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Segarra Asks Council To Confirm Rovella As Police Chief

But Mayor Has Not Yet Formally Appointed The New Chief, Awaiting Resolution Of 'Contractual Issue'

By JENNA CARLESSO

July 26, 2012

HARTFORD Mayor Pedro Segarra on Thursday requested that the city council confirm James Rovella as the city's next police chief, even though the mayor, himself, hasn't yet made the formal appointment.

A contractual issue is the source of the delay, said Jared Kupiec, the mayor's chief of staff

"There's one contractual issue that needs to be resolved, and we are quickly moving toward a resolution," Kupiec said.

The mayor named Rovella the permanent police chief earlier this month, and said he would make the appointment after a background check on Rovella was completed. He originally said the appointment would occur July 18. On Thursday, Segarra submitted a resolution asking the council to approve Rovella's appointment.

"Ideally, the resolution would have been submitted earlier, but delays in receiving the final background materials made that impossible," Kupiec said.

Meanwhile, the city council has called a special meeting Monday at which it will question Rovella about his background and plans for the police department. The council must vote to approve the hiring.

Rovella, the city's acting police chief, had been head of the Hartford Shooting Task Force and served with the Hartford Police Department from 1981 to 2000.

City Council President Shawn Wooden said the meeting would open with remarks from the mayor and Rovella and then the public would have an hour to ask Rovella questions. Following that, council members would ask their own questions and any questions submitted in writing from residents.

Questions for Rovella may be sent to HartfordChiefQuestions@gmail.com.

"The appointment of a police chief is extraordinarily important," Wooden said Thursday. "Because Chief Rovella was not subject to the process that other candidates faced, a thorough vetting by the council is crucial. Hartford residents want to feel safer in our city."

Segarra picked Rovella over three finalists that were chosen by a recruiting firm.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. to receive the mayor's resolution, and the confirmation hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at city hall, 550 Main St.

Wooden said the council would probably vote on Rovella's appointment at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 13.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
     
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