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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Mother who stole son's education gets 12 years in prison

    NORWALK, CT (AP) - Tanya McDowell, the Bridgeport mother accused of fraudulently enrolling her son in a Norwalk school and stealing more than $15,000 in educational services from the district, has pleaded guilty.

    McDowell was sentenced to 12 years in prison, suspended after five, and must pay back up to $6,200 to the city of Norwalk for stealing her son's education.

    McDowell's 12 year sentence also includes four counts of drug possession and sale charges, which she pleaded guilty to on Wednesday.

    McDowell was homeless when she was charged with felony larceny last year. Authorities allege she enrolled her son in kindergarten in Norwalk using a babysitter's address when he should have attended Bridgeport schools, where her last permanent address was.

    Darnel Crosland, McDowell's attorney said McDowell's son still thinks his mother stole the Norwalk school.

    "That's the sad part. He's with his grandmother and she's doing the best to raise him," Crosland said. "I think you should measure her not by the fact that she was arrested for selling drugs but what has she done for her child."

    McDowell's case drew national attention and support from civil rights leaders and other advocates, who wanted the charge dismissed.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1296406.html
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    APRIL 2011

    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.

    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 attorney, Supervisory Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Reid, said she could not comment because she has not yet reviewed the arrest with McDowell.

    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.

    "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.

    "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.

    While he would not divulge whether more cases like this are now being readied for criminal prosecution, Moccia said, as budgets get tighter, efforts to identify out-of-district students will intensify.

    "I think there is a more concerted effort to identify and question and if necessary go to the final link to arrest," Moccia said. "But nobody wants to arrest mothers and fathers."

    Norwalk defense attorney Michael Corsello, who several years ago represented a woman charged with first-degree larceny for sending her children to Weston schools while living at the Hi-Ho Motel in Fairfield, said he wondered why authorities chose to make McDowell the example.

    "There are some people where you could effect restitution through the criminal justice system. If the woman is homeless then restitution probably is not possible," said Corsello, who is also employed by Norwalk schools as an expulsion hearing officer.

    "I am surprised that this is the case they chose to make an example of," Corsello said. "Obviously, doing this will have a deterring effect on others doing the same thing, but you would think they could get similar evidence on someone with more ability to pay restitution."
    1340009.php#ixzz1ntR2ewpa
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    parents have been doing this for decades to get their kids into sports programs and I have not heard of anything more than the schools being declared ineligible to compete

    but try to get your kid an education when you're homeless and they throw the book at you

    they should be happy that they have a parent who cares, and not think about separating that family

    ridiculous

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Hill View Post
    parents have been doing this for decades to get their kids into sports programs and I have not heard of anything more than the schools being declared ineligible to compete

    but try to get your kid an education when you're homeless and they throw the book at you

    they should be happy that they have a parent who cares, and not think about separating that family

    ridiculous
    I honestly want to know what happened to her son... If the State of CT is involved it's costing taxpayers more than $15,000 a year...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

 

 

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