NORWALK -- A homeless woman from Bridgeport who enrolled her 6-year-old son at a Norwalk elementary school has become the first in the city to be charged with stealing more than $15,000 for the cost of her child's education.Sounds like somebody at the housing authority was mad "somebody" was sleeping on someone's couch. Hell, it's a wonder they're not trying to get back-rent. Surely they can get blood from a tunip so that in itself shouldn't be a problem, right? If only everyone working for the city saw it that way.
Tonya McDowell, 33, whose last known address was 66 Priscilla St., Bridgeport, was charged Thursday with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny for allegedly stealing $15,686 from Norwalk schools. She was released after posting a $25,000 bond.
McDowell's babysitter, Ana Rebecca Marques, was also evicted from her Roodner Court public housing apartment for providing documents to enroll the child at Brookside Elementary School.
The police investigation into the residency began in January after Norwalk Housing Authority attorney Donna Lattarulo filed a complaint alleging McDowell registered her son at Brookside, but actually lived in an apartment on Priscilla Street in Bridgeport.
As part of the evidence presented in the complaint, police received an affidavit of residency signed by McDowell and dated last September attesting that she lived in the Roodner Court public housing complex on Ely Ave.
When she was interviewed by police in the case, McDowell admitted to living in Bridgeport at the time she registered her son in Norwalk schools.
She said she knew a man who owned a home on Priscilla Street and he allowed her to sleep at the home at night, but she had to leave the home during the day until he returned from work.
She also acknowledged that she stays from time to time at the Norwalk Emergency Shelter when she has nowhere else to stay.
McDowell also admitted that Marques was her son's babysitter from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. after the boy got out of school.
After the Norwalk Housing Authority became aware that Marques helped McDowell by providing documents needed to get McDowell's son into Brookside, Marques was evicted from her apartment in January.[...]
[...] McDowell's arrest marks the first time Norwalk Board of Education Vice Chairman Glenn Iannaccone has heard of someone facing criminal charges for sending their child to Norwalk schools.And here's the part that really pissed me off: the fucking Mayor. Yep, here's the part where some ashole says or suggests that she should have known better blah blah blah, so what if you're poor blah blah blah, fuck poor people blah blah blah, get off Welfare and stop looking for a handout blah blah blah blah blah.
"This is the first time I have heard something like this where there has been an arrest. Other allegations like this have been handled by the central office. I'm not sure if the police have been involved," Iannaccone said.
There is always speculation that students are attending Norwalk schools from outside the district, Iannaccone said, and the school system hires private investigators to look into the allegations.
"Maybe this is the district's way of cracking down on this," he said.
A call for comment to schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Marks was not immediately returned.
Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Jack Chiaramonte expressed surprise at McDowell's arrest and the investigation that led to it.
"I don't get that at all," Chiaramonte said. "Usually when they find a kid out of district, they send him back. I have never heard of people being arrested for it, but I am not sure of the law. For my understanding, whenever we find someone from another district we send them back." [...]
Mayor Richard Moccia said that he was aware that an investigation was proceeding in the case and that an arrest was possible.Look, I don't know the circumstances that lead to this woman being homeless. And though it doesn't matter, I won't be surprised if someone brings it up pretty much like the mayor did. You know how it goes; nobody "privileged" misses an opportunity to blame the victim. Yep, forget about assisting her with housing. What's important is her repaying the $15,000 in the form of an education for her 6-year-old child she stole from the city. Because hey, it's important to teach lessons to the poor and indigent (read this).
"This now sends a message to other parents that may have been living in other towns and registering their kids with phony addresses," he said.
While Moccia said it was sad the case involves a woman who appears to be homeless, he pointed out that if she had been living at the Norwalk shelter and registered her child there she would not be facing charges now.
Luckily for her she has somewhere to sleep at night. I'd hate to think they'd issue her a ticket for jaywalking or loitering since they're that in need of revenue. But I could be wrong; and I'm hoping one of you would prove me as such. According to few, I was wrong to defend Kelley Williams-Bolar who was arrested in Akron, Ohio, a few months ago. You remember her? The Black lady who lived in the projects who spent time in jail for sending her kids to a better and safer school district than the one they should have been registered in?
(READ ABOUT SINGLE MOTHERS AND HOMELESSNESS HERE)