HARTFORD —— A 25-year veteran of the Hartford Fire Department was promoted to deputy chief on Friday.
Terry Waller was promoted along with several others in a ceremony at city hall Friday. He is the fiance of Saundra Kee Borges, the city's corporation counsel, according to city officials. Borges was in the audience to celebrate the occasion with other members of his family.
City officials say there was no correlation between Waller's promotion and his relationship to Borges.
"He earned it, he deserves it," Borges said. "I have not exerted any influence."
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, who pointed out that Waller was passed over for promotion twice while Borges has been corporation counsel, said Friday that Waller's "qualifications stand on their own," and that he trusted Hartford Fire Chief Edward Casares's judgement in choosing whom to promote.
Casares was unavailable for comment Friday.
Waller becomes the the deputy chief of emergency services, a position that was held by Deputy Chief Bernardo Guzman, who is out on a long-term disability. City officials said they are not sure if or when Guzman would return to work, and that promoting Waller saves the department overtime costs related to the position during Guzman's absence.
Waller, who now makes about $103,000 annually, received a $5,300 raise, but city spokeswoman Maribel La Luz said it would have cost the department about $52,000 to continue to have lieutenants and captains take on the responsibilities had Waller not been promoted.
The department is also preparing for the return shortly of Dan Nolan, the department's deputy chief of training. Nolan was fired in 2009 following allegations that he put recruits at risk due to excessive physical punishment during training, but an arbitrator ruled that the allegations were unfounded and that the city should not have fired him. The arbitrator ordered that Nolan be reinstated to his former position.
Also promoted on Friday were Kevin Kissane, to strategic planning captain; William Kerr, fire training captain; John Duhamel, fire captain; Patrick Jones, fire captain; David Brady, lieutenant; Jarles Florez, lieutenant; and Dan Flynn, ladder driver.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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