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Opinion: Rush to assign guilt is wrong, but Dem leaders should resign

Correction: This story has been corrected to indicate that Democratic Mayoral Candidate Matt Miklave only called upon Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown to resign her post in the wake of the scuffle in the City Hall parking lot.

NORWALK, Conn. – The American justice system is built on the cornerstone of “innocent until proven guilty.”

Accusations are investigated and dropped every day. Incidents reported to police or in the media are invariably described differently by the parties involved. If there is hard evidence – an unedited recording, an unaligned witness – the true story will often emerge. But when the only real witnesses are those involved, no one else can really know what happened.

The brawl at City Hall happened quickly, without any substantial witnesses. Someone heard a commotion, saw someone punch another person and called the police. Then it was over.

Everything else is he-said, she-said.

Still, many Norwalk residents seem to have taken sides based on nothing more than who they prefer to believe. In some cases, it is politically driven.

The four mayoral candidates have split on the incident. Andy Garfunkel called for Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown and District E Chairman Bill Krummel to resign their positions, and for Regina Krummel to abandon her bid for a nomination to run for the Board of Education. Miklave called for Brown’s resignation.

Vinny Mangiacopra and Harry Rilling took the more cautious – some have said weak – approach, saying everyone should wait for the facts before judging who is right or wrong.

Did Amanda Brown come too close to Regina Krummel and act in an aggressive manner before Krummel pushed her away, or were they having a “discussion?” Did Brown push Krummel to the ground, or did Krummel somehow fall? Did Bill Krummel shout racially-tinged remarks at Brown before slapping her, inspiring her to land a roundhouse right hand to Krummel’s face and eye? Did the Krummels try to prevent Brown from calling police?

Only they know the truth. Rilling knows this better than anyone, being a 41-year cop with 17 years as chief and having a degree in criminal justice. You cannot build a case or assign blame based on he-said, she-said. It’s easy for those without all the details and without a precise knowledge of the law to sit back and make judgments and to say a crime has been committed.

The bottom line here is all four candidates are correct to a degree.

The public needs to stop pretending it knows who did what to whom, and to stop assigning blame to one party or the other.

But those involved have, two weeks before their nominating convention, made themselves the story and, fairly or not, thrown gasoline on the smoldering embers of the party’s reputation for irresponsibility. At any point during the confrontation, any of the participants could have chosen to walk away. None did. All are supposed to be in positions of leadership and respect.

No matter the details, all should step away from their roles or potentials roles in the party.

Remember, too, the actions of a few have no relevance when it comes to whether a Democrat is worthy of election to the mayor’s office. There are plenty of skeletons in closets on both sides of the aisle in Norwalk, and the candidates need to be held accountable for their own behavior, not for the behavior of other members of the party.

Comments

70 responses to “Opinion: Rush to assign guilt is wrong, but Dem leaders should resign”

  1. Broderick I. Sawyer

    Well said Mark, I agree. Thank you.

  2. Suzanne

    Absolutely correct. What you are suggesting is the only responsible and truly concerned-for-Norwalk’s-welfare thing to do. Anything else, including remaining in their respective positions, disrespects the civil and reputable process of political work. It also calls into question the values held by the DTC by thinking a cobbled together press conference solves the issues of the initial violence. Do the honorable thing – the Krummels and Ms. Brown – resign and take the spotlight off the actions that have reflected poorly on your entire group.

  3. Question: Aren’t there cameras at city hall that might provide some insight?

  4. Vigilant

    Agree wholeheartedly. Only one candidate stands to gain from DTC chair’s vote at next week’s nominating Convention. Has self-interest influenced his response or lack thereof to this unfortunate incident?

  5. John Frank

    Mark
    Amanda says Bill hit her first and she hit back. Bill admits he hit first. Undisputed facts, but stories have been known to change in court. Both could have been arrested that night, but experienced officers, and a supervisor, decided against arrests when it became clear neither victim wanted to file a complaint or testify in court. Courts would most likely have tossed out any charges when nobody showed up in court to testify. Opinions are easy, but the fact remains Amanda is the DTC chair, and there is not a list of qualified applicants to take her place if she steps down. There is a primary and an election coming up very soon and the Democrats want to unseat Moccia. Moccia has been silent, but Sciallaba and others known to speak for the Repubs have been very vocal in stating she should step down. The Repubs would love to see the other party in disarray for want of effective leadership between now and the election. Although the Dems may not support the idea of giving Krummell a black eye, they should not be in any hurry to ask Amanda to step down and leave a very hard to fill vacancy, if they want to beat Moccia.
    I am a retired Norwalk Police officer and letting people who have not filed a complaint settle their differences without an arrest, for a first-time incident, has never been unusual. If the police arrested everyone they could every time they become aware of a violation, the court would collapse from the overload very quickly. Officers have always had a certain amount of discretion and been encouraged to exercise it, with some exceptions, such as repeat offenders,and crimes against children or other helpless victims.
    Do not let Moccia supporters decide how Democrats should handle this.

  6. Suzanne

    I am most definitely not a Moccia supporter! The “he said, she said” thing completely misses the point: that this behavior was engaged in at all IS the point. It is completely wrong – it is what we tell our kids is wrong and, if we must, what should be told to Ms. Brown and the Krummels as the supposed adults they are. If the DTC is so bankrupt of leadership that they have to retain someone so disrespectful as Ms. Brown and the Krummels, then that really points to the problems of the DTC, doesn’t it? Norwalk citizens should not have to pay for the DTC indiscretions and the DTC should not lay this sad and reprehensible human behavior as a form of leadership at the citizens of Norwalk’s feet.

