Norwalk Dems respond to mayor’s ‘personal attack’ accusation

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Norwalk Common Councilman David Watts (D-District A) speaks at the Jan. 8 Common Council meeting. He said he is disappointed in Mayor Richard Moccia.

NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Democrats responsible for what Mayor Richard Moccia calls “personal attacks” did not realize they would be mentioned in his Tuesday evening speech announcing his reelection campaign.

“I’m flattered the mayor was thinking of us during his remarks to his supporters,” Common Councilman Warren Peña (D-At Large) said in an email. “I look forward to serving out the remainder of this term, running for re-election and being a part of something that will be talked about for months and years to come.”

Norwalk Democrats don’t raise issues, they raise personalities, Moccia said, referring largely to the many battles at Common Council meetings prompted by Common Council members Anna Duleep (D-At Large), David Watts (D-District A) and Peña.

Those councilmen say the only way they can get their issues heard is to write a resolution and debate it on the council floor. The Republicans who control all the committees won’t allow them to put things on the agenda, they say.

Watts said recently that council members had promised to be less partisan and work together after the emotional debate caused by the Freedom of the Press resolution he co-sponsored with Duleep.

“I am disappointed in this speech,” he said in an email. “I was hoping to spend the remainder of the term finding common ground. However, from the mayor’s comments he has rejected the olive branch we extended to him. What a shame.”

Moccia made reference to that latest controversial resolution Tuesday night as he ticked off a litany of complaints. “There’s a part of me that says they’re trying to discourage you, keep you from having that ambition to make life better for the citizens,” he said. “They don’t raise issues, they raise personalities. I pave a street, I repress votes. I don’t have a right to privacy, I don’t have a right to an attorney. They know more than a police department chief, they know more than DPW, they know more than the law department and they know more than the mayor.”

Duleep said by email, “I raise issues that are important to my constituents. I remain astounded it took prodding from me to get Mayor Moccia and his caucus to hold a timely election for a new Council president upon the expiration of Carvin Hilliard’s one-year term!”

The latest resolution questioned the ethics of Moccia’s relationship with Corporation Counsel Bob Maslan, as Moccia has described him as both his personal attorney and the city’s attorney.

Duleep is still working on the issue.

“Although my sources at the State Office of Ethics recommended that the city hire an attorney from outside Norwalk to replace Corporation Counsel Maslan as staff to the Board of Ethics – to assure the restoration of integrity to the process – I remain hopeful we will find a volunteer,” she said. “As for Mayor Moccia’s political career? Well, this week alone I trekked to Hartford, Newtown, Redding and Westport to lobby for common sense gun safety legislation. I’ve been so focused on attracting financial help to address gun violence in Norwalk that it never occurred to me Mayor Moccia might feel intimidated, or otherwise discouraged, by simple debate!”


26 responses to “Norwalk Dems respond to mayor’s ‘personal attack’ accusation”

  1. LWitherspoon

    “… Council members have told us they hope [Moccia] doesn’t run again because nobody likes him. Nobody likes that guy. I haven’t found anyone except for the ones feeding off him, that make their living off him, say they’re enthusiastic about him.” – Councilman David Watts
    Source: https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2012/11/will-moccia-run-again-norwalk-dem-says-its-50-50/
    Wow, that’s some olive branch. For anyone who is unclear on the definition of a personal attack, see the above for a perfect example. Notice how zero is said about policy.
    Moccia has not been a perfect Mayor, but the transparent and disingenuous behavior of opponents such as Mr. Watts drives a lot of people into the Moccia camp who otherwise would not be there.

  2. oldtimer

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion about why people vote for a particular candidate, as we all are. Some of us think Moccia’s recent rude behavior to taxpayers he works for will cost him votes this time and some of those disaffected will vote for almost anybody that runs against him. We’ll see how far the incumbent advantage takes him. There will be a lot of paving and ribbon cutting this summer.

  3. LWitherspoon

    Is it your position that occasional exasperation from the Mayor justifies the sort of comments made above by David Watts? Do you think that comments such as those by Mr. Watts help you and your fellow Democrats, or hurt them?

  4. David Watts

    L Witherspoon,

    I see you are working overtime today. Keep up the good work!

  5. LWitherspoon

    Councilman Watts,
    I’m not surprised that you can’t make any defense for the comments you made above. The reason you can’t is that the comments are indefensible. I bet you wish you could take those words back, or at the very least go into a recording studio, edit them, and perhaps add some fake applause.

