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As Scanlon's Theft Case Closes, More Questions Arise

With former Asst. Treasurer Sharon Scanlon poised to be jailed for three to seven years for stealing more about $1 million from the city, members of Shelton's Board of Aldermen still wonder how it went unnoticed for 10 years.

The board put David Cappelletti of Levitsky and Berney, auditor of the last five years, on the hotseat Tuesday night.

"Why wasn't it caught years before?" asked Alderman John "Jack" Finn.

Cappelletti cited internal control issues in Shelton, adding that when the theft was discovered, steps were taken to halt any further losses. The city is being repaid by insurance and Scanlon, who resigned before her arrest in January 2013.

Prosecutors say Scanlon, who had 17 years on the job, "drafted fraudulent checks from the Shelton City Hall and deposited those fraudulent checks into her personal checking account via ATM at selected locations, over a 10-year period."

Under a plea deal, she will receive three to seven years in prison, with a right to argue for the lowest sentence.

Her attorney, William Dow, has talked about possible legal action against the auditors who did not catch the theft right away, leading Finn to ask on Tuesday for a forensic audit in case of a lawsuit.

The auditor replied that forensic audits are expensive and have specific targets. A general forensic audit could cost the city millions.

He added that anti-theft measures were implemented within three days of the discovery of the theft.

A voided check left out Scanlon's desk sparked the suspicion of another employee, leading to a forensic investigation by the State Police.

Board President John Papa then asked for more details of the investigation and how to prevent this in the future.

"We have sparse information," he said, especially regarding exactly how much was stolen.

Cappelletti repeated that steps were taken to stop further theft and recommended that city institute better internal controls.

Cappelletti's firm recently signed a five-year contract with the city.

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