Norwalk fire chief defends department’s lack of African Americans

Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy was appointed to the job during the administration of former Mayor Alex Knopp.
Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy was appointed to the job during the administration of former Mayor Alex Knopp.













(Editor’s note: Due to the sensitive nature of this story and the tone of the comments, we will henceforth strictly adhere to our comment policy: name-calling and unverified accusations will absolutely not be allowed..)

NORWALK, Conn. – African Americans are not applying to become Norwalk firefighters because of a perception of racism coming from the top down, two retired firefighters say.

The two men — and other sources — are disappointed by the declining percentage of minority members with the Norwalk Fire Department, saying that no black men are currently being considered as new recruits. They say that’s because Chief Denis McCarthy is a racist, but McCarthy defends the recruitment effort with statistics that show, in part, the level of competition for the job.

Andre Williams and Gregory DeValda are two retired firefighters who will go on the record on the topic.

“Chief McCarthy is a racist,” Williams said. “The African American guys that are there would not tell any other African Americans to go in there and be in that type of environment.”

Williams was terminated from the department in 2009. Fire commissioners Michael Coffey and Carol Andreoli said they did it with regrets, according to minutes of the Feb. 17, 2009 meeting. Coffey called the situation tragic and said everyone spoke glowingly of Williams. Andreoli said it was one of the hardest things the commission had done. Mayor Richard Moccia did not attend the meeting.

Devalda said it is true that African Americans are being told not to apply.

“I’ve heard that from a few people, though they do not know (McCarthy) personally,” DeValda said in an email. “I guess through what is seen in the press and dealings he has had with so-called leaders of the black community that didn’t go over well.”

McCarthy says the facts paint a different picture.

Firefighter applicants must pass a series of tests before they can be considered. Overall, 40 percent of Norwalk’s most recent applicants were minority and 36 percent of them took the test, McCarthy said. By comparison, 53 percent of the applicants were white men and 36 percent took the test, he said, a much greater drop off (4 percent compared to 17 percent).

McCarthy said that those who passed the Dec. 8 written test with a score of 70 or better — 19 percent of the 745 passing candidates — included 48 African American men, two American Indians, 66 Hispanic people, two African American men and 17 Caucasian women.

Only the top 87 were invited to move to the next level. No black men made the cut.

“My understanding was they extended the candidate list so an African American woman would make the oral interview portion,” a firefighter, who asked to remain anonymous, said in an email. “Is that even legal?”

McCarthy did not confirm or deny that, ignoring an email.

He later provided a list of the top 87 candidates who were invited to the oral interview, which appears to corroborate a list provided by the anonymous informant.

The list of applicants and the list of test results are attached below.

The list of candidates invited to the oral exam includes six Hispanic people and one African American woman, who was second from last. One American Indian passed the test, and one white woman passed the test.

The African American woman was one of five candidates who did not attend the oral interview, McCarthy said.

Neil Dennehy is a Caucausian man who took the test but did not make the cut. The DPW worker said recently he has been trying for nine years to get into the department and that he is giving up.

Dennehy, who was born and raised in Norwalk, said he questions the test. He took the class the department offered to prepare people for the test, an attempt to get more minority members. While the department made every allowance for his disability — attention deficit disorder — he still feels disappointed he said, explaining that only three questions on the test were similar to what he studied in the class.

“I bought books; they turned out to be better books than they gave us,” he said, of the class.

While Williams and DeValda talk of what they call McCarthy’s racist history, which includes a handful of formal complaints, a white member of the department, who declined to be identified, spoke of other elements of department’s past.

In 1986, there were two lists, one for minorities and one for white people, he said. It hasn’t been done the same way since then – the test is the test. You need to study for it, he said. People who take a class aren’t given the answers – they are shown the type of questions that will be asked.

He said there is no racism in the department. Firefighters risk their lives for people who they know nothing about, he said. The people who would go into a burning building to attempt a rescue of a homeless person would not judge people on the basis of their skin color, he said.

Still, DeValda is emphatic in his belief that McCarthy is a problem.