  6. Suzanne

    Warren Pena and Anna Duleep’s responses were perfect – oh, he said that? I’m so busy with my Council work, I don’t have time to even think about it. Keep it up. Moccia exists to create chaos in lieu of transparency, accountability or respect for the taxpayer. His chaos deserve no one’s time and certainly not our money or vote.

  7. Bryan Meek

    Wasn’t it day 1 when Mr. Watts called the mayor arrogant on the floor of the council chambers at his very first meeting? Oh yes it was. You can forget some things, but Norwalk will NEVER forget that little outburst. Is it coincidence that the city has since had all these civility meetings when it never used to? Hmmmm, what’s different?

  8. David Watts

    Mr. Meek,

    I see you are still drinking that Hater-ade. However, I am not going to engage you brother.

    L Witherspoon- rise above hate!

    FYI- Mr. Meek is a active member of the Republican Party.

  9. Tim T

    Bryan Meek
    The mayor is arrogant unless you walk in lock step with him. Have you not seen the horrid way he speaks to taxpayers as in his bosses when they dare question the GREAT OZ

  10. LWitherspoon

    @David Watts
    Were you “rising above hate” when you said “…nobody likes him. Nobody likes that guy”?
    Why are you preaching that we should do as you say, but not as you do? Isn’t that the definition of a hypocrite?

  11. Bryan Meek

    Calling the executive of our city “arrogant” or whatever on the floor of the council chambers is rude and uncalled for regardless of his disposition or political affiliation.

    This whole incident was then followed up with YouTubes and press releases attacking the mayor for his car allowance. No one works harder to be ranked near 400 on the pay list of city employees, and a councilman who ran on getting things done spent all his time and energy on going after what amounts to a rounding error in terms of what he thought was excessive. We can forgive, but we will not forget.

  12. LWitherspoon

    @Bryan Meek
    What was funny about that was that Mr. Watts made a very poor Youtube rap video attacking the Mayor because the City traded in Mayor’s poorly-performing hybrid vehicle. Then a group of kids made a better rap video in response, and Mr. Watts went ballistic. If memory serves Mr. Watts immediately played the race card, and told those kids that they shouldn’t have attacked him due to his skin color. Then he dug up some old court case that one of the kids was involved in and used it to slander an African-American youth leader by posting via multiple accounts.
    Source: http://norwalk.dailyvoice.com/news/norwalks-mayor-defended-attacked-videos
    It appears that Mr. Watts has a long list of double standards with respect to behavior. In short he can dish it out, but he can’t take it.

  13. David Watts

    Mr. Meek,

    I am not going back and forth with you, buddy.

  14. David Watts


    Race Card? My wife is a Italian American and I have taught my son better. I was named after a hard working Italian American “Angelo” and you should be ashamed.

    Anyone with access to my facebook page could see I have been working with this group.

    See here



    I donated a screen printing press (t shirts) to the group and is currently helping them with their Feb. 14th show.

    What are you doing to help the youth? Nothing! I have donated my time and personal money to helping people.

    You are part of a slime campaign and it will not work.

  15. Suzanne

    What???? This thread becomes a conversation about Mr. Watts and his mishaps?

    You commentors just don’t get it – the more you feed your own prejudices about a person, the more notoriety it gives YOU as the intolerant, impatient, cranky person.

    Mr. Watts has his constituency that may or may not want him as their Councilperson. They get to make that choice. No comments on the entirety of this article or, for example, this compelling comment by the Mayor, “Norwalk Democrats don’t raise issues, they raise personalities, Moccia said.?”

    The depth of your thoughts are contained in references regarding YouTubes and Mr. Watts when there is so much more to think about! Get off the partisan bandwagon, the “personalities” you are raising as Moccia himself claimed Democrats are doing and talk about something of substance. Mr. Watts can take care of his own and they him.

  16. Bryan Meek

    Suzanne, the headline reads “Norwalk Dems respond to mayor’s ‘personal attack’ accusation”

    Mr. Watts is then quoted in the same story…..

    “I am disappointed in this speech,” he said in an email. “I was hoping to spend the remainder of the term finding common ground. However, from the mayor’s comments he has rejected the olive branch we extended to him. What a shame.”

    How is it not relevant to point out that some on the council have been attacking him since day one and have never relented, only to give hollow and meaningless soundbites to the press about olive branches?

    Please elaborate.

  17. David Watts

    Mr. Meek,

    Please elaborate? I extended an olive branch to the mayor and we are working to be less partisan. Period!

    Thank you, Suzanne for being the voice of reason.

