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Norwalk Town Clerk McQuaid talks of ‘past’ problems as he seeks re-election

NORWALK, Conn. – The scandal in the Norwalk Town Clerk’s office made a prominent appearance in Republican Town Clerk Rick McQuaid’s acceptance speech of his nomination for re-election Monday night at the Republican convention.

After thanking his family for their sacrifice and hinting that another child might be on the way, McQuaid began to thank his “amazing staff.”

“These are the folks who come to work every day, regardless of what they might have read in the paper the day before, regardless of what they may have heard in the lobby of City Hall,” he said.

In November 2012, McQuaid discovered accounting discrepancies that he said added up to “thousands” of dollars missing. Although Norwalk Police have not made an arrest in the case, former Assistant Town Clerk Debbie Troy was fired by the city recently, after being put on leave in January. She has filed a grievance in an attempt to get her job back,

“We know that I have had to make a very tough decision not too long ago,” McQuaid said. “As difficult as it was to uncover and investigate some past problems in Norwalk, I knew that the citizens and taxpayers expected no less of me, and that’s why they elected me. I knew my duty was to show our citizens and taxpayers that this is their government, and that the people serving them to it with the utmost of honesty.”

Comments

16 responses to “Norwalk Town Clerk McQuaid talks of ‘past’ problems as he seeks re-election”

  1. EveT

    It’s understandable that details of the investigation may have had to remain confidential for a time to avoid tipping off the guilty, but OTOH the voters of Norwalk deserve to know how much money has been stolen, starting when, and what the fiscal controls are that should have sounded alarms when money was first missing. I don’t want to say “coverup,” but are we going to get solid information before the September mayoral primary?

  2. rburnett

    Well Said Eve: We have waited since last October when this first came to light. Is the Mayor holding this back in case Garfunkle is the Dem Candidate?

    Kudos to Mr. McQuaid. He is a true gentlemen and has done is job quite well. It must have been very dificult to bring this issue forward but he showed he had the courage to make the right decisions.

  3. Suzanne

    “I knew my duty was to show our citizens and taxpayers that this is their government, and that the people serving them to it with the utmost of honesty.” If only. This man might be the only person in Norwalk Town government that gets it. All of the dilly-dallying and jockeying to be “right” or “powerful” is just not the point. Pity the Mayor does not see it this way. Pity the City Council that fights. Pity the Commissions that can’t see their way to BE OF SERVICE. Nope. One lone voice is what we get – I am glad we have anyone at all who sees their mission in the proper perspective. Thank you, Mr. McQuaid.

  4. Tom

    Moccia isn’t worried about Garfunkle, Garfunkle has no chance in the dem primary

  5. NorwalkDinosaur

    We need to clone Rick McQuaids. He is a fair, honest, caring and hardworking City Employee who deserves to be re-elected. It’s a shame that he doesn’t challenge Moccia for the Mayoral nomination. He’s a candidate both parties could get behind.

  6. Tim T

    Tom
    You seem to be a bit lost as when it comes to the primary. Andy has the best chance of winning. The actual taxpayers of Norwalk will have nothing to do with Vinny and they will not forget the nightmare Rilling was as chief with scandal after scandal at the NPD and the out of control unsolved crimes.

  7. NorwalkDinosaur

    @TimT, I love your fervor, but quit drinking the Cool Aid. Garfunkel is washed up. He is disorganized (as seen in his fundraising numbers and Town Clerk’s Office oversight) and without understanding of (any) the issues. I love your passion for the guy though.

  8. Tim T

    NorwalkDinosaur
    Maybe you are not aware but it was Andy who purchased the software that uncovered the issue at the town clerks office. The software however for some strange reason was not installed until Andy left office. So in actuality it was Andy’s forward thinking that is responsible for this issue being uncovered.
    Also as far as fund raising numbers I guess Andy doesn’t have friends that want to give large amounts in what will be for favors down the road.

    So NorwalkDinosaur
    I would suggest you take your own advise and quit drinking the Cool Aid.

  9. EastNorwalkChick

    I agree with Tim T., is was Andy who was forward thinking enough to purchase the new software, along with putting in place many of the updated procedural changes and streamlining in the City Clerk’s office that Mr. McQuaid is benefiting from now. I have yet to hear or see any changes that Mr. McQuaid has made to the office in his tenure.

  10. M Allen

    Psst – It’s Kool-Aid. Believe me, none of these people are drinking “Cool” aid.

  11. NorwalkVoter

    @TimT You are overlooking the fact that with or without the “software”, Andy was not managing his department. His knowledge of the workings of the Clerk’s office were very limited and he obviously did not have a handle on what his staff was up to. He was too busy being social. He could never do the job of his deputies. Only they knew their jobs and this leads to potential undetected problems.

  12. NorwalkDinosaur

    @M Allen, thank you for the correction. You are right on both counts!

  13. Joanne Romano

    Perhaps getting the facts correct would help in this. The system you are talking about was in fact upgraded by the company who upgrades all the towns and cities they do business with in the state. Rick is actually the only Town Clerk who knows how to use this system that helped him find the discrepancies. Apparently some would just like to place the blame on the current town clerk because they are afraid to ask the questions and get the facts as they are. This ultimately would have gone un-noticed for a very long time or perhaps not found at all had Rick not learned the proper procedures to running the system to allow the office to run more efficiently and save money!

  14. NorwalkDinosaur

    It is irrelevant who brought the system into the office. If you are the man/woman in charge, you are responsible for your subordinates. Mr. Garfunkel failed miserably, as presumably, thousands of dollars walked out the door. A manager making $75K plus per year should not require a computer program to keep their employees from embezelling funds from the public doll. This was not the IRS, this was 5-6 people he was overseeing!!’

  15. Norwalk Lifer

    I seem to recall that no arrest was made in this. So what is the real story here? Aren’t all innocent until proven guilty?

    While it might be nice and easy to convict via pixels, I would remind, we have a system of law here, a rule of law, not of man. I applaud Mr. McQuaid in his transparency, but its one thing to cite a problem, it’s another to cite a problem and a solution, so software, once again, is the ultimate hero here, and the distinction for the individual is that he is knowledgeable on how to use it.

    Interesting.

    Best Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  16. Mr. Ludlow

    Software doesn’t stop crime. It took someone with some leadership chops to sit down and review the data. Then it took someone with some chutzpah to start the investigation that was needed. Norwalk’s lucky that the Town Clerk is a leader with chutzpah. And from what I read about his speech, the man’s got a big heart too.
    Why isn’t he the mayor?

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