“His dislikes for certain individuals, whether it be based on race or behavior, for some reason is very obvious in insensitive remarks he tends to make,” he said. “When I first met him I could tell that he was not a good fit for a diverse town such as Norwalk , but I said for the benefit of doubt give him some time before I pass judgment. After noticing the different treatment towards black firefighters, new recruits or even discipline actions given to veteran firefighters for the same violation done by non- black firefighters , the name-calling, etc. – Norwalk is not that large of a city, so when a lot of these events make it to the newspaper, radio airwaves, and black firefighters venting their angers to family members and friends, yes, there is negative impact on black Norwalk residents applying for the job. I know quite a few who are applying in other cities.”

In 2007, McCarthy faced two complaints of racism in the department. A lawsuit filed by firefighter Scot Wilson wound up being settled out of court for $41,000, according to court papers.

Williams, the vice president of the Norwalk NAACP (National Association for Advancement of Colored People), said firefighters who speak out face retaliation, but said complaints to the NAACP last year about problems in the department were “more rampant” than ever before.

“When the NAACP is done with him, I hope he won’t be there,” he said. “We want someone who will treat you fair no matter, and that is not Denis McCarthy.”

NAACP President Darnell Crosland did not return a request for comment.

Correction made, 12:11 p.m.

Norwalk FD test results 2013

LS NFD MASTER all applicants 01


47 responses to “Norwalk fire chief defends department’s lack of African Americans”

  1. Ergo

    This is an issue that has been brought up time and time again. While they can deny that it is happening, someone somewhere should listen to what their own people think of them.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

  2. Tom Humberto

    Andre Williams was dismissed for not completing court ordered drug rehab according to the minutes linked to. Is there any doubt he would hold the boss responsible for his failure to complete drug rehab?

    Should we have fire fighters who abuse drugs? He may be a great firefighter…when he isn’t stoned. I guess the commissioners were polite and made mention of people’s positive comments, but that doesn’t exactly make him a credible person.

    I would say the chief is the victim of a campaign of slander and has a good case against the people who have made these outlandish charges without any evidence at all. I’m surprised that Nancy would leave herself so wide open. I say he should sue her.

  3. oldtimer

    McCarthy defends ?
    Even McCarthy, fully backed by the adminstration that appointed him, cannot defend the indefensible. Something is clearly wrong and, if not addressed, will end up with some court-ordered fix.

  4. Joe Espo

    On my bucket list is the NAACP acknowledging that there exists at least one white person in Norwalk who isn’t a racist. But I expect to die disappointed.

  5. Ergo


    Are you really going to blame Nancy? You are either new to Norwalk or haven’t been paying attention in the past. This isn’t the first time that the lack of minorties has been an issue. It keeps coming up time and time again. Even if you don’t think it’s true, you have to admit that if something like this keeps coming up it is news worthy.

  6. EastNorwalkChick

    As the old saying goes, “Where there is smoke, there usually is fire…” No pun intended.

  7. Retiree

    Tom fisrt of all Mr. williams issues were not drug related so to say he was at work stoned you are the one that need to be sued .There is no campain slander involved in what we are trying to do . We are trying to once again make a fair playing field for everyone . As far as evidence of unfair treatment I have plenty of it if you’d like to hear it you’re welcome too . you’re on the outside looking in trying to pass judgement , well my friend I’ve lived it for many years and until you get the you’re facts right you need to stay silent .

  8. Oldtimer

    McCarthy may really believe he is not a racist. What the complaints are all about is called de-facto racism. They do not have to prove he, or anyone else, has racist intent, the facts speak for themselves. In a community as diverse as Norwalk, there is no excuse. Similar situations have resulted in court ordered plans to fix it. McCarthy may not continue as chief after the court gets involved, even if no proof is offered that he is racist. If the moccia administration does not act soon, a suit by the NAACP will be an issue in the campaign against him.

  9. Carlos S

    So, in this town, if two people call you something, it becomes a news story? I don’t know who this person Williams is, but I can read and he was fired for not completing rehab. So, Tom H seems to have a point.

    Retiree, I doubt it. I can see you are extremely uncomfortable with the language. “What we are trying to do” that says to me that you are most likely one of the people behind this slander.

