Connecticut’s Chief State’s Attorney for the District of Hartford Gail Hardy was demoted after a four hour public hearing on 6/26 before the Criminal Justice Commission, headed by Chief Justice McDonald. Gail Hardy rose in the ranks in the State’s Attorney’s Office over the past 20 years. In 2007 she was appointed Chief State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Hartford. Hartford has one of the highest crime rates in the State of Connecticut. Gail was recently considered for appointment to the position of Chief States Attorney for the entire State of Connecticut until she dropped the ball in failing to complete investigations of deadly shootings by Connecticut police officers. All of the officers were cleared of intentional murder, manslaughter or reckless indifference to human life. Hardy was not cleared of failing to complete her reports on time. Not completing a report is far more egregious than a police officer killing a person of color. In November of 2019 Gail was rebuked for failing to complete her investigations in a number of deadly police shootings going way back to 2008. Hardy was suspended for four days.
Hardy was just subjected to a four hour hearing conducted by the Criminal Justice Commission. Hardy did most of talking. But Hardy couldn’t give a straight answer to most of the questions. Hardy couldn’t explain to Justice McDonald why the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People would not support her reappointment as Chief State’s Attorney of Hartford. She rambled on about many other topics but couldn’t answer Judge McDonald’s question. She mentioned that at one point in the past the head of the NAACP called her a “sellout.” Hardy stated that the Connecticut Legislative Black caucus wanted to have a zoom meeting with her on the day before her hearing before the Criminal Justice Commission. She stated that she told the Black caucus that she was too busy to talk to them because she was in “preparation mode” for her big termination hearing. She compared her termination hearing to preparing for the bar exam. She said she had to leave her house and family because she couldn’t concentrate and focus on studying for the bar. She said she sent a text message of apology to the Black caucus and asked if she could meet with them after her termination hearing if she was reappointed as Chief State’s Attorney for Hartford. Ex post facto? I guess she never really wanted this job in the first place.
Hardy spoke about how she was involved in the Hartford “community.” She organized “Moral Monday” meetings with a guy named Bishop Dr. John L. Selders Jr., who is a leader in the Hartford Black Lives Matter movement. Hardy said she met with Selders every Monday morning in order to talk about what went on over the weekend with the Hartford police. Hardy said that she wanted to meet with Selders in order for him to explain what BLM was all about. Hardy needed Selders to explain to her what “their movement was about and to hear what their concerns were so that we were not just arresting people for having different opinions than ours.” Is Hardy living under a rock? Hardy is an African American prosecutor, how could she not know anything about BLM? I can only imagine the type of conversation that occurred between Selders and Hardy every Monday morning: Selders: “Hartford cops beat up and arrested 25 members of BLM who were peacefully protesting at the Capitol building over the weekend.” Hardy: “I will look into it. By the way, can you please explain to me what ‘BLM’ means?”
Hardy spoke about how she was involved in domestic violence and women’s empowerment issues at her Church, and that many church members were very supportive of her. She spoke about how she attended a recent public defenders rally protesting police brutality, after she asked the public defenders if she could go. She talked about how she donated her old suits to people who needed them for job interviews. I think she donated one of her pant suits with shoulder pads to Hillary Clinton. This was one of the reasons Hillary lost the election.
Hardy spoke about how she formed groups of three prosecutors to review defendant requests for sentence modifications. Normally the prosecutor who convicted the defendant is the only prosecutor who reviews these modification requests and either recommends that the Judge grant or deny the request. It is very rare for a prosecutor to ever recommend that a modification request be granted. Why? No prosecutor wants to appear to be soft on crime. Throw the book at him! You want to reduce your probation to three years from five? FUHGETABOUTIT! Hardy said that three prosecutors would be able to review the request more objectively than the one prosecutor who tried the case, who was “married” to the case, in Hardy’s words. Hardy didn’t mention whether modification requests were granted more often when three prosecutors reviewed them rather than one. I would think that three prosecutors, with the same lock em up mentality, would make no difference. You can have 100 prosecutors reviewing the modification requests and you would still get the same result: DENIED. Hardy should have added a public defender, or a member of BLM to her group of prosecutors to review these sentence modification requests.
