTE: Our detectives constantly complained that Esserman’s bedside “chats” with these killers often threatened our cases against them and our Attorney General warned Esserman several times to refrain from speaking to suspects at the hospital.

Finally, Esserman’s obsession with the rights of criminals, and his distrust of police officers in general, will lead to an atmosphere within the police department whereby officers will begin to hesitate when dealing with criminals and officers will get hurt. I fear that if Esserman remains in NH for more than four years, you too will lose an officer in the line of duty

Once again, GOOD LUCK!

posted by: Luke on October 18, 2011  8:21am

Good luck New Haven.  The Providence Police Department-under Esserman’s watch-was one of the most corrupt police departments on record.  Beatings for suspects-even on tape-were regular, officers were convicted of rape, running a drug ring, and various other inappropriate actions for anyone, let alone those charged with upholding the law.

This attitude started at the top with Esserman, and permeated throughout the entire department resulting in multiple officers losing their jobs, respect, and good name.  I personally witnessed Esserman on at least one occasion violate someone’s rights when he almost ran them over in his vehicle and then attempted to arrest them for his mistake.  He brings an attitude of being above the law, of people being just a nuisance without whom he’d be better off, and of disrespect for those who pay his salary overall.  He was a serious problem here, and while I’m glad to see him go I fear for the safety of the citizens of New Haven.  Good luck New Haven, he’s your problem now!

posted by: evelyn on October 18, 2011  8:34am

I wish this next gentleman much luck in his new endeavor. I feel that the real issues here are being overshadowed by politics. The real issues are the crimes taking place in this once beautiful city and how to stop it.

posted by: Anon on October 18, 2011  9:10am

Ben,

Thanks for the link to the video of the Esserman speech. I liked the speech entirely except for the end where he says the new community practice is policing when it used to be doctors making house calls. I thought it showed a creepy sublimated sentimentality and made me doubt somehow the veracity of everything he said.

I hope it was just some fluke as the concepts he expressed do resonate with me. However, I do prefer a no nonsense cop like Chief Lewis. I would rather we had a Lewis, persuaded to roll out more community policing than this word smith who maybe kids himself, maybe not. I don’t know.

As to corruption. I think it would be a mistake to assume these intellectual chiefs touting community policing are tough on corruption. That has not proved true.

When Pastore was chief he coddled corrupt cops. Lewis we know slammed bad actors and would fire them, the union be damned. Zero tolerance. We need that. Where is the indication we will get that?

Community policing is and was a progressive idea but is it a one hit wonder with these guys or are they going to be innovative about addressing current complaints and issues surrounding police honesty under oath and in sworn reports?

That issue is coming to a national head along with the issue of police brutality. Are they going to be accountable on that or will that remain business as usual, relegated to the back burner, ignored, as it is now, as it always has been?

Esserman says his cops have two report cards every Tuesday. One says whether the community is giving them hugs and kisses, the other says whether they are reducing crime. And he says he’s tough on that.

We can have two report cards too.One with his score for achieving effective community policing and one with his score for running an honest accountable police force.

To use his own phrase, without both he gets no love.

Also, from the reports coming out of Providence, his Achilles heel is a nasty foul mouthed temper, so maybe he should attend to that sooner than later.

posted by: ozzie on October 18, 2011  9:12am

Way to go PPD tell it like it is with this guy. As for all you people who think this is a good hire keep drinking the water sooner or later you’ll drown

posted by: Curious on October 18, 2011  9:19am

@ Concernedwestvilleres,

You’re reading a lot in to what DeStefano “appeared” to do.  What he did was to negotiate a replacement of the police chief of a city with a serious crime problem, in secret, deliberately keeping the whole matter from the public, the police department, and the aldermen.

That’s not good governance, it’s totalitarianism, and it comes from a place of fear.  You don’t hide what you’re doing from others unless you know it’s wrong or that people will object.

DeStefano orchestrated this police chief shuffle in secret, on his own.  That’s not how a mayor should act.

——————-

Ex-NHPD, thanks for that post.

NHI, maybe it would be a good idea to get a freedom of information request on the mayor’s communications with Esserman, to shine some light on just how long DeStefano has been arranging this while keeping the rest of the city in the dark.

posted by: Threefifths on October 18, 2011  9:33am

Why are you all crying and bellyaching.I keep trying to tell you.keep on voting them in.The crooked two party system.This is whay you get.KY anyone.

posted by: Anon on October 18, 2011  10:04am

Politically, coming from a forced resignation out of Providence, Esserman is coming in in a position of weakness. A bad record with DeStefano could be a nail in his coffin for future employment, so I hope he does not need this paycheck. I hope he already has a comfortable pension and I hope this job is just gravy because, if he really needs this job, well, it’s pretty obvious that John Destefano owns him, wrapped with a bow, from the get go.