  7. Joe Espo

    Mark: you had me fooled. Your piece was spot-on and neutral, up until this sentence: “Remember, too, the actions of a few have no relevance when it comes to whether a Democrat is worthy of election to the mayor’s office.” You could have said: Remember, too, the actions of a few have no relevance when it comes to whether ANY CANDIDATE is worthy of election to the mayor’s office.” You obviously betrayed your bias and thus this turned out to be an apologia for the party you obviously prefer.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @JoeEspo
      I am not surprised you read it that way, and I hope you did not pull a muscle jumping to that conclusion. I was speaking of the Democratic Party here in Norwalk, and to people who would tar the party itself because of the actions of a few. I intentionally tried to leave the Republicans out of it, save for the “skeletons” comment, lest someone — not that Norwalk GOP types would ever do this — suggest I was trying to spread the current Democratic Party woes onto the Republicans. And, FYI, I favor individuals, not parties, and if more of those individuals are in one party, so be it. I do have a bias when it comes to people, and especially political leaders in either party, who cannot keep their hands to themselves.

  8. Joe Espo

    John Frank: You said: “I am a retired Norwalk Police officer and letting people who have not filed a complaint settle their differences without an arrest, for a first-time incident, has never been unusual.” Let’s assume they’re still first timers and immediately after Amanda rolled her fist around her car keys and clocked 84 year old Bill Krummel, Regina Krummel pulled out a baseball bat, and tee-balled Amanda’s head. Your former collegues are called but the parties agree not to file a complaint. Arrest or no arrest? Suppose instead of a bat, Regina aims a legit Glock at Amanda’s head but doesn’t fire. They agree not to file complaints. Arrest or no arrest? How about if original incident happened between ordinary bar patrons outside O’Neill’s on St. Patrick’s Day? No one wants to file a complaint. Arrest or no arrest? Hmmmmm.

  9. D(ysfunctional)TC

    The DTC will complete its failure when they pick Vinny as their candidate in a few weeks. Then I’m sure we’ll see Harry offer an opinion on the DTC leadership. Bruce Morris can then go back to Hartford to legalize physical violence when done in context of political situations, unless of course they are Republicans.

  10. Tim T

    The fact of the matter is people are arrested for less everyday . This without question in my mind was special treatment for Ms. Brown who is known to be a huge support of Rilling.
    I said it before and I will say it again Rilling and Vinny have proven that that they are not leaders due to their failure to condemn this incident . I think most know that I am not fan of Moccia but if Rilling or Vinny were the dems on the ticket I would not be voting for them.

  11. Ken P Jr

    When Rilling ran things he routinely treated people as guilty before innocent. Ask Duane Doutel about it. He’s far from a good person to ask about anything regarding fairness & will makre a very poor mayor if we get stuck with him.
    The issue with this incident is there was no arrest so we will never know who did what. Rilling, or Kulhawik both would have had all three arrested if not for who they were. This presents another issue which the media, including this online paper, doesnt even get into, a double standard. Its a very sad day when our elected officials are treated as elites who can do no wrong. There is plenty of blame to go round here due to the lack of action from the Mayor, Police Dept, Prosecuting attorney and the media. NOBODY else is given a free ride because they say their sorry or nobody not in the fight saw anything. This is a disgrace & a black eye on EVERYONE of authority in Norwalk. The only good part is it exposes the hypocrisy & total lack of ethical fortitude which permeates our city govt, especially the democrats.

  12. Ken P Jr

    John Frank,
    Thats a crock & you know it.
    When has the NPD not arrested a person who punched a senior citizen in the eye before? Theres no question that is what hapenned & in any other case the courts would determine the outcome. It would be the state against Brown, this isnt s civil case, its criminal & for us peons the option of not pressing charges dissapeared some time ago. Not saying I agree with the way things are donr but it must be done evenly regardless of who they are. YOUR bias is obvious in that your concern seems to be theres nobody to take her place, that may be why the other two involved didnt push since they too are democrats. Politics shouldnt effect law enforcement, but it has in this case & its sad. I dont want people who punch senior citizens sitting on our city council. This isnt a turf dispute in Roodner court & her actions should disqualify her from ANY official position, except maybe town thug.

  13. Joe Espo

    Ken P’s comments raise valid and important questions: to what extent did Rilling pull influence with Kulhawik and to what extent did Kulhawik hold back to avoid embarrassing Rilling and jeopardizing Rilling’s chances of gaining the DTC’s nomination? After all, if Rilling gets elected, Kulhawik would have a big, big favor to call in.

  14. M. Murray’s

    Prosecutors routinely want written statements from witnesses or victims is assault cases. Unless these are provided or officers actually witnessed the violation, the case will get dismissed due to uncooperative victims or witnesses. They could have been given a summons, but knowing the parties refusal to press charges it would have been a waste of time and money.

  15. notaffiliated

    Help me out folks. Are these folks paid for their roles? If so, in this current economy, I’m sure we could find someone who is unemployed who can contain their mouth and their fists.

    I’m thankful for the comments above. It’s an eye opener when it comes to the Dem slate of candidates for mayor.

  16. NorwalkLifer

    If garfunkel and miklave are calling for the krummels resignations now, that is news! Mark, where did you get that fact? They jumped on Amanda and demanded her resignation right away. Adding rhe krummels all of a sudden makes that back tracking.

