VIDEO: Norwalk mayor punished for parking in handicap spot

Duncan has his day in court.
Cary Ashby
May 20, 2014


"I shouldn't have parked there, sir."

That's what Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan told retired Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge during Monday's brief hearing.

Duncan entered a “no contest” plea to parking in a handicap space and Ridge found him guilty of the misdemeanor charge.

A “no contest” plea means the defendant denies guilt, but admits to the facts on which the charge is based. The plea cannot be used as an admission of guilt in subsequent civil lawsuits.

Duncan has 60 days from Monday to pay a $250 fine and court costs.

Immediately after Monday's hearing, the mayor went to the clerk's office. After a few minutes, he exited and told the Reflector he had to retrieve his proof of insurance. Clerks closed the doors less than 10 minutes later -- at the close of the business day, but allowed Duncan inside; the mayor had the requested document in his hand.

One of the clerks was asked if Duncan had paid his fine shortly after the hearing.

"Not today," she said.

The Reflector asked Duncan what he wanted to tell the Norwalk community.

"Sorry. I shouldn't have parked there," he said.

The mayor then was asked what, if any, lessons did he learn.

"I won't talk about those here," said Duncan, who originally declined to comment when the Reflector broke the story May 6.

The handicap parking violation happened about 9:45 p.m. April 29.

As Norwalk Police Capt. Eric Hipp arrived for his shift, he said he noticed a red 2003 Ford Explorer parked in the "easternmost handicap space in front of the police station." Hipp also noted the truck didn't display a handicap placard or license plates and the space "was clearly marked with a pavement marking and a sign."

After Duncan, 50, of 19 S. Garden St., entered the vehicle and started it, Hipp knocked on the driver's window and asked the mayor for his license and proof of insurance. The officer then notified Duncan, who didn't have his proof of financial responsibility with him, of the parking violation.

"Mr. Duncan acknowledged the violation and indicated the reason he parked there was because of the storm and heavy rain we were experiencing when he arrived. I advised him I was aware he had been warned about one month ago about parking in the handicap space. He said he has not done so since that time and only did it tonight due to the storm," Hipp wrote in his report.


JMOP's picture

Okay. He said he was sorry, and he learned his lesson. What else is there to talk about regarding this situation?


Nothing this whole thing is a joke

CrankyBalls's picture

I must admit it makes me chuckle reading that he was asked, "what if any lessons did he learn"? Well Mr. Ashby, what kind of response were you expecting by talking to him like he's a child? Did he just say he was sorry, or was he super duper sorry?

swiss family

what kind of drugs do you take???

CrankyBalls's picture

So original


Go around to parking lots - people do this ALL the time - slap his hand - press on to bigger issues....


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

William Jeffers...

I think public officials (to be good public officials) need to hold THEMSELVES to a higher standard.

J Cooper

He was found guilty, max fine and proved insurance what higher standard do you want? End of the story.


Seriously, it was 9:45 at night, it was storming and he was only there a few minutes. Give the guy a break already.


I have a very close friend who was paralyzed (from the chest down) in an accident when she was 17 yrs old. She put herself through school and is a 911 dispatcher for another county and works at times 10p to 6a. I don't think she would give this guy a break.

Fibber Mcgee

Agreed he's been thru the ringer enough. Pay the fine, don't be a jerk and you won't have bad press.


Cary Ashby, The tabloid hack who brought you the "Gay Pool Story" just by taking their phone call, now brings you "Bad Mayor" just by reading the police blotter. Good work Nancy Drew!!!




+ 1


So let me get this's late at night and it's storming out.
Has anybody wondered WHY the mayor is at the police station? Does anyone think he's getting overtime pay for late night duty? Or hazardous duty for being out on a stormy night? Of course not.

He's doing the duty of a small town mayor, trying to make government work for the rest of us who don't want to be out at that time under those conditions. Were there handicapped-labeled vehicles prevented from parking there? Pretty unlikely.

So why not call this what it is? "Petty minded cop nails mayor for absurd technical violation; Newspaper manufactures cheap headlines; Good citizens given more reasons to avoid public service."

