Republican registrar, under siege with scathing Republican indictments, defended by Norwalk Dem

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Norwalk Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons discusses her job performance Friday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk Democrat touted the efficiency and proficiency of threatened Norwalk Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons Friday, but two Republican leaders said it was time to make public why they believe a new registrar is needed – and has been for years.

Doyle Lyons, despite 13½ years on the job, did not win her party’s endorsement Thursday. Hours later, Deputy Democratic Registrar Bob Sodaro lauded Doyle Lyons’ work on elections and talked of the cohesiveness of the registrar’s office, while Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Pete Torrano and former RTC Chairman Art Scialabba focused on Doyle Lyons’ lack of contributions to campaign efforts and said the Republican registrar should be working for Republican candidates, not helping Democrats.

“There is a reason why the Republican Town Committee didn’t endorse the sitting Republican registrar. If you polled most of the executive committee you would probably find out that they’re happy that it turned out this way right now,” Torrano said.

“The leadership of the Republican Town Committee has not been pleased with Karen for a number of terms,” Scialabba said. “We haven’t had a strong candidate that was willing to try and take if from her from a convention standpoint for a while, until John (Federici) decided he would take it on this time.”

“We kept it in house, but she has turned this into a public spitting contest and I think people need to hear this,” Torrano said.

The major issue is the information Doyle Lyons provides to Republican candidates, they said, but they also painted a picture of a dishonest and manipulative woman.

Doyle Lyons has “ticked off so many people,” Torrano said. People won’t go into her office because they don’t like her, he said. He also said she spends her time wandering City Hall rather than working.

“Karen is not known for her truthfulness. She will turn it around completely and make it sound like you said something terrible about her,” Torrano said.

He quoted Doyle Lyons as saying she would bet her grandchildren on being re-elected, and said he replied, “You will lose your grandchildren.”

“She took that little slip and turned it into me saying her grandchildren are dead,” Torrano said.

Doyle Lyons goes around saying she was told by Torrano she couldn’t work with veterans in her role as registrar, said Torrano, a Vietnam veteran. He told her she needs to spend her time getting the information the Republican Party needs, that work on veterans issues should be done on the side, he said.

“We’re concerned because, quite frankly, we want the best information we can possibly have in running our campaigns,” he said. Republican candidates last fall were given information that “was not updated, it was not correct, people have been moved out of town,” Torrano said.

“A good 85 percent or more of the phone numbers are no longer valid. It’s something that could be verified and just isn’t … and it should be verified. So we don’t have accurate records,” Scialabba said.

Scialabba said he had, as chairman, sat down with Doyle Lyons for long conversations on multiple occasions, to no avail.

“She has her defenders, but about 80 percent of the town committee — they don’t know the truth,” Scialabba said. “They don’t know the back story, all the phone calls, all the things the executive committee and other people have had to deal with over the years with Karen.”

And Doyle Lyons was supposed to retire, Scialabba said.

“She indicated to a number of us that, after the discussion we had with her a couple of years ago, that would have been her last term,” Scialabba said. “She just re-upped and we didn’t have anyone to challenge her so we allowed it to go through.”

Then she went to the Common Council and asked for a raise, they said.

There was an issue with voters who were registered in District B and should have been in District E, they said. They asked Doyle Lyons to fix it, for 2½ years, Torrano said. Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells finally got the voters registered in the right district, he said.

Sitting in her office Friday afternoon, Doyle Lyons was prepared to rebut some of the talking points going around about the need to get her out of office.

She said Federici had been telling people he would Google people to get their phone numbers and update their public records, before Wells set him straight.

“You can’t just go onto Google and put someone’s telephone number onto the voting list. It is optional. We have a ruling from the Secretary of State’s Office that it would be illegal to just look up someone’s telephone number and put it on someone’s registration,” Doyle Lyons said.

Torrano told her he didn’t want her working on the Memorial Day parade, she said. Former Mayors Frank Esposito, Alex Knopp and Richard Moccia gave her that job, she said. It’s a city parade, organized on city time, she said.

Most of the work for the next election has been done for three months she said. Sodaro confirmed that.

It is Wells’ job in the “cohesive office” to do redistricting, she said. Sodaro confirmed that.