    Remember miklave’s quote? “I’m an officer if the court” and since i read a news story i find her guilty! He’s a joke and a sad opportunist.

  17. Don’t Panic

    If a tree falls in the forest, and neither the tree nor the hurricane is willing to testify for the NPD, does it not still lie on the ground?

    The effects of the incident are measurable, even if there was no witness.

    Was the tree brittle, hollow or weakened? Was the soil too moist for the roots to hold? Was it likely that the wind was very strong even if we do not know exactly how strong? Are there saw marks in the tree?

    This incident has had effects that are measurable in our community, and it is not out-of-bounds to discuss those effects without attributing blame. In fact, not doing so runs the risk of spreading the damage around.

    Leaving the criminal question aside, there is the matter of ethics and morality. Those two items ARE fair game here. Ethical behavior includes the notion that you not only avoid ACTING unethically, but that you avoid the APPEARANCE of acting unethically, particularly if you are entrusted with the power to act on the behalf of others, as elected officials are.

    The appearance of being selective about the BOE candidates should have been avoided. The appearance of putting self-interest ahead of the party by apologizing without resigning should have been avoided. The appearance of acting without group consensus by issuing statements to the press without first reporting the incident to the people they represented should have been avoided. The appearance of justifying violence for any provocation that did not involve self-defense should have been avoided. The appearance of putting political concerns ahead of the community affected should have been avoided.

    Let us hope that amends do not stop with a public apology to one another.

  18. dawn

    i agree. let them all go. we can and should do better. These may be good people but when a person shows their bad side so publicly it is a bad story.

    people tend to forget.

    IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!!!
    YOU WOK FOR ME!!!!!!

    if you cannot represent me and my city is a respectful way what have we all become.

    no matter who did what they should have enough respect for themselves.

    And let’s not forget. Someone is lying. do we want someone who would either throw racial epithets or lie about them being thrown.

    SOMEONE IS A LIAR.

    and i do not want them or the person who would cover it up to represent me in any way. Democrat or republican.

    and we are all supposed to forgetthat because noone wants to rehash the events of last week on Sunday.

    I WANT TO KOW WHO THE LIAR IS.

  19. What I think about this entire public outcry is the fact that no matter how biased and corrupt this entire case may be…. these people will NEVER be held ACCOUNTABLE for their actions.
    *
    The Krummels, Brown, Rilling and THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY are all laughing about this behind the scenes because they know they can wait it out until the next crises to appear and, **poof**!!, this is all forgotten out of the court of public opinion.
    *
    So folks, don’t waste your breath denouncing these despicable pieces of garbage that call themselves representatives of Norwalk because THEY have moved on… they’re just biding their time for us to catch up.
    *
    So parents, think of this the next time your child is suspended for any altercations in school because you need to protect their future to get into college…if our electives can’t be held responsible, why should they?
    *
    Moreover, we wonder why civility and responsibility have gone down the tubes…

  20. NorwalkVoter

    For the many posters who are uninformed, none of the individuals involved in this brawl are paid by anyone, not the taxpayers and not the Democratic Party. This is an internal struggle and it is a decision to be made by the three involved. Let’s stay on track here. If they don’t resign, by the rules of any political party, you cannot remove them. Sorry but them’s da rules!

  21. The By-Laws MUST be changed (for ALL parties) to include laws that PROHIBIT PHYSICAL VIOLENCE IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM!!!!
    *
    Wow, look how far society has fallen….

  22. Piberman

    Had Ms Brown offered to resign after admitting inappropriate behavior the ball would then be in the Town Committee’s court. Now all Democrats are embarrassed – a sharp price for leadership failure. Imagine if that same leadership ran our City ?

  23. LWitherspoon

    @John Frank
    You’re missing the point – the question isn’t whether or not crimes were committed. The question is whether or not it’s appropriate for Amanda Brown and the Krummels to engage in this sort of behavior and continue their leadership roles as though nothing had happened, simply because a few partisans think that giving them a pass might help win an election.
    .
    Let’s say the Norwalk High quarterback engages in bullying behavior the day before a big game. Let’s say the BoE has a zero tolerance policy for bullying, and that the automatic penalty for bullying is suspension. Should an exception to that policy be made so that the quarterback can play in the big game?
    .
    If an exception is made, what sort of lesson does that teach the quarterback and all the other students?

  24. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    When did Mr. Miklave call for the Krummels to resign? From what I’ve read, Miklave only ever called for Amanda Brown to resign.

    1. Mark Chapman

      MEa culpa— those who caught my error regarding Matt Miklave calling for Bill Krummel to resign are correct. He did not. Andy Garfunkle initially called for Amanda Brown’s resignation, but, after the press conference, called upon both to step down. My apologies for the error, and we will correct the story.

  25. Betsy Wrenn

    These “leaders” are volunteers, elected by their peers. To suggest they should be held to such unforgiving standards is unfair. Surveys show that one of the top reasons for volunteering is personal growth. Learning from mistakes is part of growth. I believe these volunteers have grown and changed for the better from this unpleasant experience, and will be stronger community leaders as a result. They have forgiven each other, they deserve our forgiveness. They deserve our respect and support.

  26. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    Thank you.
    .
    I find it interesting that Mr. Miklave called for Amanda Brown to resign, but doesn’t expect the same from the Krummels. Mr. Krummel admitted to slapping Ms. Brown, and Ms. Brown says he yelled racial epithets at her. Has Mr. Miklave concluded that only Ms. Brown should resign? If so, why?

