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Norwalk town clerk has mixed feelings about staffer’s firing

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Norwalk Police say they are still investigating the matter of missing money at Norwalk’s town clerk office, but city officials say they are comfortable with firing Assistant City Clerk Debbie Troy.

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk employee who is a suspect in the disappearance of thousands of dollars from the town clerk’s office was fired this week, city officials confirm, leaving her boss with mixed emotions.

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid said Friday he feels bad, but at least he can go back to enjoying his job.

Assistant Town Clerk Debbie Troy had been on leave since January, McQuaid said. She has been under investigation since McQuaid discovered a financial discrepancy not long after taking office in 2011. No arrest is pending, Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said, but Troy was terminated Wednesday.

Kulhawik said the investigation is ongoing. “There is no arrest at this time as the states attorney in consultation with our investigators does not feel probable cause exists at this time, but that may change as we move forward,” he said in an email.

Troy made $73,658.91 in 2012, documents show. She has been collecting a salary while on leave.

Asked how the city could fire an employee when police do not feel there is enough evidence for an arrest, Mayor Richard Moccia referred the question to Corporation Counsel Robert Maslan.

“Terminating an employee is not dependent upon the existence of criminal charges,” Maslan said in an email. “Your other questions are the subject of a pending investigation, and we have no further comment at this time.”

Norwalk Assistants and Supervisors Association (NASA) President Al Palumbo did not return an email asking for Troy’s side in the matter.

McQuaid said he couldn’t say much.

“We all know that it’s one side of the story, but the proper way for things to be taken care of are going through the proper channels,” he said. “There’s a system set forth by courts, grievance hearings and arbitration that will make the decision. We have to abide by all those laws. If she decides she wants to tell everybody everything, that’s her decision.”

He wouldn’t put a dollar figure on the missing funds Friday, but said in March that it was “thousands.”

“It’s an ongoing investigation still; it may be for a while,” he said. “Everyone will see soon that somewhere along the line it wasn’t running right and now it is. We’re going to move forward.”

Investigators found that the financial discrepancies “goes back a little bit of time,” he said.

Former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel did not return a request for comment.

The clerk’s office was busy Friday, but workers looked solemn. McQuaid said everyone was feeling bad.

But he also felt relief.

“Now I can do just town clerk’s work,” he said. “It’s been months. This is many, many hours, beyond the town clerk’s hours, that I have spent. Now that it’s been a while, I’m going to enjoy (being town clerk) even more now. I just love the job.”

Comments

4 responses to “Norwalk town clerk has mixed feelings about staffer’s firing”

  1. Zach Troy

    This is just a perfect example of how corrupt this whole situation is. The article says numerous times that its an on going investigation, yet Rick is bragging about how he can relax and get back to work as if its all settled. I think it’s a little rediculous how somebody who swore Debbie’s innocence during the whole thing has the audacity to go and run his mouth about his employee when there is no substantial evidence. Seems to me like someone is trying to boost his chance for re election. I am disgusted by it and I can tell you he and Moccia will not be receiving my vote not because I am a family member of the accused but because I have seen in 3 articles the mayor and the town clerk contradict themselves don’t believe me read back through any article on this matter and see how the so called “facts” have changed

  2. Just a thought

    It seems this McQuaid character has only one real concern… And that is his job. He makes several references as to how he can now go back to enjoying it. It’s somewhat ironic that for all the “investigating” that has been going on (or spending more of the tax payers money) there is no criminal charges of any kind to boast about. Seems like a witch hunt or pure CYA Mr. Mayor and Mister Town Clerk. If I were a betting man I would put my money on who has the most to loose in the Clerks Office… And I’m sure that its not the person they have hung out to dry!!!!

  3. Been There Done That

    I am educated, have been involved in politics and government, and have life experience. Reading the local news, and witnessing this tragic event and knowing some of the government people and the employees…I have a suggestion for Ms. Troy and her loved ones: Please BE QUIET. Why? Point One: If Ms. Troy is innocent, she will have her opportunity BOTH for arbitration and in court–if that is necessary. IF she is innocent and then it gets proven, she will be able to file a substantial lawsuit that will allow her to retire comfortably. That is FACT. Talking to newspapers and having your family post internet comments–as satisfying as it might feel right at the moment–will NOT help her case or employment appeal–that is FACT. Ms. Troy and her family should REMAIN QUIET and let the process play out and take their day in appeal and/or court. I PROMISE you that is a better way to go. Getting angry at newspaper articles will not help Ms. Troy–no matter how good it makes you feel to react that way. POINT Two: If she is guilty, this talking and media and blog comments will NOT help her defense case–but it MIGHT HURT her defense case–because you are all making comments willingly and openly without knowing the GOVERNMENT PROCESS and the LAW! Be QUIET!!!!!! Hard as it is, it is better to wait for the proverbial day in court–particularly if you are innocent. City governments do not fire people willy-nilly–they are not perfect, but they are careful generally about terminating union employees.

  4. Just another voice

    Kudos to been there did that…

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