A policy was recently put in place that requires all Hartford employees to contact the city's Office of Communications before talking with the media.
According to a letter sent out to all city employees, the Office of Communications "needs to be notified of all media requests."
"If a journalist gets you on the phone, tell them to contact me directly with their request," said Maribel La Luz, who is the spokeswoman for the mayor. "We need to be aware of developing stories."
When Mayor Pedro Segarra took office, he promised to be transparent with public and media.
"That's what needs to happen. I've been very transparent in my administration," Segarra previously told Eyewitness News. "It's something that we'll have to deal with more carefully."
Segarra made that statement after he said he would amend his financial disclosures to the city's ethics commission following reports that his spouse collects about $2,000 a month in federal Section 8 rent subsidies as the landlord for low-income tenants.
On Thursday, La Luz declined to go on camera with Eyewitness News to discuss the issue, but said this is a longstanding policy and this was just a reminder.
"The mayor did not issue a gag order. Things have not changed," La Luz told Eyewitness News. "Nothing will change. Departments will still be able to speak."
And then she explained why the email was sent out.
"It was an informational email reiterating a protocol that already existed," La Luz said.
According to La Luz, a more formal statement should be made Friday.
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