    I remember when Mayor Knopp brought this chief down from Westport when Chief Anderson retired. So, suddenly after 8 or 9 years when he has perhaps been getting rid of the trash that needed to be gotten rid of, he is a bad guy? No. He operates under the rules with HR and the union looking over him. De Facto nothing. Sour Grapes in public against a professional who is doing a great job to improve fire protection in our city.

  10. Michael Foley

    im sorry but i think that everyone should use their real names here on any post to bring credibility to their opinion !

  11. Tim T

    Michael Foley
    The only name that matters is “taxpayer”

  12. Tim T

    Surprised no one has brought up female firefighters as other towns cities and Moccia urban centers have them.

  13. BARIN

    @ Carlos S
    Sandy Anderson retired after ONE year, it took him roughly forty years to get the top job, C’MON MAN!!!
    When you see Sandy ask him if he would have stayed in Norwalk if given the choice.
    He then decides to go to Greenwich as chief, why would he do that?
    If you know Sandy, you KNOW he loves Norwalk.
    Is it possible he was used as a token so the minority community would vote for Knopp during an election year?
    Is our current chief racist? How about bigoted, obstinate and discriminatory in his practices.
    Fire protection in our city is not the issue, our firefighters are GREAT, not so much the administration though, that is the impression I get, if you check the facts the chief has made several ignorant comments publicly that smack of racism.
    In a city as diverse as Norwalk WE deserve better, just because only a few have come forward it doesn’t mean it’s not true.
    Maybe Nancy can find some of the comments and post them for us, get the facts so you can make an informed decision my friend.
    Speaking of decision, the candidates for mayor, if they support the current chief especially if he has made ignorant racist (see words above)comments, I personally would not vote for them.
    Only one vote but it wont be on a candidate that would support a perceived racist.
    @ Michael Foley
    Just because you have a pen name doesn’t mean your opinion isn’t credible as long as those opinions are based on verifiable facts that can be readily checked.
    We have folks using their real names posting here that simply make stuff up, if you do your homework, call them out on the lies immediately, they’ll eventually stop, or at the very least get their facts straight before posting.
    Besides opinions are like …holes, everyone has one!

  14. Someone who knows

    First off I can’t believe the baloney in this article, the NFD has tried for YEARS to recruit minority firefighters! They go out of there way to work with civic groups and churches in town to attract people to apply for the position, it’s not there fault how the list comes out its done by an outside agency and FAIR! We should only want the TOP QUALIFIED people to do this job no matter what there race or gender is! As for the two past employees who are crying in this interview, Williams was given NUMEROUS chances to keep his job over the years and blew every one of them!!! The last time he was “REHIRED” his agreement for re-employment was over seen by the local chapter of the NAACP which was fair, and he still couldn’t stay out of trouble! HE made these choices not the chief!!! So he deserved to be fired!!
    As for Devalda how soon he forgets…… He loves to say he was discriminated against but doesn’t mention that he was no better…. He was reprimanded for doing something racial to a fellow firefighter by altering an official department ID card to make it look like he was a member of the KKK!! With a white hood and robe, Disgraceful!!! When questioned he stated it was all in fun and joke. But now has the nerve to cry racism !! He’s the joke.
    Nancy should do her homework before interviewing people.

    As far as the new list of new firefighters for hire, it appears they did bend the rules to get to a female minority on the list, how did that work out? She didn’t even show up for her interview!!! So what kind of a firefighter would she have made anyway? So let’s just bash the chief on one hand for not doing enough to hire minorities, but when he tries to help even more by bending the rules and it doesn’t work, you blast him anyway. But I’m sure it would have been ok if she showed up and got hired, you wouldn’t have complained then now would you!

    Well I’ve said enough for now!!!

  15. Mario B

    @ BARIN et al
    Here’s some of the quotes (and stuff) you were referring to; 2005/2006 McCarthy grossly mishandles a racial incident and is caught twice lying to city officials and The Hour( 11/18/06, pg.1 and 11/21/06, pg.1). On Nov, 22, ’06 McCarthy issues an “apology” to Norwalk citizens. 22 days later McCarthy refers to 2 black firefighters as “a resident thief or an out-of-town drunk…”, twice! (recorded meeting minutes, 12/14/06). In 2008 during a discussion at fire HQ McCarthy blurts out “color me black if you want to…” in front of a roomful of people.
    2009, The position of McCarthy’s black secretary is “defunded”. Less than a year later the position is filled with a white woman.
    These are just a few documented, substantiated facts…form your own opinions.