As we all know here in New Haven, being that dependent on Destefano’s affection is about as unadvantageous a position possible.

posted by: Anon on October 18, 2011  10:17am

Maybe Kerekes can get Lewis back or keep someone much like him.

This is nonsense. Destefano’s personal shortcomings cause this stuff. I’m tired of it.

The best chiefs are just out of Destefano’s league. He will never get one to ever commit to new haven under his leadership.

posted by: westville man on October 18, 2011  10:40am

it’s distressing to me that we are hiring the chief from the outside. The last 2 chiefs had only 1 “toe” in New Haven.
I’ve been told that since the drug scandal involving Billy and the boys at NHPD that we are under indirect orders not to hire from within for a certain number of years.
I hope that’s not the case but it sure looks and smells like it.
What does it do to morale when at least 3 cops on the force are considered qualified for the top spot and get passed over again and again??

posted by: robn on October 18, 2011  11:20am

I’d like the NHI to investigate commenter’s claims about Officer Essermans alleged statistic manipulation. This has been a long time problem in New Haven and we don’t need any more of it.

posted by: concernedwestvilleres on October 18, 2011  11:22am

To Cedarhillres:

In another thread you asked if I worked for the city and you think you figured out who I am.  First, I do not work for the city nor have I ever worked for the city.  I work and live in the city.  I am as concerned about many on here about the condition of the city as I have young children who are growing up in this city.  I am not usually a DeStefano supporter and agree he should be out.  However, Kerekes is not the person to do so.  From his platform, statements, and debates I see someone who cares about the city but who if elected would run this city into the ground.  New Haven is doing okay compared to other places in the recession and I don’t want to see that end.  I wish a capable opponent would run against the mayor, but this year there were none.  You may ask how can I make such a judgement?  I am highly educated with a MBA and MPA (Master of Public Administration) from a local university.  I have studied government over the years and know how it operates- how budgets are determined and how to look at potential cuts and efficiencies.  I have many years of business finance experience and understand the workings of business and government.  Yet, I won’t work for government because of that understanding- I don’t want to be on the inside and vacuumed up into the bottomless pit of governance.  I attend some BOA meetings and some BOE meetings when I have the time.  I don’t like tax increases, but will accept them if spent wisely.  I will gladly vote against DeStefano if a qualified opponent arises (not necessarily a politician but one with business experience and knowledge of government).

Now to the issue of the Mayor paying $90K for Limon to leave.  The Mayor is not allowed to fire the police chief when he is under contract.  Limon has 29 months left and could have sued for the balance of his contract (likely well over $200K) plus legal fees and add in damages.  The Mayor wanted him to leave as he wasn’t doing a good job.  So, a $90K buyout had to be negotiated.  If the Mayor was worried about election politics, he would have waited until after the election.  The $90K is well spent in this case as the cost of keeping him would be worse and the cost of firing him would be worse.  It comes out to about 60-75 cents per resident.  That is not a bad cost. The money would not go to the schools or elsewhere so it’s a sunk cost. The fact the Mayor did this in secret is no big deal- it is done all the time.  Company Boards negotiate with successors before firing CEOs (see Yahoo and HP).  You don’t announce you’re getting rid of someone until everything is in place- plain and simple.  This is a non-issue.  The issue is the hiring of Limon in the first place- that should be reviewed.  What was missed?  Why did he come here if his family wasn’t part of this?  Was he qualified for the position?  Was he told one thing and then when he got here it was something else?  Those are the questions to ask and resolve.

posted by: Nick on October 18, 2011  11:45am

@PPD: you wrote

“Finally, Esserman’s obsession with the rights of criminals, and his distrust of police officers in general, will lead to an atmosphere within the police department whereby officers will begin to hesitate when dealing with criminals and officers will get hurt. I fear that if Esserman remains in NH for more than four years, you too will lose an officer in the line of duty.”

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Esserman might be someone who realizes that citizens have rights. We (the taxpayers of this city) lost $50,000 a few days ago because the NHPD forgot this. Check out the link here.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/city_settles_brutality_charge_for_50k_faces_another/

posted by: Cedarhillresident on October 18, 2011  11:56am

@ concernedwestvilleres

I did I asked if you where an ex employee and what are your thoughts on the Billy White thing? How that went down? And JD protecting him prior to that when they tried to get rid of him? Was it ok for JD to step in when the chief saw the problem? it would of saved us the 90,000 pension he gets every year?