Wells has gone on at length about this in the past – it takes a lot of time to redistrict, he said. The lines were made long before Global Positioning Systems and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), he said.

Doyle Lyons said Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E) wanted voters moved into District E. Wells had already been working on it, she said. Wells had to go through the tax assessor’s office, the Information Technology (IT) department, the Department of Public Works, the U.S. Post Office and Corporation Counsel, she said. It also cost money, as, for instance, new maps have to be printed, she said, so it went to the Common Council.

That process did not take more than a year, she said.

“We don’t take just one individual street or two and change them around, without doing the remaining ones,” she said. “We can’t do it because an individual says we should. We are here to serve the voters, not any individual.”

“They say she’s not organized. They say she’s not professional, these are all not true,” said Sodaro, describing Doyle Lyons as “phenomenally organized.”

Republicans say Doyle Lyons hasn’t done enough to build the voting base, Sodaro said.

“Not only is that completely inappropriate, it’s actually illegal,” he said. “We are not an arm of either party. We are here, checks and balances, both parties. She can’t proselytize for the Republican Party anymore than I can – it’s illegal.”

The idea that Doyle Lyons doesn’t get along with others is repudiated by the mood in the office, they say.

“We’re not Democrats, we’re not Republicans,” Sodaro said. “Karen knows the law. She is very, very familiar with the law and the procedures, the rules and regulations. Stuart is very familiar with the technology and the SEEC rulings. He has actually gone through and read all the rulings and see how they apply to us. He’s a lawyer and he knows how to look that stuff up and do that, but he also understands the data base and the spreadsheets and the technology. So it’s very interactive. You have to work with each other. There’s two of them, they have to work with each other. It makes sense to do it cohesively as a unit because otherwise you’re working at odds with each other. It behooves the voters; you’re not helping them out.”

As an example of her ability to get along with others, Doyle Lyons brought up Wells’ first weeks on the job, after he replaced Betty Bondi in 2008.

“Luckily I had done my due diligence and prepared the materials for the election, because when Stuart came in his office was an empty shell. He had no poll workers, he had no files, he had nothing,” Doyle Lyons said.

“There was not one piece of paper. There was not one electronic file. There was nothing to show that his predecessor had ever been in that office. Nothing existed,” Sodaro said.

Bondi cleared out on the Friday before a long weekend, and the office was locked until Tuesday, Sodaro said.

“We now had three weeks before what could arguably be called the most important election of our lifetime to figure out how to run this election,” Sodaro said. “The fact that we weren’t Bridgeport with bad ballots, missing ballots, is a credit to Karen because Karen had double sets of books, she was completely ready to go six weeks in advance. … She never gets rid of any of her filing so we were able to go through all of her paperwork to find who the Democrats had hired for poll workers in previous elections. We had gone through personnel to find people who had contact information so we could contact these people. We managed to pull off an election. It went amazingly smooth.”

“I have no ill feeling to Betty Bondi, (her father-in-law) Fred Bondi, or anyone who was in this office before and for anyone who will come in after me,” Doyle Lyons said.

Scialabba said Doyle Lyons could not work with Betty Bondi. A mediator was sent into the office to try to resolve the situation, Torrano said.

Torrano said Doyle Lyons spent three weeks telling him that Fred Bondi should not be a Republican. He called it a vendetta.

“You really have to be an insider to know what she’s doing” because the average person doesn’t know all of the things that go on in politics, Torrano said.

Scialabba turned the story of Doyle Lyons helping the up-the-creek Democrats against the Republican registrar.

“Here’s the issue with that. That was a Democratic registrars and Democratic Town Committee issue, it wasn’t for Karen to get involved with. The only thing Karen needs to do was register people who come into the office, for whatever party,” Scialabba said. “… It’s not her business, it doesn’t matter. It’s a Democratic Party issue. She wants to make things more her issue when they don’t need to be.”

Torrano said the allegation that he told her not to work with veterans is absurd, given that he served two years in Vietnam in the 298th Medical Company, evacuating wounded soldiers via helicopter.

“I was told months ago that if we tried to get rid of Karen we were in for the battle of our lives. And it is,” Torrano said. “I am not worried. … If she is reelected I will spend the next two years talking to her every day, telling her to take out the (year-round) Christmas tree, sit at her desk and get the information for the Republicans that she has failed to do.”


