Former Shelton Assistant Finance Director Sharon Scanlon pleaded not guilty to larceny and forgery charges on Tuesday morning in state Superior Court in Milford.
In a court appearance that lasted about five minutes in a second-floor courtroom, attorney William Dow III entered the plea for his client while Scanlon stood beside him.
A pre-trial date of April 23 was set for continuing the case. Through her attorney, Scanlon requested a jury trial. The case is being handled by Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti.
Did not speak in court
Scanlon did not speak and left the courtroom immediately after the matter was finished. A handful of people were in the courtroom at the time, including several for different cases.
The 49-year-old Shelton resident is accused of stealing $914,000 in city money over an 11-year period. She resigned her city position in August 2012 after the city alleged she had stolen funds. She turned herself in to State Police on Jan. 23 and was charged with first-degree larceny and 56 counts of forgery, all felonies. Her bond was $100,000.
Scanlon’s case was the first one on the docket in Judge Iannotti’s courtroom for the day. She sat in the courtroom seats with another woman before walking up to stand near her attorney once her case was called.
She was wearing a light gray sweater and black pants. As she left the courtroom, Scanlon kept her arms extended in front of her, with her hands together. It appears she left the courthouse immediately after the brief hearing ended.
Canceled check found
According to the affidavit, in June 2012, two clerks in the city finance office discovered a canceled check in the amount of $7,825 on Scanlon’s desk. The clerks researched the check, finding it was made out to “Sharon Scanlon” but listed as voided, law enforcement officials said.
The two did more research regarding the alleged fraud and delivered the information to then-Finance Director Louis Marusic. He turned the information over the a city auditor, who gathered three years of incriminating information, with help of the clerks, and turned it over to Mayor Mark Lauretti.
Marusic has since retired as finance director. Lauretti has said changes have been made in the department in an effort to prevent a similar incident.
“The whole thing is very unfortunate and very disappointing,” Lauretti has said.
Funds allegedly stolen from 2001-2012
The investigation alleges that money was stolen from 2001 to July 2012, but the specific counts against Scanlon only date back to February 2008. State Police have said that Scanlon “drafted fraudulent checks from the Shelton City Hall and deposited those fraudulent checks into her personal checking account via ATM at selected locations, over a 10-year period.”
Lauretti said the city is seeking restitution by filing a lawsuit against Scanlon and placing a lien against her Crescent Drive home.
During the course of the investigation, authorities searched the city finance office as well as Scanlon’s home. She had worked as assistant finance director in Shelton for 17 years.