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Pension Committee Won't Bring Criminal Investigation Against Walker

After a 45-minute executive session with town officials on Tuesday, New Canaan's Pension Committee reportedly decided not to launch a criminal investigation into the undue pension payments former First Selectman Jeb Walker received.

 

Since the money's been paid back and the town's pension fund is "whole" again, New Canaan's Pension Committee has reportedly decided against launching a criminal investigation into the undue pension payments former First Selectman Jeb Walker received.

According to a report in the New Canaan News, the committee, which includes current First Selectman Robert Mallozzi, met behind closed doors for 45 minutes Tuesday for an executive session with other town officials including town CFO Dawn Norton, Board of Finance member Mary Cody, Tony Ryan of the fire department, and John Milligan of the police department.

Walker along with former Director of Finance Gary Conrad reportedly pushed through a modification to the pension plan that decreased the number of years required for a town official to be completely vested from five to four. The change, which passed through the Town Council and Board of Finance, allowed Walker to receive substantially more money under his pension plan as a fully vested retiree.

An October report from Garrett A. Denniston, a lawyer from an outside law firm the town hired to examine various New Canaan pension decisions, concluded "it is possible that the conduct constitutes a criminal violation such as larceny or theft.” Town attorney Ira Bloom later concluded that as per the town charter it would be the Pension Committee's decision whether to bring charges.

Following Tuesday's executive session, Cody explained that because Walker had made full restitution of the $4,300 in overpayments, and because "the pension fund itself is whole ... it hasn't lost anything," the Pension Committee deemed that no further action was necessary, according to the report.

For more check out the New Canaan News report.

S Tadik December 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Dictionary. Com says volunteer, a noun , means: 1. A person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking. 2. A person who performs a service willingly and without pay. If the First Selectman is paid $100,000+ per year, plus a pension, it seems he is not a volunteer. Actually, Mr. Walker is fortunate he didn’t lose his entire pension because of an accusation of malfeasance or larceny from a public institution, a felony. The hundreds of true volunteers helping the citizens of New Canaan have little to fear if the authorities investigate those who, already paid, improperly seek more compensation. Thanks to the true and unselfish volunteers who help this town and needy people elsewhere without seeking personal gain
rough1 December 12, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I agree this is a sandbag job; what the local Republican Party should do now is crank up the 'replacement machine'. The current members- ex-MAN OF the YEAR Williams- should resign. How is it that the Pension Committee can meet in executive session when it's our money that's being discussed? Where's the transparency, Rob?
Observer December 12, 2012 at 02:20 PM
New Canaan needs an elected sheriff who is responsible to the people and not to politics. The Town Council should draft and pass an ordinance for NC stating that a sheriff is to be elected every two years and is automatically one of the three members of the police commission and he/she would be the sitting conduit for these types of investigations. CT is the ONLY state in the nation that has removed all elected sheriff's offices.
angelo gesualdi December 12, 2012 at 04:57 PM
ANGELO WELL THAT'S A GREAT DECISION!(?) I GUESS THAT'S REALLY SHOWING THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR THE TOWN, AND ANYONE ELECTED OR WHO VOLUNTEERS CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT! . THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE PENSION SHOULD HAVE KNOWN IT'S WRONG, IF NOT, THEN SOMETHING IS DEFINITELY WRONG. THANK GOD FOR MR. WILLIAMS WHO BROUGHT IT TO THE PEOPLE'S ATTENTION. WHY DID THE COUNSEL WANTE TO PUSH IT THRU?? (and) WHY DO WE SEEK THE ADVICE OF A LAWYER WHEN WE DON'T TAKE IT?
Old Timer December 12, 2012 at 08:20 PM
One thing about the people who post on the Patch...they are frequently wrong, but never in doubt. The facts have been so poorly reported that it is hard for anyone to know the full story. But let's say that it is a criminal conspiracry between the former First Selectman and former Town CFO. That would mean that they would have had to get all of the Board of Finance into the scheme because they voted unanimously in favor of the motion. And that means that the current First Selectman was in on it as well because he is the chairman of the Board of Finance...and didn't he make the motion? And of course the majority of the Town Council was in on it as well. Or maybe, just maybe it was a timing issue or possibly an administrative error. But, of course, that wouldn't be as much fun to blog about.
Elmcrest December 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Forget conspiracy. How about just knowing right from wrong? Mr. Walker knew he was not entitled to the larger pension, but took it anyway, for months, until he got caught. Then those six members of the Town Council (Campbell, DeWaele, Karl, Murphy, O'Dea, and Young) voted to change the rule retroactively for Mr. Walker's benefit (a vote that is null and void, by the way). The only one who seems to be using his moral compass is Roger Williams. I think, as a town, we can and should do better.
Old Timer December 12, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Why are you blaming the Town Council, but not the Board of Finance and Pension Committee? They agree with the majority of the Town Council.
Elmcrest December 13, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I'm not "blaming" anyone. Mr. Walker simply took money he wasn't entitled to, and then, when it was caught in audit, he paid it back... eventually. So no blame there. As for the BOF and its Pension Subcommittee, I'll simply note that, as appointed officials, they tend not to rock the boat of those who appointed them. Read the minutes and you can see the tortured logic that brought them to their vote, which then moved it on to the Town Council. And I'm definitely not "blaming" the Town Council! I'm just disappointed that those 5 (oops, Mr. Campbell switched, 6) simply agreed with the time-machine fantasy and didn't exercise the good judgment we entrusted them to use.That July meeting is nothing but embarrassing. But many Town Council members did look at it objectively, including Republican Roger Williams, and I applaud him and the others who voted "no" on this thing. So now we're being told there's not going to be a criminal investigation. Doesn't mean our government did the right thing here, at any step of the way. "No criminal investigation" is a very low bar for us to tout as a passing grade.
Hope December 13, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Jeb is history. All the roads will need paving come Spring. Maybe best to forget about the happy trails "do over" at Waveny and just focus on the roads please.
Judge Crater December 14, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Old Timer, your logic is difficult for This Court to follow. You are correct in that many facts are unknown but most of your conjectures relate to town government activities in support of justifying the illegitimate pension payments and those have nothing to do with the alleged criminality of the original payment scheme. It is undeniable fact that payments were made without justification and the matter under investigation examined whether the two parties to the payments knew or should have known that they were illegitimate. The return of the money may be interpreted as supporting evidence of the acceptance by the previous FS of the illegitimacy of the pension payments; otherwise, why return the money? Your assertion that the previous FS and CFO would have needed to get the BOF, current FS and the majority of TC involved is only relevant with respect to the attempts at post-event legalization of the original illegitimate scheme. With respect to the first sentence of your opening statement, This Court accepts your post as an example of the validity of that sentence. Free speech is sometimes messy. Patch continues to provide illumination of the intentional and unintentional dark voids of NC town government.
mary parker December 25, 2012 at 05:32 AM
After reading this decision that the First Selectman and the other's made on not criminally charging Walker when Walker deliberately took advantage of his position and tried to gain a pension raise illegaly, why? Because Walker paid it back? What about when I was fired by Walker and others after 10 devoted years with the town for accidently writting down one hour on my time sheet, and corrected it and was not over paid. All of them knew I was suffering from 4th stage LYME, which affects memory loss, brain function, brain damage, among 20 other serious functions through the body. Yet I never got a chance to deffened myself and was accussed of larceny and fired. My 2 bosses were told to shut up and not deffened me by Walker or they would chance losing their jobs. Where was my fair hearing? Walker fired me for personal reasons and made me look like a criminal when I am not one. Why did the inocent get punished and the guilty get away with it?

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