A new public corruption task force to investigate corrupt public officials, the misuse of public funds, and related criminal activity in Connecticut has been established by federal officials, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Deirdre Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut, said it's the first time in Connecticut that several federal agencies have been brought together in a single corruption investigative unit.

“Connecticut’s unfortunate recent history with corruption is well known, but so is this office’s history of combating corrupt activity,” Daly said.


Several investigations ongoing


Daly said the task force will focus not only on rooting out corrupt elected officials, but also federal, state and municipal employees who use their position for personal gain.

She said the task force has been at work for several months and has several investigations ongoing, including the recent arrest of the former finance director of the town of Plymouth, who is alleged to have embezzled more than $800,000 from the town.

The Plymouth case appears to have many similarities to the Sharon Scanlon case in Shelton, in which Shelton’s former assistant finance director was caught stealing close to $1 million in city funds. The Scanlon case was handled by state prosecutors.

Click below for details on the Plymouth/Scanlon similarities:

http://sheltonherald.com/58019/sharon-scanlon-redux-former-ct-town-finance-director-charged-with-embezzling-800k


Many agencies involved


The Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force includes representatives from the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, and the Inspector General’s offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Public servants are entrusted by all of us to act in the best interests of the public they serve,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Patricia M. Ferrick. “It is important for the United States to bring to justice those who betray that trust.

“Public corruption at all levels of local, state, and federal government must not be tolerated,” Ferrick continued, “and this task force will leverage the best assets of the task force partner agencies to address the threat posed by corrupt public officials.”


Don’t look the other way


Daly said the anti-corruption efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut has been helped by the media and by tips from public servants and citizens.

“Our efforts have been aided by a dogged media and courageous, conscientious citizens, business owners and public officials who have provided information about corrupt activity in their midst,” she said. “We call on public servants, the vast majority of whom are honest brokers, to not look the other way when they see indications of corruption.”

Citizens and others are encouraged to report corrupt activity to the task force by calling 800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324).