Norwalk political news: Bill seeks to help injured officers; Melendez goes statewide; Flynn aims at Blumenthal

Phil Roselle, center, would be helped by legislation proposed Thursday by State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25). (Contributed)

Updated, 9:34 p.m.: More information. 7:47 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a roundup of Norwalk political news:

  • Duff introduces bill to help Roselle, an NPD officer shot on duty
  • Melendez elected state Party treasurer
  • Flynn says he’s challenging Blumenthal in 2022



‘This is a great start!’

“My husband went to work on Sept 5th 2017 fine and came home a different person,” Debbie Roselle wrote in a Thursday email.  Her husband, Norwalk Police Officer Phil Roselle, was accidentally shot that day during a training session at the department’s gun range. “He now has permanent nerve damage in his right hand and will never be a cop again, still has the bullet in his rib, PTSD and six months after the shooting kidneys failed and is now on dialysis needing a transplant.”

The Roselles have been fighting for financial help for months, appealing to Norwalk leaders.  The injured officer’s Worker’s Compensation payment stopped for a period of time, then partially resumed. On Thursday, Debbie Roselle contacted NancyOnNorwalk to say that State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) “has stepped up, He filed the Bill today for Phil and Other police officers critically injured in the line of duty.”

Duff has introduced proposed bill 556, An Act Concerning Additional Compensation for Certain Retired Public Safety Employees. The bill would permit a municipality, by a two-thirds vote of its legislative body, to annually pay one of its public safety employees who had been disabled on duty the difference between the employee’s disability retirement pay and regular rate of pay prior to retirement until the employee reaches age 65.

“The battle is not over,” Debbie Roselle wrote to NoN. “However, I am very grateful for what Senator Bob Duff has done for Phil, My family and any other Officer injured in the line of duty. This is a great start!”

Phil Roselle had been a Norwalk Police Officer for more than 30 years when he was accidentally shot by his sergeant, Debbie Roselle wrote to Mayor Harry Rilling over the holidays.

“Ever since this preventable incident occurred, Phil’s physical and mental health has been on steady decline,” she wrote. “Several independent doctors have concluded that because of this shooting incident, Phil has permanent damage to his dominant arm/hand and that his diabetes has been severely impacted due to a bullet still lodged in his rib cage causing his kidneys to fail needing a kidney transplant. A combination of these injuries have resulted in Phil being unable to return to work and perform the duties of a police officer.”

Rilling on Sept. 10 said he was scheduling a meeting “to determine what options we have to assist Officer Roselle.”
“For his years of service we need to do everything possible to help him.  I called him this morning and confirmed our desire to get him assistance,” Rilling wrote in an email.

The Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA), which insures Norwalk, claimed in October that Officer Roselle’s ailments were not the result of his injuries, The Hour reported at the time, as Roselle has had Type 1 diabetes for more than 30 years.

Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik on Sept. 10 explained to NancyOnNorwalk that Officer Roselle’s claim for Workman’s Compensation was accepted but the Commission ruled that he had healed sufficiently from the injury that he could return to duty. The Worker’s Compensation payments stopped and Roselle was put on sick leave because he said he could not return, and his sick time then ran out.

A GoFundMe page has raised $20,570 to help the Roselles, as of Thursday evening.

“This has been a nightmare for not only me but my entire family especially my boy’s ages 9 and 14 who so far have been present three times when the ambulance have come to take their dad away in oxygen,” Debbie Roselle wrote Thursday. “My 9 year-old has to sleep with his father every night to make sure his dad is ok and does not die. The reality is yes he can die especially with all the other complications that keep happening.  I feel he is giving up hope at times. The fact that he put his life on the line for over 30 years and the city turned their backs on him is absolutely unbelievable. The thought of losing my husband and boy’s father haunts me every night.”




Melendez attains state-wide office

Common Council member Eloisa Melendez (D-District A), center, Wednesday in Hartford. (Contributed)

Common Council member Eloisa Melendez (D-District A) was elected Connecticut Democratic Party treasurer Wednesday.

“I’m so honored and excited to serve with a great executive board!” Melendez wrote Thursday in a Facebook post. “Thank you State Central Committee members and a special thank you to { Common Council member} Chris Yerinides for nominating me and Larry Goldman for seconding my nomination. Let’s do this CT Dems!!”

Fairfield Democrats in a separate Facebook post said the Party “elected a new and diverse slate of leadership:” Former Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman as Chairwoman, Erick Russel as Vice Chairman, Jacqueline Kozin as Executive Director, Audrey Blondin as Secretary and Melendez as Treasurer. Their terms will begin Feb. 1

Melendez was first elected to the Council in 2013, at age 19, and is in her third term. She is a student at the University of Connecticut, Stamford campus, is President of the UConn Stamford College Democrats, is Vice President of the UConn Stamford Latinx Organization and also Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Vice Chairwoman.


Flynn takes aim at U.S. Senate

Former District 140 State Representative candidate John Flynn, a Republican, says he’s looking to challenge U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in 2022.

Blumenthal has not announced a reelection campaign. His office did not reply to an email from NancyOnNorwalk asking for a response to Flynn’s announcement.

A John Flynn Facebook post.

“Blumenthal got a million votes the last time he ran,” Flynn wrote Sunday on his John Flynn for US Senator 2022 Facebook page. “That is nothing to write home about. Next time he will be 73 years old. Never say never. Talk it up; Share. Tell two friends, give me a signature and $10 bucks. Game on.”

Flynn is seeking $650,000 in contributions, he said in a Friday email to NancyOnNorwalk; if he doesn’t get that within a year, he’ll drop out.

He sent the registration paperwork to the Federal Election Commission as he couldn’t file online because of the shutdown, he said Sunday.

His sister has been his treasurer but is unavailable due to work obligations and he needs a replacement, and he has some volunteers but needs one in each of Connecticut’s 169 towns, he said.

The Norwalk Republican Town Committee is “working on” independent Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton and, “the RTC {in} Norwalk is helpful (not), I am going to the New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford meetings,” he wrote. “…If I concentrate on these three cities I have a chance. The housing authorities are the key.”

Republican Town Committee Chairman Mark Suda did not reply to a Sunday email asking if the RTC is supporting Flynn.

“I had nine Democrats helping me with my State Rep run.  No Republicans.   I am the only guy in District B.   I tried to get Ernie Dumas to switch.  I tried to get Colin H to switch,” Flynn wrote.

“As I described the campaign is exploratory,” he wrote. “No assistance from anyone and I will support any other candidate willing to try to beat Blumenthal.   Starting Bridgeport New Haven and Hartford Facebook platforms and a few tricks up my sleeve.  I have to get ahead of him if there are 169 towns.  I can do it on very little money. I can get 30% of the vote with no effort.   The tide has been going out until now.  I believe the tide will start coming back in.”


Tysen Canevari January 25, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Good job Bob. Well deserved benefit for the police. Officer Roselle should get whatever he needs from us. Now can we do something on insurance costs for the people that work for a living without the benefit of a company supplying benefits? The cost of insurance is nuts. If you stay home though Husky Insurance is free. Whats wrong with this picture?

Pamela Parkington January 25, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Congratulations Eloisa!

Nancy, Eloisa is also Vice Chair of the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee.

Thanks Bob Duff!

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