Mayor Segarra reacts to Hartford Fire Department recordings

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HARTFORD – Mayor Pedro Segarra responded to statements made by Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas regarding a lack of resources and support from city hall. Huertas made the remarks in a conversation with Deputy Chief Dan Nolan, which was secretly recorded. Fox CT exclusively obtained the recordings, and released them earlier this week.

“I think that we've had budget challenges for years and I propose a budget to council and council takes action on that budget and we do the best that we can do with resources that we have. Having said that, I'm looking forward,” Segarra said.

For our full coverage of the issues plaguing the Hartford Fire Department over the past year, click here.

In the conversation, Huertas tells Nolan that he wants to change things in the Hartford Fire Department but cannot due to resistance from city leaders.

“There's so much s---I want to change. I got a list that you wouldn't believe. And, I'll tell you right now, I'll present it to the mayor and the council and they're going to say no f------ way in hell,” Huertas said.

Mayor Segarra said the city is now devoting more resources to the department, including the creation of nine new positions, as well as new equipment and increased training.

He also responded to the Chief’s statements that 97 percent of the buildings in Hartford are not inspected as required by state law.

"This is an issue that has gone back years and years and years,” Segarra said. "Now, it's a reality that we have to and have apportioned more resources to make sure that these properties get inspected as promptly as possible."

In the recording, Huertas says he was vocal about not having the staff to combat the issue.

“We've got to put it out there that you don't have enough inspectors,” he exclaimed.

But, during a Fox CT investigation in April, city Councilman Kyle Anderson said he had just learned about the problem.

"Since I know about it now my oath of obligation to the city of Hartford, I have to stand up and do what I can do for it,” Anderson said.

Finally, Mayor Segarra addressed a reference to a “deal” in the recordings which suggested that Huertas agreed to promote a lower-ranking officer in exchange for his position.

"The deal, the deal is to get the most qualified. The deal is to have diversity. And, the deal is to have the best functioning fire department that we can have. That is the deal,” Segarra said.