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Norwalk Dems say it’s over, time to move past City Hall brawl

Norwalk Amanda Brown Bill Krummel Democratic Town Committee

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown apologizes to the Norwalk community Sunday morning at City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Democrats met early Sunday to stand behind and around three community leaders who say they want to forgive each other, be forgiven and move on.

“Today we want to articulate in public what Bill and I have said to Amanda in our living room,” Regina Krummel said. “We want the Norwalk community to understand that we have forgiven each other for what happened last week. We regret this unfortunate incident and its impact on so many people here who know us and people who care about us. As far as we are concerned – Bill, Amanda and I – this short lived saga is over.”

(Story continues below video.)

Regina Krummel, her husband Bill Krummel and Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown were involved in a physical altercation on July 1 in the Norwalk City Hall parking lot. Norwalk Police were called, but no arrests were made. Bill Krummel, District E chairman, freely admitted to the press the next day that he had slapped Brown after his wife had landed on the pavement in what he described as a pushing match with Brown. The next day, Brown corroborated part of what Bill Krummel had said, that she punched him in the face, resulting in a black eye.

She also said that he had made racial comments.

With the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee convention less than two weeks away, Democratic mayoral candidates Andy Garfunkel and Matt Miklave called upon Brown to resign. Democratic mayoral candidates Harry Rilling and Vinny Mangiacopra cautioned against a rush to judgement.

Norwalk Amanda Brown Regina Krummel Bill Krummel 016

From left, the Rev. Bruce Morris, Regina Krummel, Amanda Brown and Bill Krummel chat Sunday morning before a press conference at Norwalk City Hall. They say they worked out their differences Saturday night in the Krummels’ living room.

The three have done painstaking and courageous work, the Rev. Bruce Morris said in a press conference that ended with many of its participants standing hand-in-hand as Morris led a prayer, in front of the entrance to City Hall.

Brown took the lectern after Regina Krummel.

“As you all know, this has been a very difficult week so there is no better way to start a brand new week than with Regina, Bill and I coming together in the very parking lot that caused our city so much pain to reconcile with one another in public,” she said. “… I’m not here to rehash and relive any of the details that took place in this parking lot, I’m here to say I deeply regret my involvement in this incident and the effects that played out in the city of Norwalk.

I acted in a way that is contrary to the ideals and aspirations that I strive to live by every day. For that I apologize to God, for not showing that unfailing love under adversity that I have been taught. I apologize to the Norwalk community, I apologize to the Krummels and my local church members.”

Bill Krummel did not speak.

Norwalk Democratic District E Chairman Bill Krummel shakes hands with Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown after a Sunday morning press conference at City Hall.

“My wife is eloquent, far more than I am,” he said after the press conference. “We’re together, my wife and I. When one of us speaks that is for the both of us.”

His eye is “OK,” he said.

“That’s why I am wearing dark glasses,” he said.

All three said they wanted to concentrate on the civic work that had brought them together in the first place.

“Together, Bill and I have more than a century’s worth of civic involvement and political engagement,” Regina Krummel said. “We have worked long and we have worked hard to make Norwalk a better place for every single resident and certainly for our families. We will proudly continue doing that work alongside Amanda Brown and all the citizens who share deep and abiding love for Norwalk, and believe passionately in its future.”

She added, “We really mean it.”

Brown said she was “not impervious to weakness or mistakes” in any of her roles, as a mother, grandmother or civic leader.

“I am only human,” she said. “… Our emotions did get the best of us but it is our shared desire that we refocus our attention to the things that matter most to the city of Norwalk.”

Morris followed them both by saying the incident was not indicative of the character or leadership of anyone involved.

“They are human beings with the same frailties and foibles that we all have,” he said. “I would hope that everyone would recognize that what you just saw today and you just witnessed, it was authentic, it was not staged. It’s a matter of the hard work that we all need to do in order that we may have more people that are willing to serve publicly without the threat of understanding that if you make one mistake people will discard you. They will forget about the skill, the talent, the abilities that you so willingly give to this community for the good of our city, for the good of our children, for the good of all people.”

Rilling, Mangiacopra and Garfunkel attended the press conference. None of them spoke.

Larry Johnson, a South Norwalk activist, also attended.

“Whenever we put our personal interests in front of the people we are trying to help or the community we are trying to help,” he said, “we always will end up hurting someone.”

