Kelly, Formica Question State Oversight of West Haven

April 5, 2022

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) today wrote to the state’s Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB), a board tasked with overseeing West Haven’s troubled finances over the last five years.

Sen. Kelly and Sen. Formica are questioning how the MARB was unaware or unable to address the city’s inadequate controls and systemic issues that allowed for the alleged theft and misuse of COVID-19 relief funds, including the misspending of at least $892,887, according to an outside audit conducted by CohnReznick LLP, and the alleged theft of over $600,000 by a former Democratic state representative and city employee.

“The actions that allegedly occurred in West Haven are disturbing. But even more unsettling is the fact that West Haven was under the financial guidance and oversight of the MARB when the alleged abuse of funding occurred,” Kelly and Formica wrote to Office of Policy and Management Secretary Jeffrey Beckham and State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, who serve as chair and co-chair of the MARB (attached).

MARB was created to oversee and assist municipalities struggling with financial distress and mismanagement. The MARB is comprised of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, who is the chair, the State Treasurer, who is the co-chair, five members appointed by the Governor and four members appointed by State Legislative leaders.

Sen. Kelly and Sen. Formica are seeking further information from the MARB regarding what issues they have previously identified within the City, when those issues were known, and whether corrective action was taken.

Click here to read their letter.