Norwalk notes: Cheating scandal, a debunked report, Norwalk’s Love on CNN, and NPD at mosque

A screenshot of former Congresswoman Mia Love (R-Utah 4th) appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper Sunday.  Love is a 1993 graduate of Norwalk High School and the daughter of Haitian immigrants.

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk-related news for you:

  • Norwalk native accused of paying $50K to get son into college
  • Yahoo issues latest McDowell-inspired smear on Norwalk
  • NHS ’93 grad and former Congresswoman: We need love language
  • Rilling sends Norwalk Police to Al Madany in ‘caution’




Zangrillo arrested in college bribery scandal

A man who grew up in Norwalk and went on to amass significant wealth is among those arrested Tuesday and accused of paying a bribe to get their offspring into a better college.

Robert Zangrillo attended Norwalk Public Schools before moving on to Fairfield Prep, a source told NancyOnNorwalk.  Zangrillo’s Facebook page states that he’s from Norwalk and the photo on the page matches one shown in multiple news reports.

Zangrillo is a prominent Miami investor and real estate developer who is alleged to have paid “what amounted to a $50,000 bribe to get his daughter into the University of Southern California in 2017,” after her application had been initially rejected, the Miami New Times reports.

Zangrillo is also accused of making a $200,000 donation to a bogus charity, and “was also caught on tape arranging for another person to secretly take classes on his daughter’s behalf and make it appear as if she were an accomplished rower, boosting her chances of gaining admission as an athlete,” Bloomberg reports.

Zangrillo’s LinkedIn page calls him “Founder, Chairman and CEO of Dragon Global,” explaining that he’s a “veteran investor and executive in eCommerce, Data-Driven Businesses, Entertainment Media, Mobility, and Social Networking Sectors.”



A Refinery29 screengrab, made Sunday.

Tanya McDowell story resurfaces

Yahoo News on Friday posted a story headlined “This Mom Went To Prison For Enrolling Her Son In A School Outside Her District.”

That’s right, the 2011 story of Bridgeporter Tanya McDowell enrolling her six-year-old son at Norwalk’s Brookside school is once again making national headlines. This time, the news angle is contrasting “how lower-income people fare when they try to get a better education for their children” with the uber-wealthy’s efforts to get their children into college, as described above.

“One stark example of wealth inequality in education is the case of Tanya McDowell, who went to prison for enrolling her son in the wrong school district,” Yahoo states.

Yahoo’s story came from Refinery29, a website which describes itself as covering news “through a feminist lens”.

Norwalk Board of Education member Mike Lyons wrote Saturday that “McDowell wasn’t convicted of any crime in connection with her illegally placing her child in Norwalk’s schools.  This story has been refuted often but keeps resurfacing.  She was convicted and jailed for repeated sale of hard drugs.  Snopes debunked this story years ago.

The Refinery29 story quotes a Norwalk Police source as expressing sympathy for McDowell.  “I think she was just dealing drugs to support herself,” the story quotes the source as saying.

NancyOnNorwalk asked Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik about that Saturday.  “It’s been years since this case. I don’t recall much other than the name,” Kulhawik said.


Love issues thumbs-down to ‘hateful’ language

Former U.S. Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah 4th), a Norwalk native, appeared Sunday on CNN to discuss the deadliest attack in New Zealand history.  The mass shooting occurred Friday when a 28-year-old neo-Nazi killed 50 people attending services in a pair of mosques, according to reports.

“What is our responsibility?” Love asked on State of the Union with Jake Tapper. “I get so tired of the blame game.”

Then-U.S. Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah 4th) chats with Norwalk High School students in 2015, in the school’s auditorium.

Love said she taught a swimming class as a high school student and after six weeks of interaction with the children, a little boy told her that his parents didn’t like her because she is brown. Despite that, the boy called her his favorite teacher, according to Love.

“I learned racism is taught,” Love said. “It’s a nasty seed that grows and poisons the soil around it.”

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, she said, quoting the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I am waiting for people to start talking about love language” instead of hateful language, she said. “We need a little bit of inspiration, a little light, a little community.”

Love is a member of the Norwalk High School Class of 1993.  She lost her reelection bid last fall to Democrat Ben McAdams, then-Salt Lake County Mayor, and criticized President Donald Trump and the Republican party in her concession speech.

Democrats and Republicans have to hold their leading elected officials accountable instead of following blindly due to party affiliation, Love said during her appearance Sunday.

“We have probably been Republicans longer than the president has and I feel like it’s important for us to hold him accountable for the principles and the platforms that we believe in,” she said. “That’s what’s actually going to save the party and I think help heal what’s happening in the United States. But to say there aren’t people who are coming out and holding the President accountable is not true. We need more of that but we need each of us holding all of us accountable.”

Love is the daughter of Haitian immigrants.  She has previously criticized both major parties and the President for having a transactional relationship with minority voters and failing to address their real needs.

CNN describes Love as a Political Commentator; she also appeared on Feb. 5 and condemned Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) after a decades-old racist photo surfaced from Northam’s yearbook.


Rilling increases police presence at Norwalk mosque


Mayor Harry Rilling on Friday released this statement:

“I woke up this morning heartbroken to the news of the horrific terror attack in New Zealand. No one should be unsafe or feel intimidated because of their religion. Violence, hatred, and intolerance have no place in the world. I offer my condolences to the victims, their families, and to all of the people of New Zealand.

“I spoke with the Imam of the Al-Madany Islamic Center this morning to reassure him that Norwalk is a city that welcomes all people and beliefs. While indications are this was an isolated incident, out of an abundance of caution I have ordered the Norwalk Police Department to have an increased presence around the mosque and all places of worship in our city.”



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