Hardy unknowingly revealed a dirty little secret that exists in the State’s Attorney’s Office. Hardy spoke about complaints she got over the years about prosecutors at the Manchester courthouse, which fell under her jurisdiction. People were complaining that the prosecutors took a hard line on every case and refused to offer reasonable plea deals. Defense attorneys refused to represent defendants in Manchester, or charged defendants double or triple the retainer. Hardy said she had a few meetings but didn’t mention whether her meetings produced any results. Back in the 1990s and 2000s the Norwalk courthouse had a similar problem. Defense attorneys refused to practice in Norwalk because the prosecutors refused to offer reasonable plea deals. At one point someone drove a car right through the front doors of the Norwalk courthouse, nearly killing people inside. Nobody was driving the car, the car was rigged. Nothing was ever done about the prosecutors in the Norwalk courthouse, just as it appears nothing was done in Manchester.
Hardy stated that she could not understand why people from the NAACP didn’t support her. She said, “I like to think that I bring my diversity of experience, first of all I am a Black state’s attorney and one of eight Black prosecutors in the State of Connecticut and what I have done in my career is to try to encourage more persons of color to want to be prosecutors I am a member of the national black prosecutors association, we had one of the black prosecutor from Denver who started it, the first conference was in Chicago and the mission is to recruit retain and promote blacks in the prosecutorial ranks… when I came to Hartford I was the only Black person in the office that was the reason I wanted to come here I was somewhat conflicted as I was leaving my home city without a Black prosecutor… diversity is necessary you are coming to a court in Hartford, and you look in the gallery and most of the people are people of color, most of the people in lockup are people of color, my personal mission is to encourage and recruit other blacks and Hispanics to want to be a prosecutor in the State of Connecticut and preferably I would want them to be in my office, because there are conversations that we have, I have one male Black prosecutor who is in my GA who is from New Haven, I had a black female prosecutor who has been promoted to an executive position in the chief states attorney office, I had a black prosecutor in my Manchester office, who was recently made a judge, I have a Brazilian prosecutor who was recently appointed by this Commission…” Hardy spoke about how she found it difficult to recruit minorities, who were court clerks, to the State’s Attorney’s Office. She said that the Court Clerk’s Office paid better and offered better benefits. The Clerk’s Office is known to offer the lowest salaries in the legal profession. I can’t believe that court clerks were making more money that Assistant State’s Attorneys at the time Hardy recruited them. They are all employees of the State of Connecticut. Hardy spoke for four hours about many different topics. Hardy could have explained why she failed to prepare her report exonerating police officers in less than ten minutes. I don’t know why she felt a need to ramble on about all kinds of subjects for four hours. She even talked about her family, her sister, her children, and her “Black” husband. Nobody with any political juice supported her reappointment. She didn’t have a chance. Listening to her for four hours was like watching the Titanic movie for three long hours, a sinking ship.
Hardy spoke about how she was not an expert in the “best practices” of police officers, as she never attended the police academy or police training seminars. Police academies are set up by attorneys and train officers in the criminal law consistent with the Connecticut Constitution, the Connecticut statutes and the case law set forth by the Connecticut Supreme Court. Hardy stated that she tried three cases a year for almost a quarter of a century. In each case Hardy must work with numerous police officers, State witnesses, State experts, and review police reports and documentation in order to obtain a conviction. Most of Hardy’s convictions have been appealed before the Appellate and Supreme courts, in which Hardy was involved in drafting the Appellate briefs. How could Chief State’s Attorney Hardy not be an expert in “best police practices?” Hardy stated that if she is reappointed she will focus more on the administrative side of the State’s Attorney’s Office, rather than the practice of law. Too late. Hardy was dumped.
Hardy was interrupted during her four hour ramble. Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Brodsky said “Oh, come on … liar” when Hardy stated that she tried 3 cases a year. State’s Attorney Mark Brodsky was reprimanded by the Chief State’s Attorney for his rude remark. Isn’t Brodsky protected by the First Amendment? Is Brodsky no different than a whistle blower, no different than John Boldon and Michael Cohen? Publicity hound Attorney Norm Pattis should take on Brodsky’s case and sue the State of Connecticut under the United States Constitution, the Civil Rights Act, the Hatch Act, and the Carriage of Goods By Sea Act. Moshiach Now!
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