  27. Suzanne

    Betsy Wrenn, “Personal growth” on behalf of leadership is a private matter all of the participants in this sad affair are free to pursue – privately. It is not an unforgiving standard to expect that leadership, elected by their peers (and don’t the peers want better) on behalf of the town, would show more civility and respectful behavior toward one another. It is a double standard to say differently. If you use L. Witherspoon’s example above, this would mean that quarterback would still be part of the team in spite of bullying someone and, frankly, that just wouldn’t be fair to all of the other students who play by the rules. I don’t care if they have forgiven each other and I don’t care if they may have the potential for stronger leadership qualities in future. What I do care about is that my town is represented by people who know better than to resort to violence to solve a problem – period. That is a minimal standard and a sad state when “forgiveness” devolves into acceptance of behavior we would not allow even among our children.

  28. Betsy Wrenn

    To err is human ….

  29. TG

    @BetsyWrenn. I appreciate and agree with that perspective. It is time to move on. Whether they choose to resign or not should be up to them and their committee. If they choose not to, let their party make the outcry to them. I can appreciate that there are those who call for their resignations for fear that not doing so could hurt the Dems chances of winning this fall. But what disturbs me is the posters who cry out for punishment. They must PAY! The judgement and arrogance is truly astounding. When the parties involved have moved on productively, when the parties involved choose to not press charges, when this has happened essentially without the presence of bystanders affected by it- save for one far off witness who doesn’t even really know what happened, why are we so worried that they have not been arrested? And to those who keep bringing Harry Rilling in- you do know he’s no longer the chief, right? Why people assume he has influence is beyond me. Covering up a democrat “crime” hardly seems expedient when Kulhawik must work hand in hand with a Republican mayor for at least the next five months and possibly beyond. It is also outrageous the claims that Amanda Brown is a Rilling supporter. Thisis simply not true. And yes, I’m talking to you TimT. Your continued lies regarding this as well as your apparent grudge towards the NPD are tiresome at this point. John Frank and M. Murray’s are absolutely right on their assessment of how police decide to arrest. No, this case would not have made it to prosecution. And truly, if every brawl like this did, it would not be long before taxpayers bemoaned the cost of taking every fight to court.

  30. dawn

    does anyone care that someone is a big fat liar.

  31. Norwalk Spectator

    Mr. Frank –

    “Do not let Moccia supporters decide how Democrats should handle this.”

    Are you sure you speak for all those who feel Ms. Brown and the Krummels should resign? I don’t think so.

  32. dawn

    unil Mr. Krummel appologises for saying the evil things we were told he said. or Ms. Brown says she was not telling the truth that he said them,

    I THINK THEY ARE BOTH A LIAR AND SHOULD GO AWAY.

  33. M Allen

    @TG –
    Not all arrests are made with the intention of prosecuting a case. In fact, it is not a police officers decision whether to prosecute a case, just to reasonably determine if a crime has been committed and to make the arrest. They obviously have discretion, but it is very important that when that discretion is used in the context of the law being broken by politically-connected individuals, a higher level of scrutiny will be applied to the situation and they should avoid at all costs the appearance of impropriety.

    Not all people should be arrested for low-level infringements. However, fail to arrest members of the political hierarchy and questions will be asked.

  34. TG

    @M Allen- you are correct. For example, an arrest might be made to stop a crime in progress, to literally arrest the action. However, in the case where the activity is over, and there are neither complainants nor witnesses, the crime is actually considered to have no victims. It is standard practice to not arrest at that point, as, has been stated, those cases do not get prosecuted. Police officers should not go beyond standard practice simply because a person is deemed “important”. That brings its own prejudice. Yes, in the case of “political heirarchy” the public may scrutinize this action, but the police and the DA office have a history with which to defend their decisions and actions.

  35. Suzanne

    Blah, blah, blah. Doesn’t anyone get it? This is not about punishment. It is about adult people in positions of leadership taking responsibility for their decidedly inappropriate actions. Words can easily be said (just look at the various versions of this debacle.) Taking action by resigning their respective posts would show true sincerity about their concerns on behalf of Norwalk. It is time to get onto improving the state Norwalk is in (in spite of the cheery message of one Council person claiming Norwalk is “just fine.”) As a community, we need to stick together and say violence to solve problems is wrong: these people who used it and failed to solve anything have the opportunity to show true leadership by stepping down first and allowing others to take part in building a better Norwalk through dialogue and direct, positive action. All of the other stuff just doesn’t matter and isn’t worth a hill of beans to our future.

  36. Tim T

    TG
    You are 100 percent wrong.
    This incident could have and should have resulted in an arrest. The individuals involved all publicly admitted to the incident . Two of the 3 had visible injures as evidence . This incident happened on public property. At the very least this should have resulted in a breath of peace charge . Also to all that are saying these type of incidents would not be prosecuted by the states attorney you are simply not being truthful or you lack any true knowledge of the matter.
    This was a clear cur case of special treatment as anyone else would have been in cuffs and rightfully so.

    Also TG please stop saying to put this behind us as that can not happen until justice is served as in an arrest and punishment for these crimes.

  37. Tim T

    This is a FIRST but I agree with Irish Girl and Ken 100 percent . I don’t know if their views are politically motivated or not but they are correct. Also I am a life long democrat and I can tell you if Rilling or Vinny are the dems on the ticket they will not be getting my vote. They have failed and failed horribly in that they did not condemn this horrid act.

