Insurance to pay city’s share of Al Madany settlement

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s taxpayers will not have to hand over any money to the Al Madany Islamic Center’s legal team after all.

Norwalk Corporation Council Mario Coppola said Friday afternoon that CIRMA, the city’s insurance carrier, had agreed after several discussions to pick up the entire $307,500 tab agreed to in the settlement of Al Madany’s suit against the city.

Coppola would not speculate on why CIRMA decided to pay the entire amount.

If the Common Council agrees, the city will only have to pay Stonegate Condominium Association for the purchase and installation of a gate to keep out unwanted parkers. That figure, Coppola said, is $53,000, not the $45,000 or $60,000 previously reported in multiple venues.

Coppola said both Council Majority Leader Jerry Petrini and Minority Leader Travis Simms have been informed. An executive session of the Council is being called for 6:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the settlement issue.


15 responses to “Insurance to pay city’s share of Al Madany settlement”

  1. OhNoNorwalk

    Nobody is going to park at stone gate. Let them get parking passes for themselves and there guests. Have everyone car that does not belong there Towed and locked up until they pay $200 to get it back. This goes on in Norwalk now. What idiot agreed to pay our money for a common practice already established here in town. Do they have family or friends living there. What about the other condo complex. What about the other intersections nearby. Some hazardis conditions already exist and nothing has been done.

  2. Jeff

    It would be interesting to know how this “agreement” may impact renewal premiums on the policy. Is this just a temporary reprieve developed to rally the common council to go forward on the settlement? Can CIRMA or Copolla comment on this?

  3. One and Done

    Come on Jeff. The narrative that the city got a good deal will continue to be shoveled upon us.
    Bruce and Harry think we are stupid and will forget the fact that they are responsible for untold hundreds of millions in lost property values city wide from this.

  4. Dennis DiManis

    These men screwed Norwalk. All we can do now is vote them out.

  5. MTP

    Vote them out we will, and anyone else who supports it (are you listening common council?). This whole thing is a disgrace of the highest order. Irreparable damage has been done.

  6. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    Are you certain that CIRMA would not pay any of the City’s legal fees if the City were to litigate and win?
    It is hard to understand why CIRMA would voluntarily pay 100% of the settlement amount unless they had a significant financial incentive to do so. The only financial incentive I can think of is the risk of having to pay a larger amount of the City fights and wins.

    1. Mark Chapman


      I did not address that scenario. We can try to find out.

      However, if CIRMA has an inkling that the local pols will vote against the settlement it makes it possible that thing could be much more expensive. That would also be a financial incentive. We need to look into these scenarios.

  7. anon

    “Mr. Coppola, I feel for you because every day, I am in sales, and, every day I hear ‘That’s the best you can negotiate?’ So why aren’t you fighting for us, Mr. Coppola?” she (Isabelle Hargrove) shouted to loud cheers. In Greenwich they have the right to fight back and should,” she shouted. “So why aren’t you fighting for us?” she demanded to thunderous applause.”

    “Why not? Because you didn’t believe you needed to. Because your boss didn’t think he needed to… http://www.greenwichfreepress.com/news/government/norwalk-to-get-a-mosque-zoning-commission-votes-4-to-3-in-favor-after-charged-public-hearing-22297

    Norwalk Corporate Counsel MARIO COPPOLA at his other job.

    Comments regarding Greenwich Reform Synagogue plan for 12,000 square foot structure on 2 acres for 120 members in Cos Cob.

    “However, COPPOLA responded. “We are confident that if the commission were to deny or approve the preliminary site plan and condition it on the building not exceeding 10,000 square feet, the decision would not in any way violate RLUIPA.” http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Temple-plan-faces-vote-5523881.php

    “The neighbors continue to have genuine concerns about certain issues relating to the proposed development,” said MARIO COPPOLA, an attorney representing Cos Cob residents, “mainly a lack of adequate parking and the size of the building, which is significantly out of scope with the other buildings in the neighborhood.” http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Temple-plan-faces-vote-5523881.php

    “Residents say they are not opposed to the synagogue, but rather its size and scope. COPPOLA urged http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Synagogue-proposal-draws-ire-5289369.php

  8. John Hamlin

    Time to vote in political leaders who will support zoning protections for property owners — who will protect our investment in our properties. Unfortunately, many of the same politicians who have been opposed to the mosque are the same ones that have been supporting weak zoning regulation, a weak and ineffective blight ordinance, and weak zoning enforcement by an ineffective zoning department for decades. All of a sudden they are “shocked, shocked!” that someone is building a big mosque in a residential neighborhood and they make a lot of noise about protecting citizens or vote against the settlement, when their actions for years in their official roles have helped make this inevitable. Clearly the zoning regs need to be reformed. But the City also needs to decide to make protecting property owners and neighborhoods a priority for a change. Otherwise, their mantra might as well continue to be “a mosque or blighted structure on every block”!

  9. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    Perhaps a misunderstanding then. I had asked previously if insurance would pay the City’s legal fees if the City won, and I believe you answered “No”.

    1. Mark Chapman


      A Sunday morning response from Corporation CounseL: “I cannot comment at this time as to what might happen with insurance coverage if the City rejects the proposed settlement.”

  10. Carol

    it does not matter who pays-no money should be paid out to the mosque
    or to stongate condo-it just keeps piling up and the homeowners are still the losers

  11. UN Envoy

    John Hamlin’s post above is the most eloquent explanation I have read of what this is all about. He is spot on, and it is pure hypocrisy to hear “property rights” Republicans in Norwalk suddenly act like planning and zoning actually matters, when they have supported less regulation and helped dismantle protections for neighborhoods by defending the broken process and code for decades. Norwalk is one of the few cities around that has no FAR (floor area ratio) regulations in residential zones, allowing large structures at any size including the mosque, which followed our code exactly. They will never acknowledge this, but it is the truth.
    It should be no surprise that in this mosque case, the Republicans have clearly reaped what they have sown. Why do you think they are trying so hard to change the subject and pretend this is Harry Rilling’s fault? They don’t want the truth to get out to the neighbors that is their own “property rights” policies under decades of GOP leadership and bad planning decisions that have led to this fiasco. It is time for a whole new Planning and Zoning Department, with competent professionals following national trends, instead of the petty bureaucrats we have now running the show. Time for planning reform, now.

  12. Suzanne

    UN Envoy – I absolutely agree with your erudite observations. There has been complaints for years, unanswered, about staffing at Planning and Zoning.
    We still don’t know, for example, Mike Greene’s qualifications for his positions because, somehow, his resume is protected information.
    Planning and Zoning certainly does not operate to current standards for urban development. I have had occasion to deal with the “upper management” and was, let’s say, told an “untruth” right to my face as though I would not know what was on file or not on file in their offices. It was actually shocking to me.
    I finally got what I needed from an excellent employee, young and computer savvy, in the, yes indeed, Department of Public Works!
    A petty bureaucracy that is so obviously hurting the City and its citizens needs to be replaced with qualified individuals.
    Mayor Rilling, let in the fresh air and a new perspective that shows some intelligence for current sustainable trends in urban planning. Enough is enough.

  13. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    Thank you for the follow-up. Disappointing that Mayor Rilling’s Corporation Counsel will not tell the public such basic information as who pays the City’s legal fees if the City decides to fight the lawsuit and wins.
    Could it be that Attorney Coppola is working hard behind the scenes to “sell” the settlement, and sharing such information doesn’t fit the goal?

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments