NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Police have arrested a Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department employee and charged him with 32 counts of Forgery in the Second Degree.
William Howard, 70, of 29 Bonnybrook Road, was a seasonal employee with the City who had no access to City accounts or funds, a press release said. The alleged forgeries concern “submitted vendor bids.” His arrest stems from an investigation requested by the Recreation and Parks Department.
“The bids in question date back to at least 2007,” the release said. “They were discovered in late 2020 following changes in personnel and reporting structure within the Recreation and Parks Department. As soon as City staff noticed discrepancies in documents and receipts, they immediately contacted the Norwalk Police Department for investigation. Due to statute of limitations, investigators were able to proceed with charges for incidents that occurred within the last five years.”
Former Recreation and Parks Department Director Mike Mocciae retired in 2017. Nick Roberts was hired in April 2019 to be Director of Recreation and Parks, a subtle title shift that reflects a big change in City government: the position was revamped under the reorganization of City administration positions, commonly called the “reorg.” Roberts serves under the Chief of Operations and Public Works, himself a recent hire.
“These allegations represent a severe breach of the public’s trust and are in no way indicative of the overall workforce of the City of Norwalk. Professionalized restructuring of City Hall helped bring these alleged actions to light. I applaud the efforts of our staff in Recreation and Parks for taking immediate action and contacting the Norwalk Police Department as soon as they noticed something wasn’t right,” Mayor Harry Rilling said in the release.
Howard turned himself in Thursday, the release said. He was processed and released on a court set bond of $100,000 with an arraignment date of April 23.
Attempts to reach Howard were unsuccessful.