31 responses to “Republican registrar, under siege with scathing Republican indictments, defended by Norwalk Dem”

  1. Norewalk Lifer

    Karen has always been professional when I encountered her at City Hall, this sounds like a lot of nonsense to me. If the GOP heads in Norwalk “can’t do their jobs” then maybe they should all be replaced.

    It looks like Art bolted pretty quickly, and it sure sounds like this is an easy way for the town GOP to find a scapegoat for their deplorable results last November.

    It’s not the registrar you guys, it’s the voters; change their minds and you don’t have to call them.

    Remember, Geake did that robocall nonsense in November, and look where it got him, those calls were offensive as hell

    Norwalk Lifer

  2. Suzanne

    And these people wonder why voters don’t want to participate in politics in Norwalk! It is all about personalities and not ideas about how Republicans or Democrats might serve the constituency. The Republicans sound rabid, and that would be whether people are “afraid to go in to her office”, the Registrar’s, or not. We are supposed to know the “inside” gossip of City Hall in order to endorse or not endorse. The bile spewed is absolutely unacceptable for any party leadership.

    What is the plan for the budget? Development? Education? Public Works? It is more important to ream someone. True or False, all of this back and forth is a waste, misses the opportunity to be true servants of the people through ideas and, instead, the worst aspects of political back biting is what leads the headlines.

    I would not want to contribute to this “process” which, apparently, is entrenched. It is unlikely any real mission would be accomplished through these tactics other than personal ones. Why would voters want to participate in that?

  3. One and Done.

    The only thing bigger than Pete’s ego is this power trip he is on. After this primary, I think his candidates will be 0-3.
    One and Done.

  4. Taxpayer Fatigue

    Nice photo – I like the shamrocks on the window. I didn’t know she was an Irish Girl…

  5. Anna Duleep

    I agree with everything Deputy Democratic Registrar of Voters Bob Sodaro said. I was one of the Democrats who pitched in to try to rebuild the office in 2008 so Norwalk wouldn’t screw up a Presidential election. Stuart hired me that year as a certified poll moderator, but I was trained by Karen, Stuart, and Bob.

    I find it disturbing -and frankly, offensive- that Mr. Torrano would fault Karen for helping Stuart carry out his duties to the voters for the 2008 election. It wasn’t a Little League game, it was a Presidential election! Regardless of how much each side wanted to win, ALL the voters deserved a reasonably smooth process that did not infringe upon their right to vote. Would my Republican friends have *seriously* cheered Karen on if she’d let the brand-new Democratic Registrar flounder? I sure hope not (even if Norwalk could somehow, on its own, sway a Presidential election).

    Karen and I may disagree on certain political issues, but I have NEVER questioned her deep commitment to the voter and pride in her job. That she has been chosen repeatedly to train other poll moderators outside Norwalk speaks volumes about the faith Registrars outside Norwalk place in her.

    The Republican Party has every right to nominate another candidate, and the voters will ultimately make their choice. But to fault any Registrar for not serving one party adequately to the detriment of the others is distasteful. After all, who supposedly serves the Independent, Working Families, Libertarian, and other parties who do not have their own Registrar? Who serves the proudly Unaffiliated (a/k/a the majority of voters in Norwalk)? I think Karen, Stuart, their Deputies, and the rest of their office try to serve all Norwalk voters professionally and with respect.

    -Norwalk City Sheriff Anna Duleep

  6. Karen Doyle Lyons

    Torrano how you can turn things around. First of all you made a statement that I had took some information to the Press. I stated no I did not and “Swore to the truth on my precious great grandchildren. You responded with “Your great children are DEAD”. Facts are facts and many heard you. It had nothing to to with being re-elected as you stated.
    After reading your statements and Art’s I am wondering who has a vendetta. I was told by one of the NEw exec board members “that if I Primary it is going to be ugly. Not by me. You can use all your negativism and ugly adjectives but you just better stick to the facts and the truth.
    By the way the tree in our office stays. It is always there with flags and military items to honor our veterans . Why did Andreoli take me to task for setting up the Veterans Hall Of Honor. I did that with the Mayor’ s permission.

    I will always thank the veterans in anyway I can. God Bless them.

