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:
"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."
"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."
"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."