  16. Tim T

    Someone who knows
    Please post a link to some verifiable proof of your statement as I and I am sure many have never heard of this.

    “As far as the new list of new firefighters for hire, it appears they did bend the rules to get to a female minority on the list, how did that work out? She didn’t even show up for her interview!!!”

  17. Gregory DeValda

    When Someone who knows puts on his big boy pants and post his name I will respond to him . I list all the unfair treatment that I have witnessed over the years you’d understand . Just as always nothing exist until it happens to them .

  18. Someone who knows

    So what your saying then Mr DeValda is that it’s Not ok when it happens to you, but when you do the same to someone else it’s OK? We should just sweep that under the carpet like you claim the department does???
    Your really an outstanding type of person to be heard from, I believe your credibility is shot. Do you deny the actions you did????

  19. Gregory DeValda

    To someone who think they know because I see your afraid to Identify yourself . Huh! Wonder why ? My situation was between me and a friend of mine . We toyed with each other for many years , it just so happened that the wrong person got wind of it . Once again because of whatever is blocking your face or vision it’s not about me . It is about the Dept. and those that enforce its policies to their own agenda .

  20. BARIN

    Devalda, you should take the time and list all the unfair treatment right here on this site, PLEASE.
    You probably have plenty of the stuff you’ve seen that has been happening behind the scenes for years.
    I’m curious to hear how both current and past fire administration handled these race issues; fairly or disparately.
    I would hope the few people defending any discriminatory practices by the chief, will ask the same tough questions to the fire chief and his administration that they ask of the whistleblowers on this site.
    C’mon DeValda tip someone’s apple cart over, do it for us Norwalk residents and don’t hold back, pretty please!

  21. BARIN

    Mario B. thanks for the soundbites.
    The fire chief sure can put his foot in his mouth, publicly; and after all the past problems he’s had you’d think he would know better.
    Either the fire chief is simply insensitive, he really believes what he is saying or both.
    What do the mayoral candidates have to say?

  22. Suzanne

    Fire departments are an essential service as are the firefighters who staff them. They are heroes in my book.

    Why isn’t Norwalk securing the racial demographics of the Town and hiring on that basis as a requirement? It is a position of high responsibility to be a firefighter and I do not believe that position should hold any particular color. If the field of candidates is not adequate to the City of Norwalk as it exists racially, then spread the canvas wider for more candidates who can pass the test and serve.

    Does Norwalk Fire Department have a recruitment program? Is the atmosphere based on the Chief’s behavior one that creates an environment, “you and you and you need not apply?” This is too important to let one person who needs to raise his consciousness about people of color to limit.

    Perhaps it is as simple as the Chief taking training classes on how to treat other people, any people of any color, more appropriately. He can still be bad ass but being respectful works better with humans.

  23. someone who knows

    So lets see Mr DevAlda If YOU do something racial it’s a joke between friends…. but when someone else in the department does it, it’s wrong!!! … Those who worked with you know who you are and it really doesnt suprise us!! Racism is WRONG no matter what! and just because you are an African American you don’t have the right to play a so called “joke” and not call it racial!!
    As to “Barin” I agree with you that someone should print all the problems the department has faced, but all of them not just the ones that make SOME people look like they were wronged, as you can see he thinks its ok for him to be a racist but no one else. As for me I DO believe that the Chief has handled MANY issues wrong in this department and they should be brought to the public, but it wasnt only him it was past Chiefs also. but lets let people who are respected bring them to light, not two individuals who screwed up and have an axe to grind!

    (Editor’s note:This comment has been edited to conform with our comment policy)

  24. peter i berman

    It hardly behooves individual commentators on Nancy’s to accuse City officials of discrimination. If the individuals affected have grievances they know the appropriate legal procedures available. Casting stones at public officials without credible evidence is shabby business and has no place in a public forum. Shame. Chief McCarthy has a well earned reputation as a first rate professional leading a department that has earned accolades throughout the region and state. Lets encourage more grown up behavior by commentators on Nancy’s.

