Norwalk Dem mayoral candidates differ on Brown’s responsibility

Updated, 5:18 p.m., comment  from Vinny Mangiacopra.

NORWALK, Conn. – Two Democratic mayoral candidates are calling for the resignation of Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown, but two others said a rush to judgment is not in order.

While Common Councilman Matt Miklave (D-District A) and former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel  released statements Wednesday afternoon calling for Brown’s resignation in the wake of her involvement in a physical altercation at City Hall, former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling said it’s up to the NDTC to review the matter and make a decision. District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra said in Wednesday evening statement that it would be irresponsible to  judge, and that he hoped Brown and the Krummels would work it out.

Democratic District E Chairman Bill Krummel, 84, suffered a black eye Monday night in the confrontation with Brown. His wife, Regina Krummel, said she had a gash on her elbow. Although Brown declined to comment on the altercation Tuesday, on Wednesday she released a statement that gave a very different account of the confrontation than that relayed by the Krummels.

Norwalk Police were called by a witness, but no arrests were made.

“The parties involved did not wish to have charges pressed,” Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said in an email. “The supervisor that reviewed the case determined that, based upon that fact that the parties refused to press charges, discretion was used and no charges were filed. If the victim/complainant in an incident do not wish to pursue charges it is fruitless to make an arrest which will not be prosecuted.”

Miklave’s statement was short and to the point.

“I am very distressed to have heard about the physical altercation involving the DTC Chair and a DTC Member,” he wrote. “I have spent my entire career in pursuit of integrity, honesty and civility.”

Miklave is a member in the law firm Epstein Becker Green, whose work drew a unanimous ruling from the United States Supreme Court in a civil rights case, according to his website.

He continued, “Ms. Brown appears to have broken the law and her actions simply cannot be condoned. As a lawyer and an officer of the Court, I cannot in good conscious stay silent.  Whatever caused this parking lot brawl cannot justify a physical assault on one of our seniors. I call on Ms. Brown to resign as DTC Chair effective immediately.”

Garfunkel, the 2011 Democratic mayoral candidate, expressed similar feelings.

“The incident that occurred outside City Hall earlier this week is an embarrassment to the City of Norwalk and to the Democratic Party,” he wrote. “One of the challenges Norwalk faces is an escalating violence, especially among our young people. This kind of behavior sends the wrong message. We’re supposed to be role models for our youth.”

Garfunkel continued, “As a member of the DTC, I can’t condone this behavior. There is no justification for resorting to physical violence, and definitely no excuse for assaulting two seniors. Ms. Brown must resign immediately, so that we can collectively move forward and address the challenges facing Norwalk, with credibility and unity.”

Rilling was at the District E meeting that followed the altercation.

“I arrived at the meeting after everything was over. Business was conducted as usual,” Rilling said. “ I had no knowledge that anything had taken place until I saw Bill’s eye. … I don’t know all the details of what happened so I can’t make any judgment call.”

Rilling referred to his 41 years on the Norwalk Police department and said his training kept him from making a “rush to judgment.”

“This is a matter for the Democratic Town Committee to look into and address in the appropriate fashion,” he said. “It’s a very, very unfortunate incident and I am sure the people involved regret what happened.”

Mangiacopra was last to issue an opinion.

“At this point, we still do not have all the facts about the incident and it would be irresponsible to cast judgement on the situation and jump to conclusions,” he wrote. “Within the next week, I hope that the two parties involved can come together to resolve this in a civil, cooperative manner so that we can go back to focusing on the positive goals our party is working towards.”


39 responses to “Norwalk Dem mayoral candidates differ on Brown’s responsibility”

  1. Norwalk Spectator

    It will be interesting to see what the DTC does about this. Sounds to me like Amanda was primed and ready for a fight. My take away from this whole thing is to stay as far away from Amanda Brown as humanly possible.


    beingAmandaBrown means she did no ordinances her entire term on the common council from 2007 – 2009 (MAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYBBBBEEE 1?). beingAmandaBrown means she butted her nose in everyone’s committee except her own. beingAmandaBrown means that she is certainly an arrogant (and Black) woman whose agenda during her term was to wreak havoc on every issue, every agenda item, and every thing that she could run her flap about to hear herself talking (can you imagine how it felt watching her from the audience all those years?). beingAmandaBrown means she really believes that she is right about EVERYTHING and everyone else is not. beingAmandaBrown means a power-seeking chick with a strange personality saw no other recourse except to lose her cool – that’s if she has any. beingAmandaBrown means she will stop at nothing short of degrading herself, double-crossing others, and articulating nonsense. Would you want to beAmandaBrown?
    Krummels: Humanitarians, outspoken, strong-willed folks.
    Regina is an outstanding individual who does more for the community that beingAmandaBrown could ever produce in a political portfolio.
    Bill is an outspoken individual who speaks his mind and calling beingAmandaBrown an angry, black ***** is not racist, it is what he felt, she WAS angry, she IS black, and the other part – well….. when one is angry it comes out honestly. They should not have touched beingAmandaBrown truly; and what they got in return….. beingAmandaBrown will justify that until the day she is nolongerbeingAmandaBrown.
    The Connecticut Law: no putting fists or hands on persons over 60 or so, it is a felony under (CGS § 53a-3(3).
    Everyone keep your hands to yourselves and stop the nonsense.

