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Norwalk’s mayor has crossed the line!

This recorder sitting on this ledge has generated more Norwalk news stories than originally expected,
This recorder sitting on this Common Council Chamber ledge has generated more Norwalk news stories than originally expected.

By Dawn LaMadeleine

(This letter was originally sent to The Hour)

NORWALK, Conn. – I have read this story several times, and am deeply disturbed by it, on many levels!

In a snapshot, a reporter inadvertently left her tape recorder on during recess at a Common Council meeting and accidentally recorded a private conversation.

Did I read this right? Am I missing something!

Hmmm… How can anyone have an “expectation of privacy” in a public place, amongst a crowd of people? In my opinion, they can’t!

If the mayor and his cronies wanted to have this alleged “impromptu negotiation session,” they could’ve just taken a few steps into a private room, closed the door, and have had all the “expectation of privacy” in the world!

Now had that been done, (and this reporters recording device was left on), a criminal complaint of “unlawful eavesdropping” would be 100 percent justified!

Now, in the bigger picture, two very equally disturbing thoughts come to my mind:

Firstly, it appears as though this mayor runs City Hall using gestapo tactics! Through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear (of an arrest).

Secondly, by threatening the reporter with criminal charges for exercising her First Amendment Constitutional Rights (publishing an openly-viewed ~ clearly-heard conversion, in a public place), did the mayor violate her civil rights?

I’d be curious what the ACLU thinks on this matter!

Dawn LaMadeleine

Comments

11 responses to “Norwalk’s mayor has crossed the line!”

  1. Oldtimer

    Ms LeMadelaine
    The story was NEVER published because the mayor had the City Corp Counsel, Bob Maslan send the reporter’s employers a message that scared them and effectively squashed the story and led to her resigning from that company. The mayor is trying to get Nancy arrested because she made the recording, not because a story based on it was ever published. I suspect we would all wonder what the fuss is all about, I understand there was nothing said of any real import.
    As to the ACLU, don’t rule anything out just yet, we may get to learn their position.

  2. LWitherspoon

    Nancy,
    Loved the photo and caption. Stay strong!

  3. Tim T

    This is the same game this administration played a few years ago with the rag The Hour. Moccia was upset about citizens as in “taxpayers” critiquing him and his failed administration. If I remember correctly he wrote a letter to the editor of the rag The Hour and they put pressure on the rag The Hour to verify user names and address. Also if you read the rags privacy policy it basically says they can divulge whatever they want to whomever they want for any reason they want. This came into play at the same time as the other requirements. Moccia can’t stand to be critiqued and when critiqued becomes defensive and attempts stifle free speech. This is very typical of ignorant people.

  4. Oldtimer

    His response to criticism, in my opinion, is not a normal,sober,rational,response. Nonetheless, he seems to have a following that thinks he can do no wrong.
    Even his most faithful defenders must be wondering a little bit about trying to get a reporter arrested for a never-published story after the same reporter told him about an unintentional recording and an editorial decision to use it. It may be time he retired.

  5. Tim T

    When you are at your employer’s location you have ZERO right to privacy in regards to phone calls, emails, computers and conversations. This is the way it works in the real world as in the private sector. We the taxpayers are Moccia the Morons employer and city hall is “our” building as taxpayers. This idiot of a mayor needs to get a grip on reality and realize that he works for us and not the other way around.

  6. Tim T

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the executive branch agency that regulates the federal government’s human resources functions, has issued a policy allowing federal employees to use government office equipment, including computers and telephones, for a certain amount of personal use. However, the OPM’s Personal Use of Government Office Equipment Policy expressly warns federal employees that they do not have the right to privacy when using any government equipment, including Internet and e-mail services.

    Furthermore, the OPM’s policy states that an employee’s use of government office equipment, for whatever purpose, is not secure, private or anonymous, and that the government may monitor or record an employee’s use of government office equipment.

  7. Erik T

    You cant surreptitiously record audio. It’s against the law. And if you accidentally get some you can’t use it since it was obtained illegally. Video without audio (surveillance) is ok.

  8. Anna Duleep

    Nancy – I need a “Like” button for LWitherspoon’s comment!

  9. Anna Duleep

    Of further concern to me were comments made at the Rally for Freedom of the Press. Some speakers felt Nancy could have made everything better if she’d agreed to destroy the tape. [The strong implication was that Nancy was asked to destroy the tape. I won’t ask you to confirm/comment.] Video clips at http://norwalk.itsrelevant.com/content/12944/Tempers_Flare_at_Freedom_of_Press_Rally

    If you really believe a crime was committed, why would destroying the evidence of that alleged crime make things better? Wouldn’t they want the police to confiscate Nancy’s tape as evidence of the alleged crime?

    1. I wasn’t asked. All of those conversations went through the highest level of the company. Information trickled down my way, I was not involved.

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