Updated, 7:26 a.m.: Copy edits
NORWALK, Conn. – A few Norwalk political notes for you:
- Rilling: Norwalk will recoup most of payment to scammers
- Statement on Wall Street Place will be mid-December earliest
- Citibank’s bill is growing
Rilling comments on $900K payment to scammers
Mayor Harry Rilling declined to comment Monday when asked by NancyOnNorwalk about the proposed settlement with The Hanover Group, sued by Norwalk when it refused to cover the loss from a $894,464.83 payment to a fraudulent third party.
On Wednesday, Rilling wrote to NoN, “We anticipate recovering most of the money lost. The theft is still being actively investigated by Federal, State and local authorities so we are limited in what we can divulge. Once we realized what had occurred, we took immediate protective measures that prevented a second attempt to divert the funds.”
The Common Council approved the proposed settlement Tuesday; Rilling and Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola say a statement will be released once the settlement is final.
‘Explanatory’ POKO statement still forthcoming
Rilling and Coppola disagreed slightly Tuesday about when the “explanatory statement” promised by Rilling would be coming out.
Coppola said late December; Rilling said maybe mid-month.
Rilling on Nov. 6 said that within a week the City would be releasing an “entire explanatory” statement about Wall Street Place, “from where we started, where we are and how we got there.”
Rilling and Coppola said Tuesday that the statement might be released after a Dec. 13 mediation with Citibank.
“It depends on how things go,” Rilling said.
Norwalk in June declared Citibank to be in default of its agreement because it has missed its deadlines to complete Wall Street Place. Citibank asked for a 180-day extension but the City on Oct. 2 refused the request. The parties were advancing through a mediation process, Norwalk Communications Manager Joshua Morgan said in mid-October.
Ireland: Citibank fines are accruing
Citibank is working to address its blight issues but the $100 a day fines are still being levied, Norwalk Chief Building Official Bill Ireland said Wednesday.
Norwalk on Sept. 18 cited Citibank for blight because of mold, rot and other issues in the stalled development, long-wrapped in Tyvek.
The Tyvek is no longer blowing in the wind, Ireland said Wednesday.
Citibank has not requested a hearing, and “we won’t stop the fines,” which started in October, Ireland said.
“Right now I am concentrating on the blight safety issues on the outside of the building, walls and doors, but then there there’s the issue of the building itself,” Ireland said. “We are looking to get that all sided and finished.”
Norwalk in an Aug. 6 letter to Citibank demanded a plan to complete the construction of the windows and the façade before inclement weather starts.