  7. Andrea Light

    My concrete issue with the Registrar’s office has to do with inaccurate phone numbers. On several Election Days I have worked outside of Brookside and Marvin Schools greeting voters. During the afternoon and early evening I call Republicans from my car to be sure they remember to come out and vote. The wrong phone numbers on the Registered Voters List are extensive. While I do not know the laws, I cannot understand how the Registrar, who is in the best position to know how to fix this chronic problem, cannot oversee, advise, document, update or delegate a solution.

  8. Suzanne

    Andrea Light, Why not ask the Registrar? And, while you are at it, turn in the names of those you could not reach? You’ve gone through “several elections days” with this complaint? Why not call information and provide the few names you are calling with the correct numbers? I congratulate you for working the polls on election days, something I think makes voting work for the rest of us. But, this kind of complaint is easily remediated and, as a participating citizen, you could provide the information probably very easily. Blaming the Registrar is not helpful and doesn’t correct the problem.

  9. Just saying

    Did I read Mr. Torrano’s last paragraph correctly? I he going to try to rule the Registrar of Voters office? Is he going to harass Karen Doyle Lyons everyday.? This whole thing is Personal it has NOTHING to do with the quality of work. Isn’t the of to be nonpartisan and only work for ALL voters in Norwalk?

  10. LWitherspoon

    What is the official job description for City registrars? I would imagine the job requirements are written somewhere in the City charter or in state statutes. Hard to know whether or not there is any truth to Republican claims about Ms. Doyle Lyons’s alleged inadequacies without knowing specifically what’s required of a registrar. Is it a full-time position?

  11. Karen Doyle Lyons

    Thank you for asking questions. These facts can be verified at City Hall.
    1. ROV is a full time position per Ordinance and follows NASA contract
    2. Norwalk ROV,s are elected every two years. Most large cities are four years.
    3. City of Norwalk can verify that Art Scialabba was sent various voters list 22times over the last year.
    4. The ROV’s take an oath to up hold the laws and serve all voters and citizens of NORWALK not just the Party they were nominated from.
    5. Assist all Parties with all requests.
    6. Phone numbers are at the Option of the voter. Only the voter has the right to change any information on our systems. To do other wise would be unlawful. Once a name, address, phone number are in our files, they become Public under FOI laws.
    Hope this helps and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  12. LWitherspoon

    Sounds like Mr. Torrano and the Republicans haven’t proved dereliction of duty by Ms. Lyons. Nor has anyone explained how Norwalk benefits by electing registrars rather than hiring them the way that other City Hall employees and, presumably, deputy registrars are hired.
    I find this entire situation bizarre. Question for Mr. Torrano: How will a different registrar advance the Republican Party’s ideals? Is there some way I’m missing that a new Registrar can bring about lower taxes and fiscal responsibility in Norwalk? Can you provide an example of how the Republican Party was in some way harmed by Ms. Doyle Lyons’s failure to perform her duty as registrar? Does it really serve your party to go to the mattresses over who is Registrar of Voters? “The fight of your life”… really? As ridiculous as the DTC can be, at least they fight over elected offices that matter.
    Up to this point, all the complaints aimed at Ms. Doyle Lyons are either unsubstantiated or rebutted. Until someone proves otherwise I am inclined to think that this is petty partisan politics and a giant waste of time and energy. If there were an example of Ms. Doyle Lyons failing to do something that’s within her job description because she was off performing the politically popular job of organizing parades or veterans tributes, that would be a reason for concern. But there doesn’t appear to be any such example.

  13. Peter Torrano

    Since so many people have chimed in with opinions as to what happened and did not happen, even though most were not part of the meetings or conversations, but seem to have the answers, I will state what happened. This is unusual because normally we and the Dems don’t publicly air our laundry. There are so many misstatements of fact in these postings that it will be hard to cover all of them.

    On the day of the RTC meeting during which I was chosen as the new RTC chair (a thankless position, for sure) I was approached by Karen Lyons and she said to me that she heard that there was concern that she had been spending far too much time working on Veterans’s issues and not enough time performing Registrar’s duties. I told her that was correct, and that had been the comment made by several people in our party, especially after the last election when a a substantial amount of voter material supplied to the campaigns was outdated and inaccurate. She then asked me if I wanted her to stop working with veterans (of which I am one) and I said “no”, but she needed to limit the time to allow her to do her (taxpayer funded) duties as the Republican Registrar of Voters. Karen immediately twisted what was said to her, as has been the case with many interactions with Karen by others who can speak for themselves, and went over to a reporter in the room and told him that I had forbid her to work with veterans. What she told the reporter, to be generous, was not the truth. Karen has also been to the American Legion, a place where I am a member and where I have many friends, having been the past Historian for the American Legion, and told them in so many words that I am against the veterans. How absurd is that?

