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The West Haven mayor suspects fraud in federal COVID aid payouts from city

West Haven City Hall
Pedro Xing
Wikimedia Commons
West Haven City Hall

The mayor of West Haven, Connecticut, believes she may have uncovered multiple “improper” payouts of federal coronavirus relief money.

Connecticut was awarded more than $1 billion as part of the CARES Act in April 2020. The money was meant to assist local towns and cities to cover costs due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Mayor Nancy Rossi said some of the funds sent to West Haven may have been diverted and not used for the purpose they were originally intended.

“I have personally reviewed many of West Haven’s federal CARES Act expenditures. I have come across several large expenditures that cause me great concern,” she said. “Some of these expenditures appear improper and may be potentially fraudulent.”

Rossi said she discussed the payouts with the city’s public accounting firm, which agreed the transactions were suspicious and needed to be investigated.

“I assure all of our residents that if the investigation proves any wrongdoing and fraudulent activity, I will demand anyone involved be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” she said.

Rossi was speaking in a video statement posted to YouTube on Friday — the same day reports surfaced that members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation visited West Haven City Hall.

“If anyone is found guilty, they should go right to jail,” Rossi said.

John is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.