Amanda Brown’s script Sunday morning speech

25 comments

Suzanne July 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Forgiven but not forgotten. Words, even said in humility and sorrow, do not erase inappropriate actions that harm community and town. While this may seem harsh, I believe if these people so intent upon helping the community really believed what they said, they would resign their very public positions and serve the community under different auspices. I have been told in another thread that there are plenty of opportunities within the Democratic Party and the community to serve – let them participate in places where their passions are best served. Not in a parking lot with fisticuffs.

Betsy Wrenn July 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Excellent press conference, heartfelt statements. Let’s get back to work on helping to make Norwalk a better place.

D(ysfunctional)TC July 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

This all but guarantees Moccia part V. The Kumbaya might fool the inner workings of the DTC, but it is plain for all to see this group has zero business managing the affairs of the city. Sad they can’t look past their own egos and personal agendas to do what is right for the city.

LWitherspoon July 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm

If the reporting is correct, Bill Krummel committed a hate crime and Amanda Brown committed a felony. However they’ve agreed to let bygones be bygones because neither wants to give up a position of power in the DTC and both feel that it’s more important to keep working to elect Democrats rather than to be held accountable for their own actions. What a disappointing lesson for our youth: Hate crimes and felonies can be excused if committed by someone on your “team”.
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Several articles over the past few months have alleged racial insensitivity in the Norwalk FD and several comments have alluded to this becoming a campaign issue. How will the DTC or their candidate address this issue with any credibility when they’ve allowed a district leader to commit a hate crime with zero by way of repercussions?

Tim T July 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I think this is the first time in history that I actually agree with LWitherspoon.

As LWitherspoon states “If the reporting is correct, Bill Krummel committed a hate crime and Amanda Brown committed a felony” I want to know then why no arrest?? I know some say because the individuals involved did not want to press charges, but as we all know people are arrested everyday without cooperation of the people involved especially when on city property. AS I have said before I would like to know why gave the order to the police “supervisor” on the scene not to arrest. This clearly looks like special treatment of a Rilling supporter (Amanda).
Amanda may want to put this behind her, but the public sees it different. The DTC has lost all creditability by not forcing her to resign and as I have made it clear time and again I am a life long democrat. I also would suggest the no one votes for Harry Rilling or Vinny Mangiacopra as they have not seen fit to condemn Amanda’s actions.

M. Murray's July 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Tim, I thought I explained this all to you in other locations on this site. Without a complainant or cooperating witness, the prosecutors would not support an arrest and woul dismiss the case.

Tim T July 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm

M. Murray , I thought I explained to you in other locations on this site that you were wrong.

Joe Espo July 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

The Dems use City Hall for political party meetings. They use City Hall for political press conferences. And what gave the Dems license to pray and invoke God on public property? The hypocrisy of this party is surpassed only by its collective organizational stupidity.

EveT July 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Can we all agree on one thing? That Bruce Morris was right about “the hard work that we all need to do in order that we may have more people that are willing to serve publicly”? An awful lot of people are just turned off about politics because of the perception that it’s all dirty infighting. If you even show up at a public hearing and voice your views, you will be yelled at an insulted. Let alone what you’ll have to endure if you try to run for office. It is really a shame because Norwalk is full of intelligent, hard working people with good ideas and good intentions. The toxic political climate has made a lot of those people reluctant to get involved.

Ante Litteram BOE July 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm

The Dem roster of candidates looks like the undercard for a club boxing match.
The Dems start with Kimmel vs. Anyone who isn’t as smart as he is. Then they have Shirley Mosby vs. Darnell Crossland. They have the steel cage match between the Geakes, Bobby Burgess and Travis Simms. And the title bout of Miklave (who features a sleeper hold– his speeches), Garfunkel, Rilling and Mangiacopra in a Texas Death Match.
At least the Republicans aren’t fighting in public. They are just sitting around Moccia’s political hospital bed poised to steal his ring before the body is cold.

Asa H.M. July 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Mr. Morris professes that what we saw today was “authentic, not staged…”. Really? Ms. Brown and the Krummels, along with Mr. Morris, have had all week to figure out how to put this little press conference together to try and talk their way out of what is plainly a situation where all three parties hold fault and should take their retributions. Our own Norwalk Public Schools have a Zero Tolerance policy for bullying. Words alone can cause students to get detentions, stronger actions cause suspensions and even getting expelled! How can these three “adults” be let off the hook with a ‘mea culpa’ and sweet words? What a terrible lesson to be teaching our children….Do as I say, not as I do. Shame, Shame, Shame.

