A top Hartford official has come forward with a new account of what happened the night her city-issued vehicle was involved in a crash after surveillance video released by police conflicted with her earlier statement.
This comes as Hartford's take-home car policy faces tough scrutiny from city council members and city auditors after several high profile incidents.
Saundra Kee Borges, Hartford's Acting Chief Operating Officer, was a passenger in her city-issued vehicle when it was hit by another driver in Hartford around 2:15am back in September. Her fiancé, Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Terry Waller, was behind the wheel.
Police say the driver of the other car fled the scene and is now facing criminal charges.
Prior to the crash, Borges attended a dinner and also went to the Hartford Police Department in response to her son's arrest that night.
Newly released surveillance video shows Borges and Waller entering the lobby of the Hartford Police Department at 12:47am and leaving minutes before the crash.
However, the video contradicts the time frame Borges initially gave for the night.
"...while attending the NAACP dinner, I received a call from the Hartford Police Department regarding one of my children. I left immediately and drove to the Public Safety Complex on High Street in my city vehicle which I have full commuter privileges," read her initial statement.
People who attended the dinner say it wrapped up about 9:30pm. The video shows Borges and Waller arriving at the police department more than three hours later.
"We need to know the answers because we have to set policy," said City Councilman Larry Deutsch.
By email, Borges now says she and Waller left the event about 10:00pm after getting a call from her son's girlfriend, went to her son's apartment where police were arresting him, and then sat in their car calling attorneys.
After about an hour of phone calls, Borges stated that they drove to the police department.
"My initial statement was not as detailed as it could have been but as you can see the whole time we were dealing with the arrest," wrote Borges.
The city of Hartford's audit commission is looking into Borges' use of a city car that night as part of its review of the city's policy on take home cars. The audit has been delayed and is expected to be released next week.
Councilman Deutsch says Borges had an obligation to provide further details about the night her city-issued car crashed.
"The city and all the people in the city need the actual facts especially since there was city property involved and it was a city official like all of us who's supposed to tell the truth, period," said Deutsch.
Earlier this year, in response to two other high-profile incidents involving the misuse of city vehicles, Mayor Pedro Segarra trimmed the city's take-home fleet from 73 to 45 cars.
Hartford's City Council is looking at cutting that number down even more.