NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia held a press conference Tuesday morning to slam Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) for its lack of compliance with a federal order to hand over the reins of the Head Start program to an interim management company, and to pressure the anti-poverty agency to do so.
We applaud the mayor for taking a strong stand against NEON’s actions.
We are troubled, though, by the city’s threat to call in the U.S. Attorney, the Connecticut Attorney General and chief state’s attorney to conduct immediate investigations into NEON’s financial improprieties.
Why has this not been done already? If the mayor and his corporation counsel, Robert Maslan, believe there is just cause to call in state and federal investigators, he has an obligation to do so. Instead, they are using the threat as coercion to try to scare NEON into cooperating with an order from the federal government agency that funds the Head Start program.
The reluctance to take decisive action in this regard is especially surprising given the mayor’s demonstrated willingness, through his corporation counsel and private attorney, to call in the state to investigate matters of much less significance with much less cause.
We urge the mayor to do the right thing and, instead of using a legal threat as coercion, to request the investigation. Frankly, we wonder why it was not done months ago.