    John Federici, a non-confrontational person with an extraordinary work ethic had previously considered running for the position, and chose this year to do so. He announced by sending a letter to all RTC members. Carol Andreoli was not in the country and did not know of his announcement until her return several weeks later. I think that is where the confusion by at least one poster comes in. Carol then, upon her return, became aware of John’s intentions and supported his nomination.

    A meeting was arranged with Karen and a few other party leaders at the suggestion of one of our state representatives with whom I had met. During that meeting I had told Karen that I was aware that she had been disparaging me to other people about my “not letting her work with veterans” which was totally false. I told her that I knew she had approached the press and told them that lie, and she then said, with about 8 witnesses in the room who are more than happy to back up what was said, that she would “bet her grandchildren that she had not gone to the press.” Knowing that she was not telling the truth I responded that if se were going to bet her grandchildren (a rather odd thing to do under any circumstances) that she would lose her grandchildren. Karen then took what was said as a response to her betting her grandchildren and told everyone she could find within earshot that I had said her grandchildren were “dead.” Another absurdity and twisting of the truth.

    What Karen has been avoiding saying, since this is really all about her job performance and her volatile interaction with people (she has been spoken to on many occasions about her demeanor, and knowing the mayors penchant for civility, this should be a concern for many). Karen is asked to provide voter updates on a regular basis, do voter outreach, and keep the voters list current. Over the past 6-8 years this has not been happening. I am not Karen’s boss. I have no control over her at all except to support her continuing in her position or attempting to get someone less controversial and more organized and dedicated to the roll of the Registrar of Voters at a local level in that office instead of Karen. However, I have expectations as to what we, as Republicans trying to run campaigns need to successfully do that. For that reason, and because it has been like pulling teeth in the past to get that information, I will be in Karen’s office should she manage to salvage her job. I will assure that we get what we have been paying her to do. I can’t ask her to take down that year-round Christmas Tree, but I can demand service.

    Among the leaders of our party, Karen has been a topic of conversation and a great concern to us. The Dems, when they were upset with Fred Bondi, had his daughter removed as the Democrat Registrar of Voters in retaliation for Fred siding too often with Richard Moccia, and little was said about that. Probably because Betty Bondi was civil about it and did not make up scurrilous allegations about the leadership of her party. That is not the tactic used by Karen. Karen’s approach to this situation is to attack all parties involved, and there are many of us as the vote to remove her proved. She will not fess up to the fact that she had been asked in the past to provide information that was not forthcoming. Instead, she relies on the sympathies of people feeling badly that she is “not allowed to work with the veterans.” Years ago, as a police lieutenant, it was me who acted as the city liaison with the veterans, the same thing that Karen is doing now. I was part of a committee that handled the parades, Veteran’s Day services and other veteran affairs that occurred in Norwalk. As a matter of fact, it was me and the Veteran’s Committee who started the Norwalk Police Honor Guard, with Sgt. Thomas Mattera of the NPD. The Veteran’s Committee donated the first funds for new uniforms for the Honor Guard.

    All this to say, that I still had duties as a police lieutenant to perform, while still assisting the veteran’s. Karen has, in our experience and opinion, taken the service she provides to the veterans to a new level, essentially making it more important than performing her taxpayer funded job. Karen can volunteer to do anything she cares to do, as so many of us do. Karen cannot ignore her job.

    As for Mr. Sodaro, as far as I know he has never had a conversation with John Federici or me. So how he can state what John will do or not do is baffling. Any information Mr. Sodaro has can only have come from one source, and that is Karen. Not exactly a disinterested party.

    Karen said to NoN that John would use “google” to search out people. That, again for lack of a better and more accurate word is a lie. John has never said that. What was discussed with Karen was could she, as Registrar, update information. She said she could not demand people give her information. That goes without saying and is understood by all. But when asked if she could send out update cards to all the Republican voters, she hemmed and hawed and said “yes.” So, our question was why had she not done that, or made other attempts to bring our files up to date. John will do that. There is no obligation for any voter to supply any additional information to the registrar, but should they chose to, they may. That is all we asked.