  3. Suzanne

    Physical violence to resolve a problem is never o.k. This “wait and see” attitude from Rilling and Mangiacopra has just made voting a whole lot easier. Why could they not say no to physicial violence to solve problems and also say they wanted to get to the bottom of the issue? Rilling passed it off to the DTC, Mangiacopra to a “civil” investigation. Now we know how they will be solving problems – send everything to a committee? Not saying that physical violence is NOT OK is implying that something about this altercation WAS o.k. and that just isn’t true – for either of the involved parties. Rilling and Mangiacopra’s resolve to remain neutral (and it feels like they are trying hard to be politically expedient) on this matter is disturbing.

  4. Joe Espo

    Its especially surprising from Harry who should know the law. He’s tip-toeing for the black vote. Striking a person over 60 is a felony. Amanda hit two people over 60. She hit the jackpot. Harry should have said: had it been under my watch I would have incarcerated Ms. Brown. But he’s on this mantra that you can’t arrest your way out of a crime problem. And if he’s mayor, I can see a moratorium on arrests, and more Obama-like kumbaya, while the gangs run wild.

  5. 0ldtimer

    Bill apparently slapped her first and she can claim hitting him was a defensive reflex, not an assault. Bill needs to learn the days when a man could get away with slapping a woman are way behind us. Both would be embarassed if there were arrest(s) and they had to go to court. As far as a “shoving match” between Regina and Amanda, there is no way for either of them to justify that. At the very least, apologies are in order. Amanda would be very angry if someone treated her grandma that way. Harry is right, without all the facts, from both sides, a rush to judgement would be a mistake. There are usually good reasons when nobody wants to press charges.

  6. NorwalkLifer

    If you actually read what happened, bill krummell slapped amanda. Her punch was a reaction to that. So how is amanda the one who’s violent?

    Sure it is bad to hit a senior, but when they hit you first, what are you supposed to do? Bill krummell slapped a woman. How’s that acceptable?
    It was two on one no less. Bill attempted to stop amanda from calling the police!!!!

  7. Suzanne

    NorwalkLifer, It is called turning around and walking away. (I mean, really, you are telling us that a 38 year old could not walk away faster than an 80 plus lady on the ground and an angry older man?) All of these actions were deplorable – fist punching a rude old man to the extent of the injuries shown in another article? No excuses!

  8. Tim T

    Joe Espo
    Not sure if you are aware but she is the main supporter of Rilling for mayor…Odd isn’t it how she wasn’t arrested. The whole thing about the Krummels not pressing charges is nonsense as she could have been charged with a host of charges without the Krummels pressing them. Breach of peach, creating a public disturbance, possibly criminal mischief and probably many others.

  9. YourDaddy

    Well, obviously Vinny Mangiacopra takes that Democratic pledge seriously … Amanda Brown can take down two seniors and that’s not enough to ask her to step down!

  10. Tim T

    Maybe Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik should get another subscription to the magazine that informed him of the existence of foot patrols. I hear this month they have an article about a new charge called disorderly conduct, where the parties involved don’t have to press charges. I hear its used often in Sono at bar closing. It seems like special treatment and favors were done for Ms. Brown.

  11. Ante Litteram BOE

    Condemnation, “wait and see” or using the unfortunate incident for political gain . . . those of us worried about street crime, drugs in schools and gang violence want to hear what candidates say about those crimes and not what they have to say about one incident in the city hall parking lot.

  12. Admo

    BeingAmandaBrown it is not ok to call her a black anything .That is a racial slur .We have laws called hate crimes.Calling her a “chick is also disrespectful.Mike M and Andy aren’t endorsed by Amanda they would live to get rid if her.The whole incident is disgusting.but none of you were there.Yes Harry was in law enforcement that is why you don’t rush to judgement. Shame on you!

  13. Daisy

    Wasn’t Krummel caught many years ago making a racially insensitive comment – can’t remember the details. But if he DID call her a Black Bitch – if I were in her shoes, and we were on equal footing, I probably would have hauled off too. But that doesn’t change the fact that she’s 38 and he’s 80-something and she could have found another way to express herself.

  14. cc-rider

    If half of what Krummel allegedly said to Brown is true, he deserved the shiner. I am sorry but being a senior citizen is not a free pass to act like an a-hole. Their advanced age should give them the maturity and tools necessary to express themselves in a more productive manner.

