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Tax Board Members 'Shocked' By Finance Dept. Probe

Details about the stolen public funds are still scarce.

This past Friday, Mayor Mark Lauretti notifying residents of the city's investigation of the theft of public funds within its Finance Department. Subsequently, Assistant Finance Director Sharon Scanlon resigned and Director Louis Marusic has been placed on administrative leave, though Lauretti said Maruisc "is not a suspect in this matter."

"The most recent financial audit revealed some irregularities and prompted an administrative investigation, which included a more detailed audit that found there was a distinct possibility of misappropriation of funds," Police Chief Joel Hurliman said.

Lauretti has reported the amount taken to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and The CT Post says a source close to the investigation estimates the amount to be $218,000 and that the number is likely to go "much higher."

City officials have remained tight-lipped regarding the investigation, but a few members of the Board of Apportionment & Taxation did weigh in. Here's what they had to say:

Jimmy Tickey:

"The recent allegations are disturbing and if true - are very sad. The public puts trust in government officials and when that trust is broken, it sends a shock-wave through a community. More-so, it stunts any productive dialogue about issues that would move a community forward. Investigations like these poison public dialogue, take a great deal of time and cost tax-payer money, but they must be done. This situation calls for a comprehensive investigation. As far as I know, no charges have been filed and I have total faith in our criminal and justice system. Shelton is a strong community, and no doubt will have brighter days in the future."

Mark Holden:

"I don’t know what the deal is, frankly, and I was shocked to hear Sharon [Scanlon] was involved in something like this. If people pay their taxes directly to the bank, that money gets moved around by wire--it’s not like the deparment goes and picks up a bunch of cash. There isn’t a whole lot of petty cash at any one time in city hall."

Judson Crawford:

"I have a lot of respect for Mr. Marusic and I was very, very glad that Mayor Lauretti came out and said it, and it’s in black and white, that Mr. Marusic was not the cause of the problem."

 

William Gates August 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM
More investigations in Lauretti's administration. When is Shelton going to wake up? Him and his administration do nothing for the town, only for themselves.
Susan August 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Chris Ziko August 28, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Give me a break! How can you say such a stupid thing when Shelton has grown tremendously under his administration. Lauretti has easily been re-elected as Mayor. Obviously Shelton voters are happy with his leadership!
Sheltonite68 August 28, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Bill, Maybe you could pack up and move to Monroe where you'll be paying 50% more taxes and feel real good about the politics. I'm sure all neighboring towns have a squeaky clean government. Lauretti catches a lot of crap because of the people around him. Yeah, a lot of things could be done to make the city nicer like paved roads and development but that doesn't increase our way of life.
06484 August 28, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Mr. Gates - It is "He" and his administration, not Him and Shelton is a CITY, not a town. Since you clearly have no concept of how far this "City" has come over the many years of Mayor Lauretti's administrations, perhaps you should pack up and move to another municipality with higher taxes, crime and people who... well let's say... think like you. That's seems like a New Haven or Bridgeport. Good luck.
Michele Bialek August 28, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I find it very interesting that the people commenting are either waaay on the left or vice-versa and the issue at hand is getting buried under all the spitting. The fact of the matter is that we are experiencing a myriad of fraudulent behavior in our city from the people with whom we trust our money and community. I for one am truly disheartened an ask for the elected officials in Shelton to band together in the efforts to root out the few who are giving our superlative community a bad name. The best way to get rid of a pest is to clean the whole house. It is then that you can see where the pest got in and how to prevent it from causing any further damage.
Richard August 28, 2012 at 07:09 PM
The tax Board is "Shocked." I am shocked that they are shocked. Yes, we have a low Mill Rate, but it won't stay low for long when they find out just how much is missing. The "Good ole boy network" strikes again. It is time for them all to go......................
06484 August 28, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Michele - who is burying the issue? Scanlon (if guilty) should be forced to repay what she stole and go to prison. Many cities have had these problems and what is needed is better checks and balances/dual control. If you were an innocent, honest employee within an organization and one person became a fly in the ointment, would it be fair to you if they "cleaned house" and got rid of you? I'm not sure if your last sentence makes much sence. The "pest" got in by being hired with a perception of honesty and assumibly proper credentials. But, over time, she discovered a gap in the checks and balances. She took her chances and got caught just like everyone else always does. Fix the gap, but don't punish everyone else unless they were truly an incompetent.
06484 August 28, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Richard - I do agree that there is certainly something missing when it comes to the accounting and accountability in various municipalities. Tax collectors, now accounts payable. "Good ole boy network" ... not sure if that accurately describes it, but it is certainly a bit lax when it comes to accountability. It is just time for some belt tightening in that regard.
Richard August 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM
06484 - I voted for the Mayor 10 times and will do it again depending on who is running. Having lived here my entire life I can say that there is an unelected group. They buy influence and have the money to get any of the boards in Shelton.to pass any regulation they want, and build whatever and where they want. This goes on in every town at some level. In Shelton it is becoming an art form. Botti was found guilty of structuring, and Wilson was found guilty of accepting bribes. Where there is a bribe there is a briber. Who did the bribing? When one works in a corrupt environment I am not surprised that there was embezzlement. I don't excuse it, but I understand it. It is time to clean house. The budget this year included a rise in our mill rate. I have a feeling it's about to go higher.
Michele Bialek August 29, 2012 at 02:09 PM
My last sentence refers to the apparent repetition that we have seen in recent years regarding corruption. It is simply my opinion that the citizens of our city work together with a transparent local government in order to weed out said corruption and start fresh. I did not mean to imply that "everyone must go", but it is painfully obvious that the way things are being done is not in the best interest of our community.

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