NORWALK, Conn. – The investigation into the possible misappropriation of money from the Norwalk town clerk’s office could potentially amount to thousands of dollars, according to officials.
The exact amount has not yet been determined, said a source with knowledge of the investigation who requested anonymity. The problems may go back several years and involve multiple accounts.
“It could be a substantial amount of money,” the source said.
An employee in the town clerk’s office, whose identity has not been publicly revealed while the investigation is under way, was placed on administrative leave with pay in late January while city and police officials conduct the probe, the city has confirmed.
The investigation began late last year but only recently came under public scrutiny after The Hour newspaper first reported the investigation this month.
Since then, many media outlets have reported on the case, but city officials have been close-lipped about the details because the probe involves personnel matters.
Mayor Richard Moccia declined Tuesday to comment on the specifics of the investigation but said he wanted to clear up one misconception.
“The way some articles portrayed this situation gave the impression that Town Clerk Rick McQuaid was somehow involved, or was the subject of the investigation,” Moccia said. “That is not true. He uncovered certain issues, which he brought to light.”
McQuaid, who has spoken to the press but avoided specifics, issued his first full statement on the matter Tuesday.
“A year into my tenure as town clerk, changes were being implemented in the office,” he wrote in the statement. “These changes brought to light some discrepancies in revenue. I noted certain abnormalities that suggested that at certain times revenue was not being reported as required; my investigation indicated that the revenue reporting issue had been occurring prior to my election.”
McQuaid continued, “Taking that matter very seriously, I advised the Norwalk Police Department and Norwalk city officials of my concerns and an investigation was promptly commenced and is ongoing. Because this is an ongoing investigation, I am not at liberty to provide any further details, except to note that the current active employees of the town clerk’s office have been fully cooperative and remain committed to diligent and honest service to our community.”