  38. Mr Norwalk Ct

    TG
    Are you a paid or volunteer operative for the Rilling campaign? You do realize that it’s so obvious it’s nauseating.

  39. Suzanne

    I have fallen into the vortex of Tim T. BUT I must say you are quite vociferous about punishment and revenge while the three participants have declined to press charges. If no one wants to participate in making this fiasco a further issue, then that is that. I do believe their actions require some retribution on their respective parts by resigning leadership and accepting anything less implies approval by their peers and an entitlement on their part to leadership and service on behalf of the City of Norwalk the Krummels and Ms. Brown clearly do not deserve at this point. As a citizen, I disagree with them retaining their positions and that will probably affect the outcome of my vote for Mayor. That is the loss to the Democratic Party and it is a loss to the community. There is much more to be gained by trying to make positive gains at the voter’s booth than arresting these ridiculous people and giving them more attention. If it was a case of spousal abuse or child abuse of course I would feel differently. But, these are three people who went at each other like elementary school children and, as I have said before, deserve permanent suspension from school (as in the Zero Tolerance policy for kids at Norwalk Public schools.) In other words, there are a lot of other things that can be done proactively rather than constantly braying for arrest and punishment which, so far, has gotten you, other participants on this thread and the community no where.

  40. Tim T

    Suzanne
    Its not about revenge but it is about punishment. The same type of punishment that would have happened had these individuals not been given special treatment. The individuals do not have to press changes for that to happen as they created a public disturbance on city property.
    Here is an example if someone shoots someone in the street does the victim need to press charges?? Of course not.. Same thing here.
    As a life long Norwalk resident I see that Norwalk has become a different town in recent years and we now have the political leaders acting the same as the thugs.
    Also I am embarrassed to be a democrat in Norwalk when I see what low moral standards the DTC has. The only 2 that have shown leadership in this matter are Andy and Matt.

  41. Don’t Panic

    Okay folks! It’s time to stop cheering from the bleachers! Those who have been and continue to be vocal on these boards and claim to be Democrats, should now step up. Mr. Miklave has asked you to please come forward and help remake the party in the image we’d all like it to be. What say you?

  42. TG

    Mr. Norwalk, ???

    I have mentioned Rilling’s name all of two times in all of my posts, and that is to point out that NPD is no longer under his command and that Amanda is not his biggest supporter. Both of which are simple facts.

    Suzanne, yes I agree that the question is to resign or not to resign. However there is a bloodthirsty element on here that simply must believe it is a gross miscarriage of justice that these three are not rotting in jail now. That’s odd to me. And even among those for whom the question is to resign or not, this seems to be split – those who see resignation as up to the leaders and the DTC (that’s pretty much me) those who feel resignation is the only way to restore order to the Dems and to show what proper leadership should entail (that’s pretty much you, I think), and then those bloodthirsty folks who believe in punishment as opposed to restoration, you know? I have seen posts from the first two groups that are positive and constructive and I can respect those regardless of whether or not I agree. The third group, along with those who continue to spout lie after lie without any research or facts to back it up, scream bitterness to me. :/

  43. Suzanne

    TG, And bitterness we do not need. The Tim T example of someone shooting another and the victim not needing to press charges in order for there to be arrests is extreme and not at all parallel to the situation we have here. All the uglies have come out to play: vengefulness, spite, racism, violence, bitterness, anger, disappointment, resentment, inferiority complexes, and the list goes on. I would like to change that list: the three who perpetrated this crime upon each other need to know unequivocally that this crime was also perpetrated upon the community. As leaders in the community what they do and how they say it reverberates – therefore, they should set the example of right behavior by recognizing their mistakes and resigning to make way for others who can solve problems more amicably. (Not doing this by claiming they have some fictitious “right” to lead or are the only party members that can do what they do smacks of another negative: narcissism.) And that is where I think my list would begin: honor, humility, service, perspective, amicability, equanimity, truthfulness. Can anyone else add positive qualities they would like to see in their leadership that is missing now? Perhaps if we as the voting public would honor ourselves enough to ask for what is required of those who represent us in politics/government, we would get better results from those who volunteer or are appointed to serve.

  44. Tim T

    Suzanne
    Please explain how my example is not parallel to the situation. That is simply your opinion and an inaccurate one at that.

    TG
    Rilling still has pull at the NPD as any x chief would and you attempting to undermine that is comical . You are also wrong as Amanda Brown from “Brown Gate” is one of Rillings main supporters at the DTC. You can keep preaching your propaganda but the facts will still be the facts.
    Also another poster had a question for you in regards to you affiliation with the Rilling campaign and it seems the you failed to answer that question. I would say your failure to answer tells us all we need to know.
    Also I will continue to correct your propaganda when I see it as this is too important of an issue for people to be mislead by you.

    On a side note Ken made a point of pointing out why none of the local media is pursuing the special treatment that was given. I also think this is an issue that should be looked into by the local investigative media.

  45. Tim T

    TG
    You state
    “However, in the case where the activity is over, and there are neither complainants nor witnesses, the crime is actually considered to have no victims”
    You are incorrect as type of incident the public is considered the victim due to the public disturbance factor involved. People are arrested every weekend on the street of Sono at bar closing for just this type of issue.