  15. EveT

    1. The hateful statements by BeingAmandaBrown are disgraceful. Have you heard of something called an ad hominem attack?
    2. Tim, where do you get the information that Ms. Brown “is the main supporter of Rilling for mayor”? That is simply not true.

  16. M. Murray’s

    Could anyone be arrested? Yes. Could everyone be arrested? Yes. The fact that a witness called in the complaint there is justification for arresting all three for “tumultuous behavior” and causing “undue annoyance and alarm”. Since all three engaged in back and forth behavior, all woul be arrested. Connecticut is not a “Stand your ground” state and all three had the opportunity and obligation to walk away from the disturbance. That being said, without either side willing to press charges and te witness not willing to cause an arrest, any arrest would be dismissed by a prosecutor should the parties refuse to cooperate against each other. It woul be a complete waste of time. All three parties were wrong, and if their primary concern is the good of their party instead of self interest, they would resign. Harry and Vinny are correct not to rush to judgement and sort the facts out. Sometimes discretion is thebetter part of valor. All should take a step back until all facts are known.

  17. notaffiliated

    The only thing far worse than the Republicans in Norwalk are the Democrats! If I had my druthers we would do away with the party system for ANY AND ALL local elections. I can only imagine what this Ms Brown is like – nothing better than a black women running around with a huge chip on her shoulder. The hypocrisy of these folks is unbelievable – in fact, whatever became of all those proud liberal democratic war and Gitmo protesters in front of City Hall? Once Obama won they were no where to be seen. HYPOCRITES!!!!!

  18. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Justifications on any level on any side of this story are why Democrats are going to lose this year. This is just sad for the Democrats in this city who take personal responsibility as a point of pride.

  19. Tim T

    Breach of Peace.
    Disorderly Conduct
    Creating a Public Disturbance
    The old catch all Criminal Mischief
    These are all crimes that could have been successfully prosecuted without the parties involved pressing charges. It happens every weekend in SONO bar fights. I would like to know who gave the order to the “supervisor” at the scene not to arrest.

  20. 0ldtimer

    And now Art Sciallaba, the Repub town chair, is calling for Amanda to resign. That is reason enough for the Dems to look very carefully before taking any action. Do they have a list of competent candidates for her job ? Now is hardly a good time to change DTC chairs. if there is any chance for a successful campaign in the next few months. She says she tried to get away, to go and call the police, but Bill held on to her and would not let her go until she agreed to not call the police.

  21. NorwalkDinosaur

    I think that all parties involved need to take a step back and consider their responsibility in this incident.

    Miklave and Garfunkel are trying to be “leaders”, but they have no clue. From what I hear the Krummels instigated the physical, racially charged confrontation.

    Leadership requires composure, not shooting from the hip decision making like Miklave and Garfunkel have displayed.

    Ms. Brown may need to step down, but things need to settle and facts should come forward before any decisions are made.

  22. NorwalkVoter

    @Norwalk Dinosauer – you make some good points. Did you ever notice that Garfunkel waits to see what Miklave says and then he repeats it. Pathetic.

  23. M. Murray’s

    Hey Tim. Te prosecutor will not pursue it without a complainant or witness willing to testify.

  24. earlybird

    Enough with defending the reprehensible actions of Amanda Brown. Enough with the campaign posturing. There is no excuse for assaulting Regina Krummel with lies about how a candidate declares. There is no excuse for Regina pushing away Amanda. There is no excuse for Amanda pushing Regina. There is no excuse for Regina falling to the ground, and Amanda failing to apologize on the spot. There is no excuse for Bill Krummel slapping Amanda. There is absolutely no excuse for Amanda’s next action, to roll her fist around keys and punch Bill Krummel in the face. Let’s stop this nonsense about defending anyone’s actions. Let’s stop this nonsense of supporting the idea that violence by Amanda Brown is anything short of bullying and intimidation. Harry Rilling and Vinny Mangiacopra condone this terrible violent and undemocratic behavior. If the Democratic party is to stand for anything, it must unite to condemn the actions of the Amanda Brown, the Krummels and the declared candidates who condone their behavior. Stop the violence. Stop the hypocrisy.

  25. EveT

    @earlybird, neither Harry Rilling nor Vinny Mangiacopra has condoned the actions of Ms. Brown or Mr. or Mrs. Krummel. Harry and Vinny have each exercised restraint. You are aware, aren’t you, that they as candidates are not in a position of authority to pass judgment? Of course it’s horrible that it happened. None of the candidates are condoning any part of it.