  25. BARIN

    The only way to end the speculation is to come forward if you have information, discipline records among all firemen must be seen, if there is a pattern of discriminatory practices, then we know the truth.
    Would those records fall under FOI rules.
    As Mr. Berman mentioned he has a well earned rep but that’s publicly, what goes on behind the scenes?
    What do the firemen have to say regarding the administration, speaking candidly could lead to discipline, remember the messenger usually takes a hit.
    Transparency, let’s see how disciplinary decisions are handed down when it comes to the fire department.
    Incidently, the police dept. just promoted two latino and an African American officer, ain’t happening with the fire dept. folks, that point can’t be argued.

  26. backdraft

    Nancy I usually find you point of view, very interesting, but today I think a better article could include the following points.
    Top three reasons Firefighters love Chief McCarthy
    3) Got us the biggest / shiniest ($660,000) Fireboat in all of CT. which happens to consume over $1000.00 per tank of gas
    2) We get to cruise Washington Street late night in the biggest / flashiest ($1,000,000) tiller truck, what a head turner
    1) We’re moving into the Tajima hall on CT. Ave, the biggest / grandest firehouse ($14,000,000 +) in all of Fairfield county and beyond. Complete with housekeeping and landscapers
    See any similarities? “Biggest” ego perhaps? Or an extension of his Denis.
    Just this past week McCarthy and fire union ratified a social fund (aka the beer fund) could this job get any better.

  27. Suzanne

    I think discipline within a department constitutes a private matter. I don’t think the public has a “right to know” about internal behavioral problems of any department without a private hearing and administrative response to individuals, individually.

    Think about it. Let’s say you are taking too many personal calls at your desk in the Department of Public Works. You don’t respond the first time, so you get a write up. Should this be exposed for all of the public to see?

    Let’s say an individual fireperson says something racially hateful – shouldn’t that be handled by that person’s superiors and a resolution take place between the parties involved only?

    We just don’t need to know everything about everyone and what they are saying.

    If the Chief has a problem with racially divisive behavior and/or language and the employees don’t like it, do they not have recourse through a union or the mayor? Let that be the practice and let that be the resolve.

    Norwalk has enough divisiveness on its plate to last for years – it already affects the resolution of untold numbers of issues including education and development.

    Let’s let the fire department do its job – if there isn’t enough oversight, that, I assume, would be the mayor’s job to step in? Maybe this current mayor doesn’t see it that way or that is not the protocol.

    In any case, whoever is supposed to deal with problems with the Chief, deal with it. If the department needs to be more integrated, deal with it. If there is evidence of racial discrimination, make a command decision, whoever is “in charge” and deal with that too. The rest just adds “fuel to the fire” and is a useless thought exercise.

  28. BARIN

    I agree that for a simple write up it would be tedious and silly.
    Many departments apply progressive discipline, which multiple write ups will lead to suspension, loss of wages or termination.
    How many simple write ups led to more severe discipline?
    The disparate difference in discipline is the issue, so you HAVE to look at the documentation.
    Any disciplined employee can choose to allow the proceedings to be public but not if they sign a confidentiality agreement.
    My impression is the current administration likes this approach, not allowing any foolish behavior by supervisors to come to light.
    As this administration has conveniently placed the words “personnel matter” on some documents in the past, just because they could.
    Hmmm, the plot thickens, either show the documentation to prove Mr’s. DeValda, Williams and Marty B. are wrong in their accusations of racism, bigotry, discrimination (you choose the term) or remove the chief because everyone making these accusations, has been making these same accusations against the chief since he arrived on the scene.
    Fire Commission meeting minutes are available online, I think I’ll start there, counting how often they use the words “personnel matter”.
    Maybe Westport has some information on past actions in their fire department records, isn’t that where the chief started?
    Anyone not seeing the solution clearly is only part of the problem, there should be no argument about that.
    Maybe Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network will come to Norwalk at the request of our local NAACP Branch.
    National Media coverage tends to upset apple carts to get to the bottom of things which is sorely needed in Norwalk.
    Or not, let’s keep it local and allow the administration to get to the bottom of it.
    What’s that you said? You don’t trust them to REALLY get it done?
    Sorry, forgot that part of the solution, ALL findings HAVE to be public, no confidentiality agreements or retaliation against the whistle blowers; transparency is a beautiful thing!