  46. Well, bust my buttons! This statement from Tim is a horse of a different color! 🙂
    *
    My intentions are not politically motivated but of general disgust. Besides the fact that our kids are held to a higher standard of behavior, it really is appalling that ANYONE who wants to move on without Brown stepping down and no BoE nomination for Krummel are just cronies trying to sway public opinion. I do not care who they are or what titles they hold, they know deep inside these actions are uncivilized, unlawful and yet another embarrassment to our city. All three must be held accountable in the political arena in which they fought…but will not. All these public outcries will be in vain – just like the rest of our outcries about over development, major loan forgiveness, etc.
    *
    I am a registered republican but really was interested in seeing some “breath-of-fresh-air” political change that the democrats are touting but alas, they are just the same old tired untrusting politicians like most in office (yes, Tim, I am referring to Moccia and some of his cohorts). So much for “hope and change” that I was considering to give my vote.
    *
    Until there is actual accountability (and NO, that embarrassing facade of mea-culpa at town hall last Sunday doesn’t EVEN come close to being believable), then come November it is better to go with the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

  47. Don’t Panic

    As Mr. Chapman pointed out, it is wrong to paint all of the Democrats with the same brush. There are many good people (on and off) the DTC who are trying to see that the right thing is done. They must operate within the rules. I see that Mr. Miklave has called to restore integrity to the process. Mr. Garfunkel appears to be of the same opinion. Those who are really unhappy should get involved. Every D has a voice in this process. If you don’t use it, you leave the party to those that do.

  48. M Allen

    Welcome to the world of politics. Its truly no wonder our governmental bodies are what they are. They are made up of us. We can’t even agree that people who break the law should be held accountable for it. We have to move past one side wanting it simply because it hurts the other party. We should both want it because it sends a message that we simnply wont tolerate this type of behavior in our society and your position in the political machine won’t shield you.

    Progressives are always barking that those with power/money/influence get a free pass while lower socio-economic groups go to jail for the same or lesser offenses. Here we have a case that involves actual, factual physical violence (forget the unsubstantiated charges of racism), and these same progressives want it to just go away because it may hinder their chances in an petty little election. Yet these will be the same people who cry foul in the future when it fits their agenda. You should be the defenders of equal protection under the law instead of being hipocrites of the highest order.

  49. dawn

    you can paint anyone who would participate in covering up lies with the same brush.
    Someone needs to step up as the liar. and the other as the one to cover for the liar
    Everyone skirts that issue.
    One is a liar and the other is covering for them. That makes one as bad as the other.
    Neither one of them deserves the respect of a gnat.

  50. @ dawn,
    “Neither one of them deserves the respect of a gnat”.
    That includes Brown as well.

  51. LWitherspoon

    @MAllen
    Well said.

  52. Suzanne

    Tim T – Can’t let you get away with this one. There is no parallel between someone who gets SHOT and DIED to someone who is hit and bruised. I do believe you live in a parallel universe where the only activity is to come up with ridiculous examples about something that is so well stated as M. Allen above – I mean, Tim T., you are blinded by your thirst for vengeance against this police department and will never be able to much less try to show some perspective and get to the point. Everything has a pendulum swing of perspective – you are far, far away. Perhaps your extreme views are a good thing for this forum – they help the rest of us get to the real point of matters.

  53. M Allen

    I think we all need to understand that not all crimes require a victim to “press charges.” We have many laws where the charge is made on behalf of the general public. Where the public is indeed the victim. Breach of the peace is one of those laws. DWI or speeding would be similar charges.

    What makes this situation tragic, is that there was a criminal offense committed, but because all offending parties wanted to make it go away, it just goes away.

    None of these individuals are victims when it comes to the charge of Breach of the peace; they are the offending parties. It is we who are the victims. Anyway, my point is not to hammer any of this. I could care less if anyone has respect for these three or if they go into political exile. It is more a matter of how it was handled by letting them go. John Smith won’t be let go for the same action. It’s all about pull.

  54. TG

    I just think people have to be very careful that we are not actually requiring a bigger pound of flesh from these three BECAUSE they are supposed to be leaders. So whatever would be required of two other citizens in a fight in a parking lot with no one around is what should apply here. In other words, if the VP of Marketing and the Accounts Receivable Manager of Company X get into a fight in the parking lot of their building, they should be arrested whether they want to press charges or not. Same goes for two buddies leaving a friend’s after a visit who come to blows over a fantasy football lineup, and on and on. Should we all be considered victims then too? And see our tax dollars spent trying each of these cases?

    Now what the point of the original piece is, and what several commenters keep trying to bring us back to, is whether they should lose position because of this. This seems to be of more importance now. And much more suitable for a news forum. I pay no taxes to any of these people, heck, they don’t even represent me, as despite rumors that I am a Rilling operative- haha- I am not even a registered democrat. And I feel that should be an ongoing discussion within the party regarding what tolerance they’ll have for this behavior and how best to help forward their cause.

    .

  55. TG

    To those who are so quick to judge these folks to the point where you would say you have NO respect for them, I say stop for one moment, and think back to your absolute worst moment. You know, the one you don’t talk about, very few people know about? (Or maybe they do?) imagine that being splashed across the headlines and everyibe judging the sum total of you on that one event. What a terrible place to be. I don’t know the Krummels, but I am proud to call Amanda my friend. Yes, even with this. She has a whole treasure chest of qualities and actions that are worthy of my respect. And she is always worthy of my compassion and my love. That worth is given to her by God, and thank God it can’t be taken away by commenters in a forum.

    I jumped into these discussions to lend some defense to my friend, added input to what has been a wealth of assumptions about police involvement- because I have a number of NPD in my life that I love too. And I do thoroughly enjoy the differing perspectives, and will not even respond to those who just spew garbage or bitterness.

