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Staunch Local Vaccine Supporter Sorry For Swearing

Published: March 23, 2019 at 07:00 am

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HARTFORD — A Sandy Hook resident and state registered lobbyist told The Newtown Bee he has apologized to a Woodstock woman and her 10-year-old son for directing a profanity-laced comment toward the pair around 12:15 pm on March 13 while dining in the State Capitol cafeteria.

A report from the Capitol Police states Stacey W. Zimmerman, 46, of Sandy Hook, “was on the borderline of a breach of peace” charge and was issued a verbal warning after Leean Ducat, 58, complained about the incident.

The report indicated Ducat approached Officer Jeffrey Vaccaro after she and her son sat down at a table in the cafeteria that was also occupied by Zimmerman. Zimmerman reportedly stated the woman should “keep her (expletive) unvaccinated kid away” from him, and she became upset and called police.

Zimmerman stated that he apologized for using profanity but not for the rest of his statement. After speaking to Ducat, the officer advised her about the verbal warning and told her she could issue a complaint to his employer.

On the date of the incident, state lawmakers were discussing a religious exemption that permits individuals from being vaccinated. Zimmerman is employed as Associate Director at Service Employees International Union Connecticut State Council, according to a current LinkedIn profile.

The Connecticut Mirror reported that lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter, took aim at the state’s religious exemption to vaccines, calling for a vote to repeal the provision and claiming that only a small but vocal group has argued to let it stand during a press conference.

Ritter cited concerns for school-aged children who cannot receive vaccinations because of immunodeficiencies and pointed to other states, like California, Mississippi, and West Virginia, that have eliminated the exemption.

Contacted following the incident, Zimmerman was resolute, saying “I’ve apologized for using a profanity in proximity to her child, but the point remains; the science is very clear: vaccines are safe and effective.”

Zimmerman added, “Herd immunity is a great victory for public health and should be celebrated. Don’t put your community at risk. Get yourself and your family vaccinated.”

As legislators discussed their position March 13, dozens of protesters gathered outside Ritter’s State Capitol office. They waved signs reading “Connecticut — the medical tyranny state” and “My Body. My Faith. My Choice.” — and criticized lawmakers for shutting the public out of their press conference.

Zimmerman is the husband of former Newtown Legislative Council member and former state Lieutenant Governor candidate Eva Bermudez Zimmerman.

Connecticut Mirror content was used in this report.

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