  26. Tim T

    So M. Murray are you attempting to say that only cases that have a witness or someone pressing charges make it to court in Norwalk. If that’s what you are attempting to say that may explain why the Norwalk PD has done such horrid job with solving crimes. Have you ever heard of an investigation? Other police departments in towns cities and Moccia urban centers do it all the time and solve cases without a witness.

  27. Suzanne

    I don’t know, EveT. Rilling and Mangiacopra’s approach of “exercised restraint” never stated, in either of their formal statements printed in Nancy on Norwalk, that violence is not a good way to solve a problem. They each said they would wait for an evaluation (paraphrasing) before they decided on their viewpoint. To me, this seems like an opportunistic way to stay neutral instead of categorically condemning violence which is certainly my preference in solving problems in my town government. Miklave and Garfunkel did not need to send anything to committee or for evaluation – their statements were clear that violence of any sort is wrong. Their clear voices were a relief to me.

  28. Betsy Wrenn

    Leaders exercise restraint. If they’re unable to control themselves, they’re not leaders.

  29. Suzanne

    Leaders also provide a moral compass when necessary and, in this case, I believe it was necessary. There is a time to stand up and say what is right and a time to reflect. In this case, solving a problem with violence elicits a requirement from true leaders that it is WRONG.

  30. M. Murray’s

    Yeah Tim, and all the other towns and cities answer to prosecutors who have similar views. Apparently you don’t know much about the legal system. Domestic violence issues are different because an arrest is statutorily required and will get diverted to a family violence program most times. Felony assaults provide a little more leeway, but will still usually get kicked out of court without cooperation from a testifying victim.

  31. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Betsy Wrenn gets it. The excuses on these blogs helps to explain why so many defections have happened. How do you expect anyone to vote you into a position to control the city when you can’t control your own behavior?

  32. Tim T

    M. Murray
    I have never heard such lame excuses for not prosecuting a crime in my life. Your book of excuses for the NPD even has Rilling beat and that’s saying something. I sure hope the NPD doesn’t make any arrests in SONO bar fights this weekend as according to you they would not be prosecutable.

  33. TG

    Tim T., why are you killing the messenger? Murray is just stating the facts of what happens when these cases get to pr

  34. TG

    Sorry, hit post too soon. The police know that prosecutors don’t want to try these types of fights because there are no complainants or witnesses. why do the facts make you so angry? and seriously, everyone would be complaining about the waste of tax dollars if every single fight ended up in court. If these were ordinarily folks, there wouldn’t be an angry mob demanding justice- it would be between them, and it was, and none of them wanted to press charges because they share some degree of accountability. Let it go- they’ve clearly all been tried in the court of public opinion.

  35. Tim T

    Because that is simply not the case. People are arrested everyday and prosecuted without the cooperation of the victims and without witness.
    You say
    If these were ordinarily folks, there wouldn’t be an angry mob demanding justice.
    I agree as if these were ordinarily folks they would have been arrested and prosecuted.
    They could have and should have been charged with any of the following considering it occurred on city property.
    Breach of Peace.
    Disorderly Conduct
    Creating a Public Disturbance
    The old catch all Criminal Mischief
    Clearly this was a case of special treatment. I would like to know who gave the order to the “supervisor” at the scene to not arrest.

  36. TG

    Tim what is your connection to Law enforcement/judicial system that makes you privy to the number of fights police are called to versus the number of arrests versus the number of these which make it to court versus the number that actually end up with any substantial penalty. Prosecutors don’t take cases that aren’t worth their time. Every brawl, no matter who is involved, is not worth their time, especially when they have no witnesses bot complainants. This would be a different situation if it happened in a crowded place, truly disrupting the peace. It would be different if it were domestic violence. There are reasons those are mandated arrests. You have people here with knowledge trying to give you facts which you won’t seem to believe. The police response was appropriate and exactly what would happen in other similar situations where no one wants to press charges. This is not some sort if indicator that Norwalk PD is soft on crime. These are not gang members threatening the public. As I said, it’s time to let it go. The loss of reputation and possibly position is truly punishment enough here.

  37. Tim T

    What is your connection to the Norwalk Police department or Amanda Brown ? I know you will say you don’t have any but it is clear that you do. I would suggest that you let it go as when I am right I will never let it go.

  38. TG

    Tim, and apparently not when you’re wrong, either. 🙂

  39. M. Murray’s

    Thanks TG, but Tim will never get it. I just try to post on here to correct his rants to the public so they understand te facts, not his misrepresentations. His anger at the Norwalk police an Norwalk government. In general obviously stems from a bad experience with them. That being said, he cannot objectively look at a situation where the police are involved. It is important that people do their own research and investigation in these situations to get an accurate and valid viewpoint. Ask officers you know and trust or ask attorneys or court officials how they would handle an arrest for this type of incident with no complainants and no victims. Don’t take Tim’s opinion or mine. Ask for yourself and let us know what you here.

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