  29. BARIN

    One more thought, Scot Wilson received 40K from Norwalk (our money)to settle, then signed a confidentiality agreement, what’s the secret?

  30. Gregory DeValda

    BARIN reach out to me ,we’ll talk .

  31. Andre Williams

    After getting phone calls/ text messages about comments being posted I decided it was time to respond. The 1st person I will address is Tom Humerto, don’t worry about nancy being sued because you should be worried yourself about a defamation of character lawsuit yourself. My court case was for restitution for a real estate deal gone bad. Nothing about “Drug rehab” Carlos S. Dont know what you read but you must have went to the same school as Tom so you need to also get your facts correct. Anyone who knows me knows I’m the farthest thing from a racist and would not call Denis a recist if I didn’t have proof/documentation to back it up. Barin you sound like a smart person so lets start with westport to show Denis was and still is a racist. The city of Westport called the firebirds from bpt to ask for their help in the recruitment of black, hispanic and women F.F.’s Denis didn’t want to sit in the room with these men because they were black. First select women farrell told the city of norwalk about Denis and his racist views before they hired him and that was one of many reasons his contract in westport was not being renewed. (Editor’s note: see this previously published report: http://www.yourct.com/2007/03/norwalk-awful-memory-lapses/) Barin your also correct about sandy, he was used for votes and only got a one year contract because knopp already promised Denis the job after his last year in westport and everyone in the firehouse also knew this.Denis comes to norwalk with his racist views and lie’s about an allengent incident in the firehouse saying he knows nothing or has documentation accusing someone. Once confronted by james walker from the hour he’s lying, he says I was more focused on dissinplining the black F.F. who said he was called racial names than looking into what may have happened. Before being confronted with proof he lied he goes to the hour saying the F.D. doesn’t have a racial problem. After he’s caught lying he goes back to the hour saying the F.D. has a racial problem. All this can be proven by reading the articels. To save his own ass for lying he throws every white F.F. under the bus to take the heat for him not doing his job by investigating the complaint. He tells the hour “I was derillect in my duty as chief and let everyone in the F.D. and city of norwalk down” I need to make amends. A short time later in a meeting with a company that might be hired to teach diversity training to city employees. He calls black F.F.’s drunks and thieves and keeps repeating the quote until the lady tells him to stop, she was an african america women. He slao did’t even know the names of the two black fire chaplains when you are the chief of a dept for over a year aren’t you suppose to know who you reachout to in the time of trouble/need in healing situations, I had to call him out in the basement of the east norwalk lib. I asked him 3 times why don’t you call the black fire chaplains when ppl in the blak community lose everthing in a fire or attend the fureral or calling hours when a black F.F. loses a family member and he couldn’t ans me so after waiting several mins I told him who the two black fire chaplains were. When it comes to dissipline in the firehouse he has two different standards. White F.F.’s who have trouble with the law and some are far more serious than what took place with a black F.F. The white F.F.’s are talked to and black F.F.’s are suspended with no pay until they can prove their innocence. This is all done by Denis and taken to the commission afterwards. I have dcoumentation to prove all of this and the things I’ve said about Denis. Their is alot more I haven’t touched on yet. The NAACP which is about equality/justice for all has had enuff of Denis and his ways and we are in the process of going public after all interviews/documentation is verified. Anyone running for office who supports this chief and his behavior will not get the vote of the black/hispanic community because we now know that our votes does matter. How would Denis like it if the black F.F.’s called him by his name they called him in westport. “White line fever”

  32. Mario B

    ……sizzling! Kudos to Nancy.

