The Hartford Fire Department Has a Job Opening. You Can’t Have It.

The Hartford, Connecticut fire department has an opening for an assistant fire chief. Interested? Too bad! Only one person is eligible for the position.

According to the Hartford Courant, an internal job posting at the HFD includes a residency clause that excludes five of the six possible candidates from being eligible for the job. That means it’s looking pretty likely that Deputy Chief Terry L. Waller, Hartford resident, will be Hartford’s newest assistant fire chief.

At least one of the other deputy chiefs isn’t happy about this. Deputy Chief Daniel Nolan (and “several” unnamed fire officials) told the Courant that this was the first time a job posting required applicants to live in Hartford at the time of hire. In the past, applicants had six months to a year to move to Hartford after being appointed. The last two assistant chiefs hired both lived out of town (and even out of state) when they were hired.

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Waller’s fiancee, Saundra Kee Borges, is the city’s corporation counsel. He was promoted to deputy chief in November 2012 despite there being no deputy chief positions open (another deputy chief was out on long-term disability and the city didn’t know when, or if, he would return).

“It has demoralized the whole process, but that has come to be expected in Hartford — and it is unfortunate,” Nolan said.

If Nolan sounds bitter, that might be because at the same time as Waller was promoted to deputy chief, Nolan was being forcibly reinstated as deputy chief of training after being fired from the department in 2009, accused of abusing his position. An arbitrator found that he was wrongfully terminated and ordered him to be reinstated. Nolan sued the city and the fire department the day before he returned to work and his union last year. So his chances of getting that assistant chief position even if there wasn’t a residency requirement were probably pretty small.