But your comment above is a good one. One point of view. Thanks for sharing. And it always good to have a variety of opinions….somewhere among them is a solution.  Hugs

posted by: Moira on October 18, 2011  12:00pm

@ConcernedWestvilleres: Please justify your statement, “From his platform, statements, and debates I see someone who cares about the city but who if elected would run this city into the ground.” That’s quite an assumption, and assumptions are dangerous. For example, one would assume the Mayor wouldn’t lie to the city and its police force regarding the status of its police chief, but…

DeStefano has done some good things for this city in his tenure—and after 18 years, I would certainly hope that’s the case. But to say Kerekes would run the city into the ground just tells me you are in denial about where the city is at already. You can *assume* that Kerekes isn’t the person for the job. But I think most of us can *prove* that DeStefano isn’t the person.

posted by: Curious on October 18, 2011  12:13pm

@ concernedwestvilleres,

That’s fine and good for Yahoo, but this is city, which is funded by taxpayers.  Decisions like this should not be made solely by one person, and in secret.  Period.

posted by: Luke on October 18, 2011  12:52pm

@Nick
“Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Esserman might be someone who realizes that citizens have rights.”

As a citizen who has (again) personally watched Esserman and his band of thugs from Providence violate people’s rights over and over again, that statement actually made me laugh out loud.  Loud and long enough to draw looks from others in my office.  If you see him coming in and that’s the expectation you have boy, are you in for a rude awakening.

posted by: VD on October 18, 2011  3:29pm

Oh goody, someone with no qualms about fabricating crime stats.  He’s the perfect pick for N.H.  I can’t wait for our “new reality” to begin.

posted by: Nick on October 18, 2011  5:31pm

@ Luke:

I used the word “might.” Still, glad to have provided the high point of your day.

posted by: Unbiased on October 18, 2011  5:52pm

@Concernedwestvilleres is one of the few who seem to get it. He’s one of the few who is not ax grinding or spouting campaign rhetoric. He’s just telling it like it is. Perhaps a new leader is due. The magnitude of this city’s ills require a tough, experienced leader! Kerekes? I don’t think so…

posted by: concernedwestvilleres on October 18, 2011  7:45pm

@cedarhillres- as for the Billy White case I am not totally familiar with it.  I would have to read more about it and find out if it is as you say. The PD needs to crack down on corrupt and abusive cops. I have said I would like DeStefano to go, but Kerekes is not the man to replace him at this point.  I would like to see someone run who has a vision for the city and a proven record of implementing vision (in government or a business environment).

@Moira- first the city is not now “in the ground”.  New Haven is one of the few cities that is doing okay given the current economic turmoil.  We have new development in the downtown area (360 State Street), the potential for a transformative development (Downtown Crossing), solid employers (Yale and Higher One for example), a school reform project that is being touted nationwide, the New Haven Promise program (again a leader in the nation), a solid biotech and medical industry, 3 great hospitals (YNHH,St. Rays, Smilow), a downtown grocery store (Stop and Shop) and one on the way (Elm City Coop).  Ikea built in the Long Wharf area and is usually packed on weekends.  Can the city make more progress?  Sure.  But it is holding its own compared to Hartford, Bridgeport, and Stamford (which is on edge about UBS all the time).

Why do I say Kerekes would drive the city into the ground?  His idea to require a vote on tax increases (despite city charter requirements regarding the budget timeline)is a nonstarter.  It would be costly as special elections would be required (despite his statements they would not).  He has called for a 10 percent across the board budget cut- that is not practical in a city like this.  He has no experience running anything other than a union organizing campaign- how can we trust him to run a city the size of New Haven and to manage a staff?  How would he select his staff?  What kind of relationship would he have with the Board of Aldermen.  How would he put together a budget?  What is his vision for the city.  He is running on a platform of “I am not DeStefano” and has shown no vision for the future.  Yes, Kerekes could do much worse.  Look at Obama- we elected him and things are worse in many respects.  People thought he could do no worse than Bush yet in several respects he has.  I imagine many wish they had voted for Hillary instead.  So, yes he can be worse and I believe he would be worse.  Let’s find a candidate with vision and experience who can defeat DeStefano and make this city better than ever.  Kerekes is not that man.

posted by: CONCERNED CITIZEN on October 18, 2011  9:40pm

A word of caution: before too many of you go spouting off about what this PPD posted, you maybe should ask yourselves - why does this anonymous out-of-towner cares so much about what is, or will be going on in New Haven, CT?  Has it occurred to anyone that this is clearly someone with a major axe to grind? Chief Esserman is leaving Rhode Island; this person will no longer have to worry about the Chief giving him a hard time. Why is PPD going through all of this trouble to poison people’s mind in NH?  It has NOTHING to do with caring about what happens to us in NH.  He is trying to set up the Chief to fail; sadly, he seems to already have some mindless followers.

First, although the PPD is supposed to be linked, the link cannot be found; it goes to nowhere.  He or she (although most likely a he) seems to have a word of caution for every group in town based upon each group’s affiliation.  I find that a little too neat and tidy. This malicious individual is trying to poison the well before anyone gets to it to drink.  WHY? This is clearly someone with a vendetta against Chief Esserman. In his first salvo he writes: “Thank You New Haven from those of us who survived Esserman’s stay in Providence. May the Lord have mercy on you!”

