Attorney: Westport middle school principal did not slap man in parking dispute
WATERBURY — The attorney for the Westport middle school teacher accused of slapping a man during a parking dispute says his client never struck the 71-year-old.
Kris Szabo, 49, appeared Wednesday in state Superior Court in Waterbury with her attorney, John McDonald, of Kernan, Scully & McDonald, after being charged with second-degree breach of peace on Nov. 27.
The charge stems from an incident in a Southbury parking lot where Szabo was allegedly seen striking a man several times after he verbally confronted her for parking in a “no-parking” area, according to a state police report.
However, McDonald said a witness filed the complaint with police, and he told Judge Frank Iannotti the victim claims he was never slapped.
Iannotti continued the case to Monday when the charge could be dismissed. Iannotti told McDonald to return with a sworn affidavit from the man about Szabo not slapping him.
The next hearing is also expected to clear up confusion that occurred Wednesday when Szabo’s courtroom was switched and the prosecutor there was not familiar with the case.
McDonald later declined to go into further detail about what transpired between his client and the victim.
Szabo, principal of Coleytown Middle School, is free on $500 bond.
The Southbury resident was placed on leave last week, one day after her arrest was publicized in the media. She has been an educator for more than 25 years and was hired as principal of Coleytown in 2004.
While criminal background checks are part of the hiring process, teachers and school administrators in Connecticut are not required to report an arrest to their supervisors once they are on the job. According to a report by the state’s Office of Legislative Research, only 11 states require some form of teacher arrest notification — Arizona, California, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia.
Includes reporting by H John Voorhees III; email@example.com