West Haven mayoral recount underway, Cohen calls on Rossi to step aside

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WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — 29 votes separate the candidates for West Haven’s next mayor with incumbent Nancy Rossi ahead as the recount approaches on Sunday.

Rossi declared victory Tuesday night, but her Republican opponent, Barry Lee Cohen, is feeling confident as they prepare for a recount.

“We are going to basically take a look at the ballots and make sure that everything was cast appropriately,” said Cohen.

At the same time, the current city councilman questions the mayor’s oversight as West Haven undergoes a forensic audit into how federal COVID relief funds from the CARES Act were spent in the city.

Now he’s calling for Rossi to resign. If Rossi does not resign, Cohen will call upon Rossi to pledge to not take office on Dec. 5, regardless of the mayoral recount.

“She was complicit on this latest COVID federal aid being used for Christmas decorations and marching bands,” said Cohen.

Regardless of the recount at West Haven City Hall, Mayor Nancy Rossi tells News 8 she will not step down amid the city’s alleged misuse of the CARES Act funding.

“Has any of this been substantiated? No,” said Rossi. “No one has shown any signatures of mine on any of these vouchers because they don’t exist.”

Rossi says she’s just learning about the alleged misconduct like everyone else and would be disturbed if they are true.

“There’s a voucher my understanding is and a bill that says, marching bands. Again. I don’t know whether the use was proper. I don’t weigh in on that as my role as mayor,” said Rossi.

The results from the audit are expected in under two months. As for the recount, so long as all goes smoothly, look for the results late Sunday.

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