In the second attack he says: “Sorry, I forgot a few important items in my first posting: To the New Haven minority community: Esserman will say all the things you want to hear, but watch the WALK not the TALK.
  To the Jewish Officers: There is only room for one Jewish Top Cop in the Department and do not try to share the spotlight with him or your career will be over.
  To the gang bangers and murderers: Don’t worry; if you are in the hospital with serious wounds, Esserman will be by your bedside holding your hand and telling you that you are safe now.”
  This very angry and malicious (alleged cop) is doing his best to plant seeds of discord.  Let’s ask ourselves—what kind of police officer is this who writes such vitriol? How irresponsible? How devious?!!! I hope that the NHPD Police Union and the officers will be open minded. This is about NH, not went on in Rhode Island; we are hearing a malicious side.

  Those in the NHPD who opposed community policing in the first round had better get on board because it is the only thing that works when done effectively. The City of New Haven NEEDS a good police chief.  Many of those now singing Chief Lewis’ praise did not like some of the things he did either, but he was right.

  I hope that those who consider themselves to be “community leaders” will do all in their power to help this new chief to succeed. It is disturbing to read of people complaining because Esserman is better educated than many other chiefs of the past. The NHPD needs an enlightened well-educated leader.  Those who are less educated should try to learn from him. Don’t listen to those from Rhode Island or any place else; the dead bodies are not in their neighborhoods. I trust that Chief Esserman will find a NHPD filled with adult, responsible officers ready to partner with him for a safer more peaceful City of New Haven.

posted by: Moira on October 19, 2011  7:47am

@ ConcernedWestvilleres: All good points, and thanks for sharing them. In fact, all of your questions are good ones for Kerekes. I think there are many voters who would like the answers to those questions. I know he welcomes and encourages dialogue with voters. He freely gives out his cell # to people who have such questions as yours, so I highly recommend you contact him. 203-676-0880.

I agree that New Haven certainly does have a lot of things going for it, but there are still problems. Yale might be a large employer, but it doesn’t pay taxes and it’s gobbling up more and more property in the city—lowering our tax base and placing an ever-increasing burden on residents. (As an aside, I also have some real concerns about the fact that all of our three hospitals are Yale hospitals, since Yale snapped up St. Ray’s.) And 360 State Street brings up the problem of DeStefano’s culture of blatant lies, based on the recent tax bait-and-switch there.

So while New Haven does have a lot going for it, I don’t think DeStefano is the person to run it. He is shamelessly deceptive. Even though I think most politicians have a lot of motivation to lie to the people they serve (although I don’t agree with it), DeStefano has taken that tactic to new lows, especially in his handling of Limon’s departure. We deserve better than that.

I’m a big advocate of exercising our right to vote. Voter apathy gets under my skin. At the same time, if you don’t feel that DeStefano or Kerekes is a good fit, then why vote at all? Don’t waste a vote on someone who has proved he thinks it’s totally acceptable to look a city in the eye and lie. Why throw a vote at two more years of that?

That’s my two cents. Time for me to get back to work. Incidentally, if I was as deceitful on the job as DeStefano, I’d be fired in an instant.

posted by: concernedwestvilleres on October 19, 2011  8:37am

@Moira- I just want to clarify some points you made.  You mentioned Yale is gobbling up property and doesn’t pay taxes to the city.  That is only partially true.  Yale is one of the few universities in the country that voluntarily pays PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) payments.  They go to the state and are distributed based upon a formula.  New Haven does not get the full value of the PILOT payments but that isn’t Yale’s fault- that’s the state’s fault and DeStefano can’t just change it.  Also Yale makes other payments voluntarily (security payments, etc.) which total in the millions.  Additionally Yale leases space in properties for which property taxes are part of the rent- the portion of the buildings they lease is not tax-exempt.  Yale pays property taxes on leased vehicles and on some property (i.e. University Properties buildings).  Yale also provides employment to over 8000 people including a significant number of New Haven residents.  Additionally Yale’s students spend money in the city and Yale has helped bring Stop and Shop to Whalley downtonw and the Apple Store.  Yale does enough to help the city.

I vote in as many elections as possible- I’m not registered in any party so I don’t vote in primaries.  I will vote for the candidate who I think is the better candidate to lead this city in these times.  DeStefano may not be perfect (who is), may be deceitful (what politician isn’t deceitful)at times, and may tick off many people (I tick many people off).  However he is the better of the two candidates to run the city so I will likely vote for him.  I urge you to vote for who you think will be best to run the city.  That’s the beauty of voting in this country- we vote and move on.

posted by: Moira on October 19, 2011  10:53am

@ ConcernedWestvilleres: Oh I will definitely be voting. And with a little luck, we really will be moving on. :)

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