Mr Norwalk Ct July 8, 2013 at 2:26 am

Murray
All I can say about your post is WHAT.
We have 3 individuals that all have admitted to the altercation. We have one with a black eye. We have another with a cut on her elbow. This all occurred on city property. This was more than enough evidence to charge and successfully prosecuted all 3 with breach of peace at the very least.

In a separate matter the NPD just arrested two 20 somethings for a shoving match in a city park and charged them with breach of peace. I would think a shoving match is not nearly as bad as this issue. I guess the only difference is the two 20 somethings didn’t have the right friends not to be arrested.

M. Murray's July 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

Admissions do not carry the weigh of a sworn statement and they can deny their verbal admissions in court. Again, if no one wants to press charges and no witnesses want to testify, prosecutors have no option other than to dismiss the case.

Ergo July 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

As much as I commend the parties involved for moving on from the incident, that does not change what happened. These are elected officials representing the voices of Norwalk. It doesn’t change the fact that they acted like children. I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but Mr. Krummel and Ms. Brown should step down.

Part of taking the jobs that they did is to present themselves in a professional and respectful manner. There is no disputing that what happened was unprofessional and disrespectful.

LWitherspoon July 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

If David Watts were to rap about this incident, it would go something like this:
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“DTC Productions is PROUD to present… the brawl at City Hall! This bout has been scheduled for THREE FALLS.”
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1…2… check, check
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Check it out, yo
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Amanda Brown will NOT resign,
She beat down the Krummels and that’s fine.
She’s got different rules than you and me,
so she gets away with a felony
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Bill Krummel is a big bad hater
Says he’s progressive but he’s just a traitor
Yelling racist slurs from way back in time,
but at the DTC it’s not a hate crime
(WHAT??!!?!)
.
Rep. Bruce Morris works at the BoE
Two salaries paid by you and me
If a kid bullies he will suspend’em
But at the DTC he’ll just befriend’em
Kids don’t you fight or get racial, don’tcha see –
that’s only allowed down at the DTC,
where we fix it with a fake apology!
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Drops mike.

Oldtimer July 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Of course, all you people rooting for Amanda and the Krummels to step down understand that is exactly what Moccia & Sciallaba are hoping for. Anything that disrupts the Democrats best efforts to unseat Moccia makes those two very happy. Not condoning the fiasco in the parking lot, but looking at the reality of keeping a campaign focused on the goal after a complicated primary, stepping down of the DTC chair could not come at a worse time.

Suzanne July 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Oldtimer, I think retaining Ms. Brown and the Krummels in their positions of leadership is what will give Moccia and friends MORE ammunition. They can easily say, “Look! This is what Democrats do in Norwalk, brawl in parking lots! Look! They can get away with it with a few words like nothing has ever happened!” Believe me, Moccia is not going to forget. These people staying in their positions gives Moccia and friends MORE ammunition for the irresponsibility and bad behavior of DTC leadership.

Irish Girl July 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Talk about biased actions! If this is how the democrats perceive change by not cleaning house when it is obviously needed then how can we expect any of these candidates to become mayor and do the same!!
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It’s the same ol’, same ol’ attitude that they are playing favorites.
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Nothing new with the democrats – can’t even promote “new changes” to Norwalk when it is so obvious of what needs to be done –
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Spineless DTC…

LWitherspoon July 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

@oldtimer
You would be right if the only thing that mattered in the world were defeating Mayor Moccia, but it’s not. Principles matter too. The day after that embarrassing parking lot press conference led by Bruce Morris, he was quoted in a separate article talking about the importance of a zero tolerance policy towards bullying in the schools. That sort of hypocrisy is far more damaging to Norwalk Democrats than giving someone else the title of DTC Chair.
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Amanda Brown and Bill Krummel can find plenty of ways to serve without holding the titles they currently hold. No doubt both could assist the new chair and perform largely the same duties they do now, just without the title. They need to decide whether they want to cling to their titles and in doing so hurt the best chance they’ve had in years to defeat Mayor Moccia.

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