Investigators from the state police and an auditor were in the City of Shelton’s finance office Friday.
Five state police detectives emerged from the finance office about 12:30 p.m. One was carrying a computer with “evidence” tape on it. Another had bags of documents.
No one offered comment.
Mayor Mark Lauretti announced Aug. 24 that state police were called to investigate the alleged theft of “hundreds” of thousands of dollars from the city.
He told the Huntington Herald Friday the number could exceed $300,000.
Reached by phone Friday and asked if he had any reaction to the evidence seizure, Lauretti said: “What’s there to react about? It’s what they do. That’s what they’re there for.”
He said state police have not interviewed him as part of their investigation.
Lauretti also said a new hire in the finance department will be brought in Tuesday. “That person’s just going to be doing some bank reconciliations for now and some basic functions in the finance department.”
Another person may be hired toward the end of next week to “start to oversee some of the operation,” the mayor said.
Asked if those people would be able to do their jobs without the evidence taken from the building by state police, Lauretti, who wasn’t at City Hall at the time, said he wouldn’t know until he got back.
Lauretti accepted assistant finance director Sharon Scanlon’s resignation letter Aug. 23 “as it relates to this matter,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.
Scanlon hasn’t returned repeated calls for comment. Her resignation letter — released by Lauretti’s office after a Freedom of Information request from the Valley Indy — appears at the end of this story.
The Valley Indy also filed FOI requests for records of any investigations into alleged misconduct by Scanlon or Finance Director Louis Marusic, who is on administrative leave but is not a suspect in the theft of the city’s money.
On Friday Lauretti, via an e-mail from his executive secretary, said he “cannot release the information requested because of the current criminal investigation.”
Marusic hasn’t returned repeated calls for comment, but he took credit for uncovering the missing funds in an interview granted to the Connecticut Post.
Lauretti disputed parts of Marusic’s account, but didn’t go into detail. The mayor had previously credited city auditors for uncovering the problem.
Lauretti told the Valley Indy Aug. 27 the city plans to file a lawsuit against Scanlon. A lien on her Shelton house is also a possibility, Lauretti said.
In Oxford, where former tax collector Karen Guillet stole money, it took about two years and many visits to Oxford Town Hall to bring criminal charges against her.