Dear Colchester Residents,

Upon the conclusion of an internal inquiry, it was determined that the town clerk had been utilizing the Historical Documents Preservation Fund to pay for hotel rooms and lodging, which is in clear violation of state statute. She had in her possession emails and documents specifically outlining what the Historical Preservation Fund was to be used for, including documentation from the Historical Preservation Grant Program administered by the Connecticut State Library that specifically outlines hospitality as an ineligible expense.

The Finance Department also identified that the Town Clerk utilized Absentee Ballot Processing Grant money to purchase a mini fridge for her office, which is not a permissible expense item under this grant.

The final identified concern was that the Town Clerk used the Town’s Tax-Exempt Status for a Hotel Room she purchased with her own money. She had no authorization to use the Town’s Tax-Exempt status for personal purchases and no authority to sign the form on behalf of the Town of Colchester as only the Finance Department may sign off on that form. These actions put the town at risk with the Department of Revenue Service.

Each Selectman reviewed all this information before the September 6th Meeting. Three of the Board of Selectmen (Rosemary Coyle, Denise Turner, and Debbie Bates) supported a motion to delay sending these abuses to the attorney general for review until after the town clerk’s reelection this November.

This unethical motion was an obvious attempt to sweep these abuses under the rug.

We cannot turn a blind eye to the behaviors of others, regardless of personal relationship or political affiliation. The attorney general’s office has received a formal complaint to investigate the town clerk and all investigatory information has been made available.

Sincerely,

Andreas Bisbikos

Colchester First Selectman