    This drama is actually spread out over several years, but is just coming to a head now. Ask yourself, if the American Legion hired someone to work on parades and memorial services, and that person decided to spend most of their time doing Registrar’s work, how happy would the American Legion be.

    It appears that many of the posters are Democrat leaning. I will not interfere with your party’s decisions or make crude comments when you have issues within. I have never posted about a famous incident outside City Hall, nor did I comment on a recent video posted by a possible candidate. I will keep it factual. You should do the same.

    One last thing (although there is still so much to say), I am a veteran. I served 1968-1970. Twenty of those months was in Vietnam flying as crew chief on Dust-Off (medevac) taking wounded and dead out of combat, oftentimes under fire. I have paid my dues. There had been a posting questioning my service. To that person I say: What have you done for your country?

  14. LWitherspoon

    @Peter Torrano
    Thank you for the additional information. What steps have you taken as a leader to try and resolve what you describe as Ms. Doyle Lyons’s unsatisfactory performance? What if Ms. Doyle Lyons agreed to send out update cards to all the Republican voters? She could send out 10,000 postcards, get about five of them back, enter the new data into the system, and then you could refocus your time and considerable talent on races that have the potential to make a real difference in Norwalk. Hire a school bus or two so that Norwalk doesn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of David Watts representing us at the state level.
    Surely you or someone in your party must be aware that if you require voter phone numbers, there are services that will take a list, correct addresses, and add phone numbers to it for very little money. I believe you, your polling firms, or your direct mail houses would do this regardless of the quality of the voter registration data, because voter registration lists always have some outdated information.
    Is the Democratic ROV doing anything differently from Ms. Doyle Lyons with respect to updating voter information?

  15. Karen Doyle Lyons

    Mr. Torrano, So much untruth I will not respond to it all. Trust me the material going to all parties from City Hall is not how you say, Tainted. No request was denied. How many more than 22 copies of voter lists did you expect to get? By the way there was no reporter in the room said by Sarah Mann and Laurie Wilkinson. Another lie Mr.
    You can deny the facts but remember others heard you. S. Wells informed you what the Law was and that you can’t do what John and you proposed.
    I worked on the Memorial Day Parade with ALL former and present Mayor’s permission. I don’t need yours.
    I grew up Air Force and learned how difficult service life is and will always respect our veterans.

  16. Peter Torrano

    Ms. Duleep,

    I can only assume you did not read the story correctly. You are disturbed and offended by something said by another, not me.


    Thank you for finally being the one to ask a question instead of tossing barbs. As a leader, and as the past leaders of our party have tried to do, there have been discussions with Karen at all levels. She has been talked to about her penchant for character assassination and the fact that our past Chairman, and chairpersons from several of the 5 subdistricts are not getting what they need from her to properly track and record voters. From Mayor Moccia to her own district leader talks have taken place over the past several years. Last summer I had several conversations with Karen about Fred Bondi in which she wanted me to eliminate him from the Republican Party, telling me he was not a Republican. Several times I had to tell her that if she were to check her own registration information she would see that not only is he a Republican, but he is (was) in fact, a Republican Councilman. Her attempts to remove Fred were directly related to her dislike of him because of his daughter-in-law who had been the Democrat Registrar of voters.

    When problems brought to Karen’s attention were not dealt with, such as being told three times that a family of republicans had moved out of state, known to us because the home was purchased by an active republican, she did nothing about it until the third time brought to her attention, it was Steward Wells who helped us. When told that voters were not listed in their correct districts, but in the adjoining district, after 2 1/2 years it was finally Steward Wells who corrected the problem.

    Regardless of how many response we may receive from a mailing, it is better to try then to give up on the process. We are aware of how numbers van be obtained, but we are also painfully aware that there are rules to be followed. John Federici, for all who know him, even when he was a registered Democrat, recognize that he will cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

    Thank you for asking. Appreciate it.