  33. BARIN

    Let’s play 20 (8) questions!
    What will the current administration/fire commissioners say about these events?
    What will Morris, Duff, Cafero, Perone, Himes, Murphy, DeLaura, Blumenthal, LaVielle and Malloy say? Did I leave anyone out?
    What will The Hour, independent voice of the community and the Daily Voice say?
    What will the mayoral candidates say?
    What will the group posting on this site defending the chief have to say?
    What will the female African American administrative assistant let go by the fire chief say?
    What will the African American fire inspector who filed a past eeoc complaint say?
    Thank you Mr. Williams, I think Mr. Devalda is on deck, maybe we have enough people for more than one team.
    I’m certain there is a feeling of disbelief by some and vindication by others.
    Let’s all do the right thing and take a good look at these allegations.
    Okay here we go; one-two-three!!
    EVERYONE take their blinders off and open your eyes, not just for these terrible racism, bigotry, discrimination (you choose the word)allegations in the fire department but for ANYTHING that WE feel is wrong in OUR city.
    Any potential candidate for any elected position that supports this behavior should NEVER be in a decision making position for Norwalk, if voters are ignorant enough to vote for any candidate unwilling to do the right thing and speak up, then we have only ourselves to blame.
    What say you?
    Thanks for keeping it REAL Nancy!

  34. Gregory DeValda

    How about a response from SomeOneWhoKnows ?

  35. BARIN

    Ding Ding Ding! That round goes to DeValda.

  36. BARIN

    One more thought, to DeValda, let’s hear some more from you; PLEASE!
    My impression from your posts, is stepping up to the plate doesn’t bother you one bit.

  37. Someone who knows

    Mr DeValda I believe we are waiting for YOUR response on why it’s OK for YOU to do something racial and call it a joke between friends but everyone else should be held responsible for there racial actions!!! Which I agree they should be!!! But I’m still amazed that you think your actions are ok…
    And as for Mr. Williams comments, maybe we should hear from James Walker on his views of some of the people commenting on this site, I think he may have some INTERESTING things to say, What do you think Mario B. ??? And Mr. Williams, a real estate deal!!! Come on now!!!!

    (Editor’s note: This comment has been edited to conform with our comment policy)

  38. Mark Chapman

    FROM THE EDITOR: This is a reminder: Our comment policy forbids name-calling and unverified accusations. We also want comments to focus on the topic, not each other. However, because of the nature of this story, and the fact that some commenters are part of the story, we have to this point relaxed our policy. This will no longer be the case. All new comments will be subject to a “zero tolerance” policy.

  39. Broderick I. Sawyer

    Thank you Mark and Nancy, this is a very important topic for Norwalk, I tend to believe there may be some who will intentionally post derogatory statements, to make the story go away one way or another; which almost worked.
    Hopefully everyone will get the point so that we can have useful conversations that will help all of Norwalk.

  40. Gregory DeValda

    This story and topic will help Norwalk move in the right direction . Let’s keep in mind that this is an election year and the voters will decide on which direction they’d like the city to go in . Candidates will have to voice their views on this situation and give a solution to the problem and the solution is a simple one . So let’s see who really wants the top elected position in Norwalk .

  41. Andre Williams

    Thank you mark/nancy for taking a stand on some of the things being posted without the willingness to show and prove. To someone who knows, when you want to put on your grown man pants and stop hiding behind this name i:ll address any and all things you have to say about my court case. Better yet stop hiding and use your goverment name and you pick the place/time for all of us to show up with proof and documentation about what were saying and posting. Hopefully nancy can be there as well and everyone who reads these post can see who is telling the truth about their postings. CAN NOT WAIT to hear from you mr someone who knows!!!!!

  42. Mario B

    What do I think? I think I’ll have a glass of wine. How about you Den?

  43. BARIN

    Well there you have it, Mr. Williams has offered proof to anyone who wants it.
    I count 17 different commentors on this story, how many of you want to know the REAL truth?
    Here is our chance I’m in!
    Someone in the know now has the chance to know the real story, what a great opportunity!
    If someone in the know doesn’t want to know, we are in serious trouble.

