Court Docs: At Least $348,416 Stolen From Shelton Taxpayers
by Ethan Fry | Sep 12, 2012 11:42 am
Posted to: Shelton, Shelton Investigation
The City of Shelton says former finance director Sharon Scanlon took “at least” $348,416 in public money in part by depositing city checks into her personal accounts without authority.
The information comes from 25 pages of documents a city lawyer filed last week at Superior Court in Milford.
The documents say the city is about to commence a lawsuit against Scanlon and asks a judge to attach her Crescent Drive home to the case to secure the $348,416 she allegedly took.
A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Sept. 24 at Superior Court in Milford.
A message was left on the answering machine at Scanlon’s house Wednesday.
News of the alleged thefts broke last month, when Mayor Mark Lauretti announced state police had opened an investigation and that Scanlon had resigned Aug. 23.
State police were at City Hall the next week, and removed bags of evidence and a computer from the finance office.
The documents filed last week — which are embedded at the end of this story — offer a few details into how the alleged improprieties came to light.
The documents include an unsigned, three-page lawsuit, as well as sworn affidavits by Lauretti and one of the city’s auditors, David Cappelletti, of Woodbridge-based accounting firm Levitsky and Berney.
According to the documents, on July 25, Lauretti’s office “was advised that there were discrepancies and irregularities involving, but not limited to, city checks being deposited into the personal account of Defendant, Scanlon, without authority.”
The next day, the documents say, Lauretti directed that an investigation be conducted by the city’s auditors.
The auditors “met with other employees and consultants of the City of Shelton to discuss irregularities.” The auditors also reviewed the city’s books.
They eventually “determined that there was sufficient documentation or lack thereof” to indicate Scanlon “had taken for her own benefit Shelton monies.”
Lauretti said Wednesday that the city’s internal investigation is still going on, and the dollar amount — $348,616 — could change.
“I expect it to go higher,” he said.
If so, he said, the city will amend the court papers to ask for more money.
The date, July 25, cited by the city as when the alleged discrepancies were discovered, coincides with an account given by the city’s finance director, Louis Marusic, to the Connecticut Post last month.
Marusic, who Lauretti put on administrative leave the week he announced the irregularities had been discovered, is not a suspect in the theft. He hasn’t returned calls for comment.
In an interview with the Valley Indy last week, Lauretti disputed Marusic’s account, but would not go into details.
Asked again Wednesday to elaborate, the mayor declined.
“I’m not going to get involved in that at this point. That’s really immaterial to the big issue here,” Lauretti said. “We just need to stay focused on what’s important to the taxpayers and in the interests of justice.”
The lawyer who filed the documents, Ramon Sous, is the city’s assistant corporation counsel. He is on vacation this week. So is Tom Welch, the city’s corporation counsel. Messages were left at their offices Wednesday.
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