  17. Carol Andreoli

    I find that I really must respond to Mrs. Lyons most recent accusation, that II took her to task for setting up the Veterans Wall of Honor. Quite the contrary I complimented her on her endeavor when it as newly completed. Another example of a misstatement by Mrs. Lyons. Actually I’m still waiting for an answer from Mr. Lyons regarding his outburst that I had been bought. I was hopeful he might be able to let me know by whom and what the payoff was. One would expect that someone making such a derogatory statement would have facts to back it.

  18. Peter Torrano


    The reporter in the room is the same reporter from The Hour who did a story about my election to the position of RTC Chairman. You may remember the story. He is the one you ran to and fabricated a story as witnessed by others who told me about it.


  19. Benthere Donethat

    My support goes to Peter Torrano. I had only one encounter with Karen Doyle Lyons, but it was extraterrestrial of the third kind.

  20. Karen Doyle Lyons

    Truth ask Sarah Mann and then ask David McCarthy who saw me get in my car with three others. Better still ask the reporter.

  21. Note to Karen’s boss (?) Mayor? Art? Pete?

    Document document document – signed by Karen and witnessed by another senior manager. All this should be in her personnel file.

  22. Charger

    Exemplary leadership this is not; an embarrassment, yes. Not an ideal way to gain voter confidence.

  23. Norewalk Lifer

    This is ridiculous, if the Mayor has designated the registrar to perform a function, it’s not up to the end of a political party machine to countermand that.

    Remember you guys, Dick Moccia is not in office anymore; your influence is decidedly reduced.

    Instead of attacking David Watts for doing the right thing, and I’ll say it again, doing the right thing, and maligning the character of Mrs. Lyons, you should be repairing your party; oh that’s right, it’s everyone else’s fault you lose elections.

    Good excuse.

    Norwalk Lifer

    PS, the war and peace response from Mr. Torrano is an indictment in my view of his inability to lead a party. You republicans in Norwalk surely will have buyer’s remorse some time in the future.

  24. Norewalk Lifer

    I’ll say it again, Mrs Lyons has been very helpful every encounter, and on the subject of character assassination, Wow! the hypocrisy is certainly high here, Mr. Torrano cites the “character assassination” that Mrs. Lyons has done to who? Fred Bondi? FRED BONDI!!!???????

    Come on folks, while we might like Fred, he’s hardly a man on fire, in fact, he’s not the cornerstone of an industrious, vibrant, party.

    He’s a democrat who became a republican, it’s as simple as that,

    But the other side of this is, Mr. Torrano’s “need” to tear down Mrs. Lyons character in public; really now, why don’t you fire yourself Pete?

    Norewalk Lifer

  25. Disgusted Norwalker

    I think this is absolutely appalling not to mention childish that this debate has taken place in a public forum. It should have been handled in house!! I’d expect this from school kids who don’t know any better yet. And do NOT point fingers and tell me who “started it” because that will just further prove my point of the childishness of it all.

    IF any of these accusations from both sides are true then SURELY there is a procedure in house to deal with complaints, issues and supposed lack of fulfilling one’s job description. As someone stated, not all of those employed in city hall are elected, they are hired, there has to be HR Dept. to handle things like this. If you cannot be bothered to handle issues professionally then you certainly should not be airing it publicly like this. If every business / office handled issues this way we’d be a mess. Get it together, stop playing the blame game and do what needs to be done. Be a positive example of the politics and politicians instead of further justifying the lack of trust voters have in those who are apparently there to represent the people. This seems like a lot of time wasted that could have been spent on other issues…….OR RESOLUTIONS!

  26. LWitherspoon

    @Norewalk Lifer [sic]
    What exactly are you referring to when you say “attacking David Watts for doing the right thing”? Do you object to people pointing out that Mr. Watts owes the City more than $7,000 in unpaid property taxes? Or that he consistently prioritizes the interests of municipal employee unions over the interests of taxpayers? Or that his childish buffoonery at Council meetings, recently documented on video by NoN, would not be tolerated from schoolchildren and shouldn’t be tolerated from elected officials? Which of those, in your opinion, constitutes “doing the right thing”?

