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2013 Top 12 Countdown: DSS releases damning NEON audit

Chiquita Stephenson (2011 file photo)

NORWALK, Conn. – Today we bring you the fourth story in our Top 12 countdown – the 12 stories that drew the most page views on this site in in 2013.

Each day, through New Year’s Day, we are rehashing one of our most popular stories, along with any updates, with a link to the original story. We are presenting them in reverse order; we began Saturday, Dec. 21, the 12th most popular, and will work our way to No. 1 on New Year’s Day.

Throughout the holiday season, as official action slows to a crawl, we also will be taking a look back at what we feel were the biggest Norwalk government, school and social service stories of the year, and we’ll take a look ahead at what 2014 may bring.

Our ninth-most-read story of 2013 was posted Oct. 22. NancyOnNorwalk was given a draft copy of a state Department of Social Services audit that pointed out that Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now’s interim CEO and president, Chiquita Stephenson, had been given raises in the past year that hiked her pay from $60,000 to $135,000 a year, a raise of 125 percent. The audit pointed out that the raises were given – and accepted – at a time when NEON’s finances were in disarray. The audit detailed a litany of problems and presaged the suspension of NEON’s Head Start contract and Stephenson’s eventual removal.

To read the full story and see the draft audit, click here.

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