The video above is from a previous newscast on Monday, April 11, 2022.
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi said Wednesday she will not be resigning after the city council voted “no confidence” in her during a public hearing Monday night.
“I will not be resigning. The council has voted for an investigation which I welcome,” Rossi told News 8.
The “no confidence” vote Monday night was unanimous. During the hearing, West Haven residents vented their frustrations about the city’s financial situation, after a state audit found most of the COVID relief money the city spent should not have been approved.
Rossi was not in attendance at the hearing.
“I can’t imagine what is more important than the mayor being here tonight. I just can’t imagine,” an attendee said.
Some are asking for the mayor to resign while others are asking for a deeper dive into the books.
This all comes after multiple allegations of misuse of Coronavirus Relief Funds and the arrest of former state Rep. Michael DiMassa, who was also a city employee. DiMassa and a business associate, John Bernardo, have been charged with stealing more than $1 million in federal COVID relief money that was intended for West Haven.
The independent audit found nearly 80% of the city’s federal COVID-19 relief spending should not have been approved by municipal leaders.
There were things like a brass marching band, summer sports camps along with PPE and security.
The city’s new finance director said a lot of it will be showing documentation.
“I’ve gone through probably 1,500 different payments in my few weeks here. I’ve never found something to be missing,” said Scott Jackson, the city’s finance director. “They found some challenging items in there. I do believe that there was some documentation that was not provided to them, so they may have not had everything.”
Jackson has only been on a couple of weeks to dive into this and help the state figure out whether or not they should be taking over the finances in the city. He said the city meets again on Thursday with the state and they could vote to take over those finances.