  27. LWitherspoon

    Also, minor point, but does the Mayor have the authority to assign the elected Registrar of Voters to perform a task which is not related to that office’s job description?
    @Peter Torrano
    Thank you for the explanation. I appreciate you citing a few supporting examples, but I still fail to see how your party has been harmed. Out of date information is a problem on every voter registration list nationwide. I could lodge this complaint against any ROV in the country. And as you appear to be aware, registration lists are always cleaned up by outside firms before a party uses them. As such it seems like there must be another reason for removing Ms. Doyle Lyons. Whatever the reason, are you sure that it justifies so much of your time and energy? I ask again, how exactly will a new ROV advance your party’s ideals and benefit Norwalk?

  28. Lisa Thomson

    It’s a little embarrassing to see such vitirol within the GOP. I would have thought you guys would have learned from the antics of the local Democrats last year. This sort of public behavior just turns voters off. Having said that, the plethora of primaries scheduled for the end of this summer must be viewed as a good thing. Both parties need to evolve their nomination process beyond what appears to be some sort of insider Norwalk High School popularity contest ( with no offense intended toward NHS!) As an unaffiliated, who has been registered as both a Republican and Democrat in my life, I am unfortunately excluded from the primary process is CT. But I have to believe, allowing more voters to participate in the nomination porcess, can only be a good thing. However, it’s important that those registered within their parties actually get out and vote, so that us unaffiliateds can do our job in November. It’s just unfortunate that the primaries take place in August. Not the best timing for sure.

  29. Robert J. Sodaro

    I’d like to chime in about a couple of things:
    In the ’08 election it was very much part of Karen’s job to make sure that all of the polling places were fully staffed, because it is not like Democratic voters all vote in one place and Republican voters vote in another place. She is legally obligated to staff and run elections within the City of Norwalk. To suggest otherwise is to not fully understand the nature of the job.
    Should our current Mayor only concern himself with only the Democratic citizens of Norwalk? Should our previous Mayor have only concerned himself with only the Republicans? Should any Mayor of either Party ignore the Independents, unaffiliated, non-voters, or those not registered as voters? Absolutely not! They are the Mayor of the entire City, regardless of party affiliation or who voted for them.
    As Registrars we are obligated to help all voters, regardless of party affiliation, to anything less would be a dereliction of our duties, as well as illegal.
    @Andrea Light:
    People move, people change phone numbers, people don’t provide phone numbers, people have bad handwriting, etc. Hence sometimes phone numbers are missing or wrong, if they are, and no one tells us, there is nothing we can do about it. Phone numbers are not required, and we are not allowed to alter information (any information) on a person’s voter registration card without their expressed written permission. To do so would again, be illegal.
    @Mr. Torrano
    Once again, Karen may be a Republican, and Stuart may be a Democrat, and each may be appointed by their respective parties, but once in office they categorically do not work for either party. They work for the voters, citizens, and City of Norwalk. To do strictly Party work on City time, while acting as Registrar is highly illegal.
    Also (in the interest of accuracy and full disclosure), I have actually spoken to both you and Mr. Federici, just not recently, nor about this topic. As for how I got my information, I’m a fairly bright and connected guy, I hear things, and not just from Karen.
    In regards to being told by someone that someone else has moved, there is literally nothing that we can legally (again that word), do about it, unless notified through proper channels. We have had instances of a spouse telling us that their partner no longer lives there only to learn that there are divorce issues going on, and the other spouse does in fact live there. Our system isn’t foolproof, it is, however, the best we have, and we work daily to diligently maintain it accurately.
    Finally, you would think that someone running for an elected job (or looking to get hired in any job for that matter), would learn not only what the job was about, but what they could legally do while in that elected office.

  30. One and Done

    Interesting that Torrano is basically insisting that the government do his job. Talk about anti-republican behavior. Not to mention acting like a school bully on a great grandmother. Where’s knock down Amanda Brown when you need her?

  31. Norewalk Lifer

    @Witherspoon., doing the right thing, shaking up City Hall, it’s old, it’s decaying, and it’s not worth the money I invest.

    I support someone who breaks a few rules, because the truth is, that’s how things get done.

    In my view, David Watts, and horrors of horrors!!!! he owes the city money! gimme a break, when you republicans give Virgilak the boot, call us Democrats. You have an “entitled” Norwalker from the “Old school” who gives a reporter the finger last year, and you don’t do squat about it.

    BUT, let Watts show he is in arrears on taxes, and the whole town is on fire!

    Can you people get anymore obvious????

    Norwalk Lifer

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