A Failure of Oversight Responsibility
What would have happened if at any City Council meeting in January, February, March, or April of 2021, Council member McGee had asked for a full accounting of Cares Act Covid Relief spending? If DeMassa thought for a minute that he would have to issue a full monthly accounting report to the City Council, would he have engaged in the alleged theft in May that he has been arrested for?
City Council member McGee was there during a City Council meeting in July, when a citizen requested that the Council, “...enact an ordinance that Covid monies be segregated and that there is full transparency on what these monies are spent on.” At that moment McGee could have asked for detailed reporting to the City Council, but chose instead to ignore the opportunity to insist on transparency.
She looked the other way for far too long, failing to insist upon basic reporting and procedures that could have prevented the financial scandal that has rocked West Haven.
Now McGee is running to be our State Representative, despite failing in her oversight responsibility as a City Council member. State Representatives are also responsible for oversight. Would she fail us again in Hartford by looking the other way and not asking for accountability just because someone is an insider?
Hear what your neighbors said to West Haven City Council ... WTHN.com
This neglect has harmed our city. As a result of this lack of oversight on the part of the City Council and Rossi administration, the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB) is withholding funding from West Haven, not to mention the $636,000 that has gone missing.
"No wonder former state Rep. Michael DiMassa thought he would get away with, as federal law enforcement authorities allege, looting $636,000 of the city’s federal COVID-19 assistance. West Haven’s reputation for financial integrity disappeared long ago. What a mess."
"Some West Haven residents thought something was not right with the use of the COVID-19 funds and alerted public officials. One resident filed a broad request for information under the Freedom of Information Act. City officials were slow to comply with it. Resisting a request for public records is a reliable indicator of a government intent on keeping secrets from the public."
"The failure of every safeguard on public funds for seven months must be raising as many questions with the public as with federal authorities, who will continue to use their power to find answers."
"West Haven officials have been slow to respond to the imperatives of creating an efficient, modern local government."
How is it possible no one in West Haven watched? Hartford Courant