Commentary: Many questions remain in aftermath of Sharon Scanlon scandal
Can we put the Sharon Scanlon theft behind us? Not yet. At the sentencing for Shelton’s former assistant finance director, both the defense lawyer and the prosecutor raised some very hard questions that need to be answered.
How did the almost-monthly stealing of thousands of dollars go on for almost 10 years?
The defense attorney, William Dow III, suggests that the auditors have some culpability in the entire affair. Dow even suggests that the city of Shelton should go after the auditors for failure to find the problem.
Remember, these are the same auditors the city has hired for another five years.
Did the auditor point out in its recommendations to the city that changes needed to be made in the way the municipal Finance Department was being run?
Based on what I have read about the presentation of the most recent audit report to the Board of Aldermen’s Finance Committee, the answer is no.
Why wasn't it found earlier?
We citizens have a right to an answer to the question, Why wasn’t it found earlier? Why didn’t the auditors find the problem with reconciliation of the checkbook and voided checks actually being cashed?
We have been told that procedures are now in place to prevent this from re-occurring. No one has explained what those procedures are.
There should be no mystery as to what has been done. Share this information with the public so that we can have confidence that it won’t happen again.
Aldermen must get answers
The auditing firm did not answer Alderman John P. Papa’s question when he asked about details and how the theft can be prevented in the future.
The Board of Aldermen must push this issue. They are our elected officials and they have a fiduciary responsibility to get to the bottom of the issue and share their findings with the taxpayers.
Do we have Sheltongate?
The mayor has indicated the city will not take any action against the current or former auditing firms. The citizens have a right to know why neither firm identified the problem of canceled checks being cashed.
Why does the mayor not want this investigated? Perhaps it goes deeper than we think. Perhaps Shelton has its own Bridgegate (New Jersey). Do we have Sheltongate?
Also, thanking firefighters
On a very different note, I want to express my thanks to the men and women who volunteer in our fire department.
We are indeed fortunate to have men and women who, at risk of their own lives, will go into a burning building and search for, and rescue, those who are in danger.
This thank you is not only for the fire company stationed downtown but to all of them — Huntington, Pine Rock Park and White Hills as well as Echo Hose downtown.
This winter has been especially bad for the number of fires and rescues.
The 2014-15 budget is being prepared. Let’s make sure the needs of our emergency management services are fully met.
These men and women need the best equipment to protect us and protect them when they respond to any emergency.
David Gioiello is chairman of the Shelton Democratic Town Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013 and 2007.