West Haven residents seek answers in first city council meeting since former State Rep. DiMassa resigned

New Haven

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — West Haven City Council wasted no time talking about the investigation into former State. Rep. Michael DiMassa Monday night in their first meeting since he was arrested.

West Haven residents asked the council and the mayor how something like this could allegedly happen as the investigation continues.

“We overlook it and act like it’s no big deal. $639,000 and they’re still investigating. That’s a problem,” one meeting attendee said.

“My thing is, if the first check that was deposited was in February, what happened to March, April, May, June? There has to be some oversight,” another person said.

Residents of the city want answers when it comes to what happened to the COVID relief funds.

The state representative accused of stealing more than $635,000 from the city of West Haven has resigned from public office. He has now stepped down from both his roles as a state representative and administrative assistant to West Haven’s City Council.

DiMassa has been charged with wire fraud, accused of scamming the city out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID relief funds. He had been named “designee” of the money, giving him access to it.

During Monday night’s meeting, Mayor Nancy Rossi addressed the investigation, sharing what changes have been made in light of these allegations to ensure this never happens again.

“Obviously the mayor’s office would not normally be involved in this process but under the current circumstances… I feel this extra step is needed and necessary,” Rossi said.

In the wake of DiMassa’s arrest, many have called for there to be accountability and justice. 

“Our credibility as political leaders is the public’s trust,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “Any time something like this happens, it hurts people’s faith in government. Now, let’s let justice take its course.”

As for what’s next, there will have to be a special election to fill his seat as a state representative. DiMassa will be back in court in December. 

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