  56. M Allen

    And yes TG, “equal protection under the law” means everyone should be treated the same for any similar infraction. Recall the most recent discussion of this principle here in the state of Connecticut regarding the issue of sending children to out of district schools. Malloy changed the law, which had made it a felony offense, because it was not being applied uniformally (equally). This is not a difficult concept to understand. It simply means that the law should be applied equally and consistently so as to avoid certain people getting away with things because of who they are or what they are.

    And for the record, I don’t expect anyone to go back in time and change what happened here. The damage is done, and not only to the reputations of the three combatants. I only want to see this situation be avoided in the future.

  57. Tim T

    Suzanne
    Please do not put words in my mouth. I never said “someone who gets SHOT and DIED”. What I did say was “Here is an example if someone shoots someone in the street does the victim need to press charges?? ” Notice how you added “die” for your convenience. See every time someone gets shot they don’t die. We had 4 people shot and one stabbed in Norwalk in the past week and none died. Should the police just forget about these crime if the victims do not want to press charges? You claim that the 80 year old senior citizens were just ” hit and bruised”. Well using your logic or should I say lack of the 4 people that were shot and the one that was stabbed this past week only have a cut.
    Suzanne in as much as I would like to see Moccia out of office I unlike you will not throw out all morals and standards to have this happen.

  58. Tim T

    Irish Girl
    I have to say what is true in as much as we have different political views and have been adversaries in the past. I agree with your morals on this matter 100 percent and I would say morals are much more important than political views. I am disgusted with the DTC lack of any morals or values. If Matt is not on the ticket as the dem I actually may be voting for Moccia. Rilling and Vinny have shown ZERO leadership in this very important matter and Andy seems to be out in left field this time around.
    That comical apology tour at city hall was disgusting and the DTC operatives that post on this site make me want to vomit.
    You have mentioned several times about how children see this and that could not be more true…Talk about role models……

  59. Suzanne

    I have entered into a skirmish with you, Tim T, that I do not normally allow myself to do with anyone. This issue is not about you or me it is about the DTC and the actions that have not been taken to resolve a deplorable issue. About that I think we agree. What I do not agree with and what you seem to have backed away from somewhat for which I am grateful is the constant diatribes about the police department to whom I am very grateful for very fine work on my behalf in the past. Apparently, we have had very different experiences. OK. I think I reached my “Tim T extreme view limit” in this writing exercise and let things get personal, never advisable on a thread in which views are allowed and supposed to be expressed on all sides. However, I do wish you could see that a constant reminder of your bitterness toward the NPD is not really helping anyone – I know you have more views than this one note/constant refrain. In this particular instance, I think it is the DTC that needs to clean up its act on behalf of you and me and the entire community because their leadership has been revealed to be so inadequate and such a poor example to problem solving – especially to our children. Not, blast the NPD but DTC, show some respect to your constituency and the community and Zero Tolerance for violence to resolve issues.

  60. Tim T

    Suzanne
    I have no bitterness toward the NPD . I just say it like it is. They are a failure complete and total failure. A perfect example 4 shot and 1 stabbed this week ZERO caught. AS USUAL ..NOT A CLUE..I and many many that I speak to in Norwalk see the NPD as this failure. I unlike the NPD do have a bitterness toward criminals .
    I guess the great thing about this country is we can agree to disagree.

  61. Suzanne

    “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Perhaps consistent criticism, which is apparently leading no where, would be better spent in suggesting ways in which the NPD could improve – with the assistance of the community. Neighborhood watches have proved very effective in the past in other municipalities. Why not Norwalk? These people shooting each other, dealing drugs, etc., cannot be doing such things in a vacuum. Community based policing (in the formal, established protocol sense of this term) has proved very effective in dealing with such crimes particularly if the affected neighborhood is on board. The NPD have always been the good guys (and women) for me and remain so. I do not live, however, in the most crime ridden neighborhoods, although they are not far away. Community awareness in specific ways to alert the NPD might be the leg up they need to be more effective. I would be interested in hearing about your ideas for improvement, Tim T., that would direct the existing organization toward effective policing for all.

  62. Tim T

    Suzanne
    It is not up to me to direct the existing organization anymore than it is for me to direct the board of ED , DPW or Walmart..See this is what I pay taxes for. Would you say the same thing if I were complaining about not having my car repaired correctly ..Would you say I should direct the repair facility .. OF COURSE NOT. I also find it comical when people have one set of standards for the police and yet totally different one for every other service .

    One thing that could have been done was a chief hired from the outside that would have cleaned house and a good house cleaning the NPD needs. Unfortunately Moccia was more concerned with the police union endorsement than the best candidate . Promoting someone as chief that worked under Rilling his whole career was not the answer as Rilling he was a nightmare as chief. Another thing I would do is bring in the State PD, which are real professionals to ride along with the NPD and teach them how the job is done. This has been done in other crime ridden cities where the local department was a failure. You bring up neighborhood watches, well we had the opportunity with the guardian angles but Rilling and Moocia protested it to the point that it was a no go . Why the answer is simple they would have had to admit the had lost control.

    Also as far as my consistent criticism of the NPD it will continue until they start doing what they are overpaid to do. See as a taxpayer I have that right to critique any city department as I see fit and so do you.
    Since you seem to think the NPD is so good what do you think about 4 people shot and one stabbed in 1 week.. ARRESTS MADE ZERO… Please do not say arrests don’t happen over night as I am well aware of that however unfortunately they don’t happen in years with the NPD.
    What they depend on is the taxpayers lack of long term memory.
    The question needs to be asked why do people feel so comfortable commuting crimes in Norwalk. The answer is simple they know that they will not be caught.

