Mayor Mark Lauretti didn\u2019t directly say whether he thought four-and-a-half years behind bars is appropriate for Sharon Scanlon, but he said the sentencing in court on Jan. 30 brings an end to part of the ordeal. \u201cIt closes a chapter in this unfortunate situation,\u201d Lauretti said late Thursday, in reaction to Scanlon\u2019s sentencing earlier in the day. He\u2019s uncertain if the specific amount of time Scanlon spends in prison is that important. \u201dI\u2019m not sure it matters,\u201d Lauretti said. \u201cShe\u2019s ruined her life. Being incarcerated for that amount of time will have a huge effect of her psychologically and otherwise.\u201d As has been the case in the past when discussing Scanlon\u2019s legal case, he described the situation as \u201csad. We had a lot of trust and faith in her.\u201d Scanlon, the city\u2019s former assistant finance director, was accused on stealing $914,000 from the city. She accepted a plea agreement involving two felony counts for forgery and larceny. She was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, followed by five years on probation. Scanlon spent her first night in prison on Thursday night. As part of her sentence, she also will have to pay some restitution to the city. No one from city spoke in court Lauretti decided not to speak in court or send another representative to speak on behalf of the city. As the victim, state judicial officials had contacted Lauretti to present the opportunity for someone to speak on behalf of the city of Shelton before Scanlon was sentenced. During the proceeding in Milford state Superior Court on Thursday, State\u2019s Attorney Kevin Lawlor asked if anyone was present from the city to address the court. Then Lawlor turned around and looked into the public gallery to see if anyone was there on the city\u2019s behalf. No one responded. \u201cThere\u2019s nothing to gain,\u201d Lauretti said of why he or someone else didn\u2019t speak for the city at the court proceeding. \u201cWhat damage is done, is done,\u201d he said. Why wasn\u2019t she caught sooner? During the sentencing process, both Lawlor and Scanlon\u2019s attorney, William Dow III, said they were surprised Scanlon was able to get away with stealing money for as long as she did. The money is believed to have been stolen over a 10-year period. Lawlor said he doesn\u2019t understand how it went on for such an extended period without being detected. \u201cThat she was allowed to steal this much money makes me scratch my head,\u201d Lawlor said. Dow said the thefts \u2014 usually taking place once a month, with Scanlon writing a check for herself and then voiding the check on the city ledger \u2014 should have been caught during the city\u2019s annual audit. Lauretti offered an explanation. \u201cThe internal controls broke down because she controlled the process,\u201d he said. \u201cThere is a structure in place for checks and balances.\u201d Now, Lauretti said, the city is making sure that process is being done correctly. \u201cWe enforce it,\u201d he said. Dow: City should sue auditor Dow said the city would appear to have a strong case if it sued the auditor for failing to discover the ongoing theft. He said such a civil lawsuit for damages would be \u201cviable\u201d and \u201csimple.\u201d Lauretti, in reaction, said it appears those speaking in court on the matter don\u2019t understand how municipal government audits work in Connecticut. \u201cIt\u2019s not standard practice around the state to do line-item audits,\u201d he said. Lauretti said the city isn\u2019t suing an auditor to try to recover money, and that two different CPA firms actually handled the annual audit over the course of Scanlon\u2019s criminal activity. One of those auditing firms still does the annual audit for the city, for which Lauretti has been criticized by some political opponents.