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State Rep. candidate explains misdemeanor convictions

Luis Estrella, right, receives applause Tuesday after being endorsed as the Republican candidate for District 137 State Representative during a brief meeting at John Romano’s house off East Rocks Road.

The 2022 Election is Nov. 8.

NORWALK, Conn. – Luis Estrella is defending his record after becoming the Republican candidate for District 137 State Representative.

Estrella has two convictions listed on the State judicial website. He pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle under a suspended license in 2016, and to failure to appear in 2013, according to the State.

Estrella, 33, confirmed that those are his convictions.

“The two ‘incidents’ that pop up are actually 1 ‘incident,’” he said in an email, explaining that a severe injury was part of the cause.

At the “ripe age of 23” he was working for a swimming pool company and was ticketed for running a no turn on red,” he said. “I told my manager and he said just give him the money since it was obviously my fault, and I did just that.”

Within days he hurt his back at work “and was essentially wheelchair bound and required back surgery,” he said. “Turns out my managers at the time did not pay said ticket like we had agreed on, either forgetfulness or spite, I’m not sure.”

Since he wasn’t aware the ticket hadn’t been paid and was preoccupied with the prospect of possibly never walking again, he “wasn’t as attentive” as he normally is, he said.

“After nonpayment I received a court date but since I was doing in-patient physical therapy, I was not receiving mail, so I missed the court date and thus the failure to appear,” he said. “Fast forward 3 years, I get pulled over for speeding and was made aware of my suspended license. Which I absolutely made right as soon as possible.”

The failure to appear stems from a Dec. 19, 2012, incident and Estrella’s conviction was on May 23, 2013.

The operating under a suspended license arrest was on April 8, 2016, and the verdict was delivered on July 26, 2016.

“I do believe I did the crime and paid the time. This should not follow me for the rest of my life,” Estrella said.

NancyOnNorwalk was made aware of the conviction Wednesday by a reader who left a comment. “Norwalk also deserves a new State Representative who follows the Laws of Connecticut and doesn’t act as if he {or} she is above those very Laws,” the anonymous commenter said.

On Thursday, another commenter mentioned Estrella’s legal history as shown online.

Estrella volunteered information about another incident that’s not on the State’s website.

An Oct. 10. 2008 article in The Hour states that Estrella and another man were arrested after an early morning fight in the Webster Street lot. They were both charged with second-degree breach of peace and third-degree assault, and Estrella was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon.

“I was 21 years old, first time in an actual night club and as were leaving there were some guys picking fights with everyone that walked by,” Estrella explained in a Wednesday email. “I specifically said, and the news article reflects this, ‘I don’t want any problems I just want to go home’ and he sucker punched me in the face. I did not get charged for the fight but for a collectors knife I had in my pocket and DID NOT use in the fight.”

The Norwalk Democratic Town Committee endorsed former Common Council member Kadeem Roberts as their candidate for the 137th seat. Roberts also has an arrest in his background, though there’s no record of it on the State judicial website. The December 2020 charges of assault in the third degree, disorderly conduct, and interfering with a 911 call were dropped in September.

Council member Nora Niedzielski-Eichner (D-At Large) also sought the DTC endorsement and has the right to challenge Robert’s endorsement by collecting enough signatures to force a primary. She hasn’t replied to an email asking about her intentions.

Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells hasn’t replied to a Wednesday email asking if any candidates have come in seeking petitions to force a primary.

Republican Registrar Brian Smith said no Republicans have come in to get petitions.

14 comments

David Muccigrosso May 27, 2022 at 7:25 am

Meh. Doesn’t sound as crazy as the other one.

This dude’s still cannon fodder, though.

David May 27, 2022 at 7:54 am

None of his explanations make any sense. Moving violations are issued to people, not companies. If he gets a ticket, he’s responsible for paying it. Even a 23 year old would know that.

And then he didn’t get his mail because he was in “in-patient physical therapy”? What is that? He was in the hospital or convalescent home for months?

And then he’s carrying a “collector’s knife” to a nightclub?

Give me a break.

Lindsay May 27, 2022 at 11:08 am

Mr. Estrella was involved in two non-violent motor vehicle offenses. He pled guilty and paid his dues. Here comes the interesting part.

Mr. Roberts was involved in a violent charge against a female partner. Charges were dropped. I will not speculate on those reasons why.

I will say that domestic violence, particularly violence against women, sees many of its cases either dismissed for lack of evidence or dropped due to various legal defense strategies. Case in point?

Formulate your own conclusion on what may have happened here.

John O'Neill May 27, 2022 at 11:14 am

I think the voters of the 137th district should pay close attention to their electric bills beginning in July. Those they blindly continue to vote in will feign shock at the Utility companies and their outrageous profits. The real truth is Democrat legislators are setting policies that will cripple rate payers. Doesn’t anyone find it amusing that Dems can dig up minor “dirt” on candidates but they can’t seem to come clean on the basics, such as the truth behind unsustainable electric bills?
IF I’m Estrella I would make posters of Electric Bills before election day. Maybe I’d take picture of Heating Oil bills. Maybe a shot of Gas Prices on Route 7…Maybe I’d even ask Dems why many of them in Hartford supported removing Police Officers from schools just one year ago? Maybe Estrella should ask Dems why Health Insurance is unaffordable for Middle Class taxpayers of 137th? Maybe I’d ask why school discipline is out of control and no one in Democrat Circles seems to want to confront the issue.

Maybe Estrella has a chance to actually win this thing

matthew merluzzi May 27, 2022 at 12:15 pm

I’m not sure either of these constitute “crimes” in the traditional sense of the word.

Disappointed May 27, 2022 at 1:34 pm

When will the republicans actually vet the people they throw up for office. Since all this took place in his early 20’s it is ok ? Do certain things follow you all your life, yes they do when you put yourself in a position to ask for someone’s trusted vote. Drop out of the race and save further embarrassment.

Luis Estrella May 27, 2022 at 3:13 pm

I am thankful that I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve learned from my mistakes. I believe I have paid my debt to the Judicial system and am currently involved in paying back my community for the mistakes I made in the past.

@Disappointed- I like your energy.

Legendary May 27, 2022 at 9:23 pm

Do people really get their license suspended over one unpaid ticket? I thought it took substantially more than that..

DryAsABone May 28, 2022 at 8:54 am

Lame excuses for minor bad behavior. I do not like the explanations but the offenses are pretty minor and only matter in a political campaign.
Look at Dan Malloy and his family and their “mistakes”. Voters looked the other way because of his party affiliation and his willingness to make deals.
How did that work out for Corrupticut? And Maine?

Becky May 28, 2022 at 11:44 am

Isn’t this the second candidate they have put forth with a rap sheet? Who is vetting these people?

Legend May 28, 2022 at 3:10 pm

@Becky- yes the guy they are running against Duff is another of questionable integrity..

As for vetting, good question?
Whoever vetted should not be asked to vet anyone ever again

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