  63. Tim T

    Suzanne
    I wanted to attach this link to an article that you may find interesting. It is in regards to a letter written by a retired high ranking member of the NPD. Its a bit old so its even before crime had got totally out of control. I think it says a lot about the lack of professionalism at the NPD which of course results in a lack of performance

    http://www.yourct.com/2008/02/norwalk-sex-crimes-and-investigations-the-npd-mini-series/

  64. Suzanne

    Two things: the Guardian Angels, an organization with which I am familiar, is not a neighborhood watch. They are, for all intents and purposes, an ad hoc police force and their ties to other dubiously legal organizations have been suspect in the past in other cities.

    Give some statistics or other real data as to why Harry Rilling was a “disaster” as a police chief. I have actually been really curious about this since his tenure was so long and no one else seems to make this claim (to my limited knowledge.) What I have seen is a lot of support for him from former employees and citizens. It is hard, then, to take your emotive reaction seriously without data.

    The YourCt.com article you cite is about the discovery of porn on police department computers as well as possible child abuse by a police department division head and allegations of bungled paperwork resulting in a “massage parlor” with ties to drugs not being shut down. This article is from 2008 and claims these heinous crimes would not have been discovered had not a Stamford assistant District Attorney’s office investigated: Harry Rilling, at the time, would not comment, especially on the child abuse case, because of an ongoing investigation but had relieved the accused police officer of his duties.

    The “brothel” to my knowledge ( and I admit to limited knowledge on such topics) no longer exists. The gentleman accused of child sex abuse still works for the NPD and the other as well? If they don’t and I do not know if they do, they weren’t working during the investigation which is appropriate. What makes this a good example of NPD ineptness in these situations were eventually resolved? You have provided one article from 2008 with allegations and no proof. This does not a consistent diatribe nor a claim against Mr. Rilling as a “disaster” during his tenure make.

    What does this have to do with a call to the DTC leadership to resign?

  65. TG

    Suzanne, in answer to your question, all three officers involved in scandal no longer work army NPD. The Lt. charged with the sex crime was obviously both fired and arrested, the Sgt. who covered him also terminated, and the one with downloaded porn accepted an early retirement. All handled properly, I believe. Obviously no department is perfect- it’s made up of individuals who are flawed like the rest of us, but there are very many fine officers in the NPD and many solved crimes as well. Many of the shootings that don’t get solved or solved quickly on Norwalk are gang related- and the police get very little cooperation from anyone in those situations. The old “snitches get stitches”, you know? Are there things falling through the cracks? Possibly, but I don’t presume to know everything that the police are working on day to day- I only know the workings of the the officers I happen to know. And I agree with you on community policing- it works and I’d like see more of it. I have other ideas and when appropriate I toss them to the cops I know. Tim clearly disagrees- but I can’t see greater value in coming to a news forum and griping. But like you said, all that has little to do with the DTC! 🙂

  66. Tim T

    TG
    You forgot to add that each and everyone of these cases were uncovered by another agency and not the NPD . With that said no credit goes to Rilling or the NPD for cleaning house . Also when you have a random incident you saying that “Obviously no department is perfect” would be true . In my opinion and most thinking individuals opinions when its one scandal after the next that is reflection on poor management. At least that’s the way it works in the real world as the private sector.
    Also as far as this having anything to do with the DTC it was Suzanne that brought up me critiquing a failure of a police department and I was simply replying.

    Suzanne
    You asked for information and I provided it. Unfortunately you choose to ignore it and ask for the same information once gain. It seem when people get information that does not meet their agenda this is the MO.
    Also if I were you I would re read the link as once again you choose to ignore full parts of it.
    I will no longer be replying to this thread as I have already as far as I am concerned proven my point.

  67. Suzanne

    No longer participating is advisable. I reviewed the article carefully, from 2008. cited the other agency involved in uncovering the scandal but noted there was no conclusion to this one example you gave, Tim T., as the horrible failure of the NPD under Harry Rilling as you characterize it. Your information was incomplete and, without the complete picture, I could not come to your same conclusion. This does not satisfy you because you want everyone to think like you do. While I respect that you may have had a bad experience, I am saying that your experience(s?), that of one person during a particular period in history, does not adequately summarize the entirety of a person’s multi-decade work. I am sorry you feel the way you do and you had whatever problems you did but that does not mean I ignored you. Rather, I believe my response shows I took your information quite seriously – I just don’t think that it provided any insight into the constancy of your negative assessments for a man’s entire career and the entire department protecting this town. Others have provided a rationale behind the lack of arrests in gang-related shootings in Norwalk that you claim are a continued failure of the department to protect our community. It would be more helpful in future to provide complete factual information to substantiate your claims. This way everyone learns, the community is enlightened and, perhaps, a very important department in our Town could improve in the specific areas you would have shown factually in which they are failing. There is power in factual revelatory journalism (e.g., “All the President’s Men”.) Rants, however, that can easily be discredited do not help the community and, in fact, I would think but to do not know, that they can easily be discounted and dismissed, negatively reflect on the writer and spew additional negative emotion to this community which is already reeling in negativity.

  68. Tim T

    http://www.yourct.com/2007/07/norwalk-police-chief-rilling-under-fire/
    I need to make one last post in this thread as I post the wrong link. Above is the correct link.

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