  18. LWitherspoon

    Factual statements about specific actions by elected officials that contradict their own words are entirely relevant to this article.
    Regarding Moccia’s comment about Norwalk Democrats raising personalities rather than issues, I tend to view statements such as that with suspicion. You can’t generalize about one political party. However you can and should address the behavior of individual elected officials and consider whether or not their actions match their words.

  19. oldtimer

    It is my opinion that a veteran politian who has any restraint at all never lets his exasperation show in a public forum where he is supposed to be the chair, the adult in charge of keeping the meeting orderly. There was a time he was pretty good at keeping his temper in check, but now it seems he doesn’t care. The public notices and is starting to believe he doesn’t care about them. It will be tough to build a successful campaign if enough people are convinced he doesn’t care anymore, and only wants another term for the pension.

  20. LWitherspoon

    @David Watts

    I knew you would attempt to deny your embarrassing past behavior, that’s why I posted a link to the source so that anyone who wants to can see for themselves. As for the videos, perhaps you realized what a hypocrite you were for attacking this youth group and its leaders in the media, and now you’re trying to patch things up. Donating a screen printing press doesn’t change the fact that under the alias “Postman” you posted information about an old court case on the Daily Voice in an attempt to denigrate the group’s leaders. You also demanded that this non-profit group of minority youth be forced to pay a $1,200 bill for use of the Concert Hall, even though they were facing financial difficulties.
    Source: http://norwalk.dailyvoice.com/news/norwalk-councilman-rapped-reply-video

  21. BARIN

    Geez, can we talk about issues. Some of you are conveniently ignoring the fact that Repubs are’nt exactly squeeky clean on some sketchy incidents. If all you can do is relive David Watts moments you are not helping, you are distracting interested parties concerned with informing their fellow residents of all silliness perpetuated upon all of us. Please, move on to better topics that will enhance our city, not divide it.

  22. LWitherspoon

    I agree that we should stick to issues. The past behavior of elected officials of all parties is an issue. I have also criticized the Mayor’s actions on numerous occasions where I felt he wasn’t acting in our best interests. As a general rule I like to confine my statements to the facts as they are reported in the media, rather than engage in sleazy speculation or innuendo, as a few commenters seem to prefer. Where possible, linking to a source shows you that what I’m saying really happened, and I’m not just making things up the way a few commenters seem to do.

  23. BARIN

    @Spoon, thank you,
    Unfortunately the media is guilty of leaving pertinent information out of some stories, so the public can’t have all the facts to make informed decisions. An example of this was at the rally for Nancy, when the hour reporter left out the fact that Ms. Duleep stated they did’nt go to the Board of Ethics because Mr. Maslan sat on that board. That is an important piece as to why things were done this particular way by Ms. Duleep and Mr. Watts. If you read the hour it makes it look as if something is wrong with Dems for their approach to the issue. Moral of the story, don’t believe everything you read in the papers, especially our main local one. If they print any negative but true information, they will be in the same boat as Nancy, no seat at the table, and no more press releases sent to them because the administration will get mad at them. Freedom of the press is sketchy at best in Norwalk politics. Keep in mind the hour, on their front page state they are the independant voice of the community, not really, that would be DianeC2, Nancy and anyone else looking out for OUR best interests from where I sit, they are much more candid, telling it like it is.
    Some people are afraid to tell it like it is for fear of retribution, have no fear, just do the right thing even when no one is watching you.
    We have to make sure that we, as a community stick to the issues that will touch ALL of us at some point. To be sure we are not berated or left out of any discussion by our elected officials, I see the word transparency mentioned quite a bit in Norwalk, as residents let’s start making sure it happens. If you see something, say something applies here!

  24. LWitherspoon

    I haven’t seen overt bias in the Hour’s reporting. The example you mention could have just as easily been an oversight, all reporters make them. We are lucky to have multiple media outlets, all of which accept letters to the editor as well as comments under each story, so there are multiple avenues to “tell it like it is”. I have had the experience of attending a public meeting and then reading the news coverage and between The Hour, the Voice, and Nancy there are three different perspectives in addition to my own.

  25. oldtimer

    For once, we are in total agreement. Anyone with experience with witnesses will tell you six different witnesses to the same event will tell six different stories. Imagine, if you will, how difficult it is for investigators to sort out the actual facts from the various witness stories. Witnesses generally don’t mean to tell different versions of what they observed, but their observations are affected by their own predjudices. They include facts they think are important and leave out facts they don’t.
    Do you think, for a moment. we don’t all do the same thing ? That is why Nancy, and all the reporters at a public meeting, use recording devices as a means to keep their stories as accurate as possible.

  26. Original BARIN

    Reasonable points.

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