Democrats tab Crosland to challenge DePanfilis for probate judge

NORWALK, Conn. – There will be another race on the ballot in Norwalk this fall.

Attorney Darnell Crosland, who is also the president of the Norwalk NAACP chapter, has been nominated by Democrats in the Norwalk Probate District, which comprises Norwalk and Wilton, to run for probate judge against longtime Republican judge Anthony DePanfilis.

DePanfilis was nominated for re-election recently by the Norwalk and Wilton town GOP committees. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Fairfield University in 1971 and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1974. He also is the founder and senior partner of DePanfilis & Vallerie, a Norwalk-based law firm.

The lifelong Norwalker has served as probate judge since 1997. His current term expires Jan. 4.

Crosland was the lone Democratic nominee.

Norwalk DTC Chairman Edwin Camacho, also an attorney, praised DePanfilis, but indicated that it may be time for a change.

“I have nothing but respect for how Judge DePanfilis handles his position and job as a judge,” Camacho said. “But the Democratic Committee has not had a nominee in years. Attorney Crosland expressed an interest and the party has endorsed his candidacy. … I think he can do a good job as well.”

Crosland is a criminal attorney whose practice is based in Stamford. He did not immediately respond to a Wednesday evening request for background information.


10 responses to “Democrats tab Crosland to challenge DePanfilis for probate judge”

  1. Mr. Ludlow

    As dumb a political move by the Dems as the the GOP’s habitual need to give Bob Duff an opportunity to spend about $100,000, help other Dems on the ticket and get at least 2/3 of the vote.
    You don’t run a candidate (especially for Probate judge) with no probate experience, just to have a candidate from your party on the ballot. It just makes it all seem, well, political.

  2. John Hamlin

    Judge DePanfilis has done a good job, even by his opponent’s account. Rather than an opposing candidate in Norwalk, what we need is someone who can move for systemic revision of the probate system in Connecticut, which is known as one of the most dysfunctional and corrupt in the nation. If the legislature wasn’t too busy protecting the public employees union, they might reform our probate system.

  3. Cantwejustgetalong

    Seriously? You are going to vote someone in who has no probate knowledge? Judge Depanfilis is a great judge and until the Democrats get their act together, I as a dem will be voting for the other side. It’s about choosing the RIGHT person for the job not putting ANYONE up just because…

  4. Don’t Panic

    @John Hamlin,
    that is an interesting observation. what would be an example of dysfuntion and/or corruption in our probate system. I have not heard this issue raised before.
    Mr. Crosland is a respected member of our community who honestly wants the job. There is nothing wrong with offering the community a choice, even when someone is doing a good job. If this were based solely upon merit, then it wouldn’t be an elected position.

  5. EastNorwalkChick

    @cantwejustgetalong-Judge DePanfilis prior to being elected as Probate Judge, he was an attorney, just like Mr. Crossland is. He had no special “probate knowledge”, nor can he change “systemic revision of the probate system in Connecticut”, that is handled by the State legislature. All a judge can do is follow and interpret written law…he has no other “super powers”.

  6. John Hamlin

    Don’t get me wrong, the incumbent is a fine judge.

  7. John Hamlin

    Don’t Panic: On the Connecticut probate system:


    Don’t die in Connecticut!

  8. Don’t Panic

    @John Hamlin,
    That is an interesting presentation. Here are my observations: it is almost ten years old-has anything changed in the interim? It seems to be largely concerned with the costs and inconvenience to wealthy decedents and their Estates, but Probate deals with other issues that aren’t addressed here. That does not mean that the issues cited are not valid. So here is my next question: Have you contacted any of your legislators to enlist their leadership on this issue? The are election campaigns going on right now for those Hartford seats. Someone should be willing to take this on if you ask.

  9. Ame

    The article referred to was written almost 10 years ago and is old news. It should be noted that the entire probate system was revamped as of January, 2011. The system has generally been praised since then as evidenced this year by the Connecticut Chief Judge’s remarks to the Connecticut Probate Assembly at it’s annual meeting.

  10. Joseph Boccuzzi

    I am a product of judge depanfillis abuse to help his lawyer and accountant friends defraud many of their clients .my grandmother was murdered by her so called CPA and will was changed shortly after coming out of surgery when she was under a lot of medications. Not only did the judge refuse to see me or my father but when my father tried to fight back by hiring a lawyer . They tried to have him conserved. I stopped that from happening by taking him to a psychiatrist. That didn’t stop the from getting him thrown off of pain management. That plus a fall at AT&T basically gave him a heart attack and he died at the young age of 64 . I’m sure the judge is a great person to his friends and family and it’s important to make yourself look like you help the community so much. If your really helping yourself even more . Now I am alone in my family to take care of my 5 year old daughter who I named after my beloved grandmother.i It has been 5 months since my father’s death and no surprise because they are probably trying to drag out the statue of limitations but I haven’t even received a court date and my grandmother’s will is still not closed . They have taken 10 mill worth of property sold it for a quarter of what it was worth and can’t account for where most of the 3 mill they Said they had went . I want justice. I don’t see this judge doing it for me.

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