Hartford Deputy Fire Chief suspended without pay

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford’s Deputy Fire Chief Daniel Nolan, who has been on paid administrative leave since April 16, is now suspended for 30 days effective July 28 for violations as detailed in a letter addressed to him from Fire Chief Carlos M. Huertas.

A Loudermill meeting held on Monday for Nolan explained the charges against the Deputy Chief as a result of the investigation into his on-duty conduct on April 16. On that date Nolan was directed to attend a meeting and at the end of it he spoke with reporters to clarify what was being said in the meetings and was ordered by the acting Chief not to talk and to leave. Nolan refused and spoke critically of the Department.

The charges levied against Nolan are as follows:

  •  Violation of Hartford Fire Department Rules & Regulation rule 25 which states, “Any neglect of duty, disobedience of orders or disregard of officers shall be liable to disciplinary action by the Chief, who shall report to the personnel Director such action as he may have taken in each individual case.”
  • Violation of Hartford Fire Department Rules & Regulation rule 46 which states, “An absence of any employee from duty, including an absence of a single day or part of a day, that is not authorized by a specific grant of leave of absence under the provisions of these rules shall be deemed to be an absence without leave.”

Stated in the letter, Chief Huertas explains when Nolan was questioned about the charges at the Loudermill meeting he did not provide any explanation beyond the one offered in his Fire Service or the investigation conducted by the City of Hartford and its authorized agents. Huertas says that Nolan states in his opinion he was “not guilty of anything” and that he was “never informed Mr. Brady had any authority over him.”

FULL LETTER FROM CHIEF HUERTAS TO DEPUTY CHIEF NOLAN:

 

Deputy Chief Nolan,

On Monday, July 27, 2015, a Loudermill meeting was held for you in my office at 253 High Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The purpose of this meeting was to afford you with an opportunity to be heard with regard to the charges against you as outlined below and in my letter dated July 16, 2015. The charges are a result of the investigation into your on-duty conduct on Thursday, April 16, 2015. Also present at the meeting were your Union representatives, Vincent Fusco, Local 760 President; Rocco Fierravanti, Local 760 Vice President; and James Ferguson, Attorney for Local 760. The charges levied against you are as follows:

Violation of Hartford Fire Department Rules & Regulation rule 25 which states, “Any neglect of duty, disobedience of orders or disregard of officers shall be liable to disciplinary action by the Chief, who shall report to the personnel Director such action as he may have taken in each individual case.”

Violation of Hartford Fire Department Rules & Regulation rule 46 which states, “An absence of any employee from duty, including an absence of a single day or part of a day, that is not authorized by a specific grant of leave of absence under the provisions of these rules shall be deemed to be an absence without leave.”

When questioned about the charges at the Loudermill meeting, you did not provide any explanation beyond the one offered in your Fire Service or the investigation conducted by the City of Hartford and its authorized agents. You stated that in your opinion you were “not guilty of anything” and that you were “never informed Mr. Brady had any authority over you.” After reviewing your account of the facts, I do not find your comments to be consistent with the finding of the investigation. Therefore, I have determined that you did in fact violate the Department rules and regulations as outlined above.

I consider the above violations to be serious and unacceptable. In your capacity as Deputy Chief of the Training Division, you hold the third highest rank in the Department and are charged with educating Department members on the City of Hartford and Hartford Fire Department’s policies, practices and standards necessary to ensure safety, operate efficiently and maintain good order. Your egregious actions on April 16, 2015, are directly contrary to your duties and responsibilities, undermine the command structure of the organization and set a poor example for other Department members. As a result, I am suspending you from duty for thirty (30) days commencing on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, through Wednesday, August 26, 2015 without pay. You will be expected to report back to work at the Training Division on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 07:00 hours.

I advise you to explore all options that may assist you in making better decisions as a sworn member and chief officer of the Hartford Fire Department. Your conduct was unacceptable and poorly reflects on the proud tradition of the Hartford Fire Department. Further indiscretions by you will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Respectfully,

Carlos M. Huertas
Fire Chief / Emergency Management Director

 

 

 

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