WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi said again Monday night that she will not step down amid calls for her resignation.
“We’ve all been harmed by this situation. I hate when everyone assumes that everyone in City Hall is a thief. Nothing is further from the truth. I am hopeful that with the FBI investigation, and all the investigations, the alleged thieves have been caught and will be brought to justice, and then maybe, then just maybe we can all move on,” Rossi said at Monday night’s West Haven City Council Meeting.
A petition has been circulating to remove the mayor. People are coming forward saying they want the mayor to resign. Inside the meeting, it was packed, standing room only, with a lot of frustration from residents.
The video above is from a previous newscast on Monday night.
“We have to begin healing. We have to begin moving forward. We’re not going to move forward until there’s major change,” a person at the meeting said. “So again I ask for your resignation.”
“I just think she needs to go… I think we need to keep the pressure on. I think some higher-ups in the state government need to talk to her and I think she just needs to move on, so the city can start rebuilding,” said former West Haven Mayor Ed O’Brien.
Many were angry about the FBI investigation 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.
Residents are also frustrated after an audit found nearly 80% of the city’s federal COVID-19 relief spending should not have been approved by municipal leaders.
“This is people being held accountable for their jobs, and that’s all we’re asking… thank god MARB is here, because they found what was going on here. Everybody’s little fingers in the cookie jar… you got caught,” one meeting attendee said.
Monday night’s meeting comes after the council’s no-confidence vote for the mayor earlier this month.
A man at the meeting said after the unanimous no confidence vote, some of the council members took it back, saying Rossi is on the right page and they support her now. People said the back and forth is very frustrating.
Stay tuned to News 8 for updates on this story.