  44. someone who knows

    To all, I don’t know why I am bothering to respond any more but here goes, There have been MANY ACCUSATIONS over the years of problems in the NFD, and I agree SOME are true and have been addressed, but with all the crying from Mr Williams, Mr DeValda, Mario B, and Broderick aka the BARIN about so many things over the years how come your complaints have never been proven true by all the investigations that happened? They are all saying there are problems but where are THERE FACTS? Nancy I agree FACTS should be presented, not theories by a few axe grinders, the articles they are referring to in other papers are stories THEY created and had looked at but went away when NO facts could be found! Mr Williams, who even tho he was a good firefighter, was dismissed from work with cause by the fire commission, for RULES VIOLATIONS, and he has never won any appeals for re-employment, which means it was just! HE HAS THE PROOF OF THAT! And Broderick Sawyer the Baron had all of his complaints investigated by state agencies and ALL came back un-founded! HE HAS THE PROOF!! Yet he STILL spends DEPARTMENT PAID TIME complaining to any politician or citizen he can get to listen to him. I think this Site is being done an injustice by these men! I only wonder why there comments are NEVER edited by you…..

  45. Barin Sawyer

    OH NO! My secret is uncovered! I need another name now, dagnabit!!
    You sound angry, don’t hate the players swk, hate the game!! I believe from your posts the game is something you may have helped create and don’t want it to end.
    Well swk, for one thing you continue to ignore the simple fact that whether YOU believe it or not these allegations are real, your blinders my friend, apparently aren’t removable.
    It doesn’t matter the name of the person posting, WE want YOU and anyone else to simply look for the truth and assist in solving the problem.
    Some say trouble maker, truth is, whistle blower is more appropriate and the people ignoring these allegations are wrong, I’m beginning to think you may have some apples in the cart we’re tipping over.
    Attacking the messengers is simply stupid, talk about calling the kettle black, what’s YOUR real name?
    Do I care? To me your real name matters not, as long as you post positive verifiable statements.
    Simply because someone loses a battle that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
    Additionally, if you want to see the documentation you can so that you will have the facts, I WANT you to see it!
    Bet you didn’t know that? Because you didn’t ask!!
    Ignoring it and making the messengers the subject is a distraction from solving the problem.
    Here is a fact, if you tell EVERYONE you know and offer to show them the facts, they now know what transpired.
    If at the time of their notification they are in a position to solve the problem and don’t, they are just as guilty as the person doing wrong.
    Eventually it will get to the right person with a backbone to do the right thing.
    I see MANY friends in the course of my workday and they ask how things are going, so I tell them, is that a problem, if they didn’t want to know they wouldn’t ask.
    I fortunatly have loads of friends, not everyone you know will like you but I’m doing okay with friendships, I may even get you on board the Friend Ship after our meeting.
    Human nature, no one cares until it happens to them, it is glaring that you don’t know me, do you?

    This story has along way to go,so when can WE all meet swk?
    p.s. Accusing me of doing something wrong on paid city time is a slippery slope MY friend.
    Best wishes, Barin Sawyer

    (Editor’s note: This comment has been edited to conform to our comment guidelines)

  46. Broderick I. Sawyer

    @ Someonewhoknowsnothing,
    Are you sure that I’m barin? Prove it! If I am so what? I have no problem telling you what goes on.
    My impression is you would like me to shut up, just remind me when you see me that you don’t want to hear my stories.
    When I think about it SWKN; YOU’RE THE MAN! I LIKE being accused of actually talking to people, politicians included, during my workday, this was a reason I chose to go into the Fire Marshal’s Division, besides anyone who knows me can tell you I have the gift of gab.
    Maybe they listen out of being polite, or maybe unlike you they’re genuine.
    Before you pass judgement on my work ethic, it would be prudent for you to check my credentials/reputation.
    Better yet, contact the Fire Marshal’s Division, request a customer survey of my daily duties, FOI(maybe)and the cost of the copies I believe.
    Bring a sack of money for the copies, my days are usually busy.
    That said, stay focused on the topic of the allegations please.
    Good luck.

  47. Mario B

    I didn’t realize making known seemingly prejudicial behavior by a city department head would be trivialized by labeling it “crying”. My bad. SWK wrote…”complaints have never been proven true by all the investigations.” That begs two questions; Who performed the investigations? and, Who did they interview? SWK referenced “creations of stories in other newspapers that went away when no facts could be found”. The “stories” began when Chief McCarthy grossly mishandled the Wilson incident late in 2005, was caught lying about it, and was all accurately covered in The Hour by then reporter, now editor, James Walker. Anyone who can comprehend what they’ve been reading lately understands we possess verification of anything presented, and yet not a single “investigator”, except Nancy, has asked any of us a single question.

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