Thanks Reflector.

VTX Rider

I have to respectfully disagree with you Blue Streak. The law applies to everyone at all times and is not conditional based on the weather, time of day, position in the community, race, color or creed. He received a previous warning and was ticketed for the second offense. Any other citizen should be treated in the same manner.






Despite what you may think about his policies and agenda as a mayor - Mr. Duncan is a good man. No need to beat this dead horse anymore.


this is not about Cary Ashby writing this story its about captain Hipp making tough by ticketing him in the first place,parking on a rainy night to take care of a last minute issue,Mayor Duncan doesn't deserve to be treated this way,I'm sure the last mayor or mayor Frey wouldn't have a ticket


It's about the only thing Hipp has done in 25 years. Look at his activity record...not a real barnstorming. Must of had a grievance denied. Or something to try to cause Light problems. Either way, very strange behavior from a police officer who isn't known for doing much. Maybe Howard promised him a job in his administration.

VTX Rider

Let's say, for the sake of good conversation, that there was a need for someone to be at the Police Station around 9:45 p.m. on this evening of the storm. And let's also say this person was handicapped. A veteran possibly. This person would not have been able to park in the designated handicapped parking space. They then notice the vehicle doesn't have the proper tags and it is learned later on that the space was taken by the Mayor. It was also discovered that an officer of the law was aware of this violation and just looked the other way. Is this OK? I mean the law is the law and applies to everyone (most of the time :)) Just for the sake of conversation of course.


As a person with a handicapped child I would think he would know the importance of leaving those spaces open for those on need. I understand it was late and the likelihood of it being used was nil but it is the law.


So if it is late and raining/storming can ANYONE park in the handicapped spots. Does this allow everyone to park in them anywhere or just certain areas of town?


its really not about protecting handicap parking,but its easy to make it look like it is

swiss family

as a man of Ethics and Honor I think you will not find a man better than our Mayor.. to the person who reminded us that he was up there after hours during a storm, while the rest of us were safe and cozy, safely in our own homes during a storm, thank you for that reminder, where I do have a problem though is the fact that he had been been caught one time beforehand, and was given a warning????first off, why was he parked that time in a handicapped spot??? why was he given the break of getting a warning, and would the average citizen have been given a warning for the same offense?? I think we all know the answer to that.. but I will say that if and when I ever get a traffic violation in Norwalk, I will demand my warning as well...We all make mistakes, we just don't all get off with warnings...again it is who you are or who you know...

Kottage Kat

Who gave him the warning??
Swiss, The worm has turned.
Nice to see you like the Mayor.

swiss family

wow Kat you really need some help..... I have always liked the Mayor and I have always likes the past Mayor as well... I was opposed to the fact that you made the past Mayor seem to be doing nothing to land jobs but build parks which in your opinion were a waste of time.... and you idolized the prospects of the new Mayor as being the guy who would stop the flowing tide of the jobs leaving town, and would in fact be bringing in a multitude of new and substantially good jobs, the kind with health care and benefit to retire from, and raise families on, which, as we have all seen, have not appeared, and with the bad state of affairs with the country and the world market will not appear, which I tried to tell you when you had your pom poms in your hands rooting so loudly for the new Mayor who in your blind faith was going to save the city..when anyone with even one working brain cell knew better.. I do think it is odd that all of thge issues that you had with the past Mayor, like the wittlesey ave parking space which has really not been resolved, but you are strangely quiet about since the past Mayor is gone???? do you think that makes it very obvious that you were never upset about those issues at all, and just wanted to torment one particular person??? do you think that makes your maturity level hover around that of a third grader????ok second grader????so, if you see that the "worm has turned" it is probably in the bottom of your tequila bottle, so I suggest that you chug it on down, and open a new bottle,and go back into whatsoever cave you have been hiding in for the past few is obvious that you are a back stabbing B!tch.. I thought that we had our differences all worked out, you obviously , have issues...

CrankyBalls's picture

ranting lunatic !