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.”