City officials said Monday they can’t obtain information from the Department of Motor Vehicles regarding questionable car tax waivers issued by former Ansonia Tax Collector Bridget Bostic.
Bostic resigned in August, after a Valley Indy story in July reported she had given car tax waivers to her mother, a city volunteer, and two city employees.
The waiver — or stamp — said the recipients had paid their motor vehicle taxes and allowed them to register their vehicles with the DMV.
However, the people who received them had not paid their taxes, according to a publicly available delinquent tax list from the city.
The practice raised questions of favoritism within the tax office.
A state prosecutor is reviewing the information and the city is enacting a number of reforms to its tax office.
At a Board of Aldermen finance committee meeting Monday, interim Ansonia tax collector Stan Gorzelany said DMV officials told him they do not have records of who received the tax release documents from Bostic.
The city has been trying to figure out how many waivers Bostic gave out. She didn’t track the number in her office in City Hall.
Ansonia auditor Robert Jaskilka sent a letter July 26 to DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey asking for a printout of residents who were allowed to register their vehicles using a waiver provided by the Ansonia tax office. The letter is printed below.
Currey wrote back Aug. 6 and said the DMV has no such list.
“ . . .we do not have a means in which to provide information on which residents were allowed to register their vehicles by a waiver provided by the Ansonia Tax Collection Office,” Currey said. “We do not have this information flagged within our registration database in order to provide you with any print outs,” she said.
Alderman John Marini pointed out local media were able to obtain the information.
“It seems there must be some documentation out there,” Marini said.
Based on the DMV commissioner’s answer, several public officials incorrectly assumed Monday that the Valley Indy had some type of inside source for the information in the July story, either in the state DMV or City Hall.
Click the link below to listen to audio from the meeting:
The Valley Indy, using Freedom of Information requests, was able to get the DMV to track the tax waiver information for the people named in the July article, including Bostic’s mother.
Tracking down the information was a time-consuming process for the DMV.
The Valley Indy had to provide specific names, along with some identifying information, such as the person’s address.
The “source” of the information was cited in the July article. The publication had no inside source, an anonymous source, nor had it received a tip off as to the problems in the city’s tax office.
Prior to obtaining the information from the DMV, the Valley Indy had received, under a Freedom of Information request, a list of delinquent taxpayers from Ansonia City Hall and a list of city employees. The Valley Indy compiled a list of volunteers and appointed officials from the city’s website.
The process took approximately six months.
The Valley Indy sent an e-mail to the DMV’s public affairs office Tuesday asking why Ansonia’s government can’t seem to get some of the information already provided to the Valley Indy by the DMV.