As a next step into an investigation by the City of Middletown into the Board of Education, Mayor Sebastian Giuliano said that he would order the city attorney to seek a restraining order against the Board of Education and school administration requiring them to preserve all records relevent to the investigation.
They mayor is pursuing an investigation, and audit of Board of Education finances, after he and the Common Council fielded numerous complaints, before, during and at a community meeting and the annual budget meeting Thursday.
"Under the charter the Common Council has the authority to investigate every department in the city," Giuliano said. "And as chief executive officer of the city, I have the authority to investigate any department. It was clear at the Council meeting the other night that they wanted the investigation. We just want to be sure that all evidence is there when the formal investigation begins."
Giuliano assigned a police guard to the School Administration building over the weekend to ensure that no materials would be removed from the building.
According to Giuliano, in order for the Council to initiate an investigation, it will have to pass a formal resolution, but that his office will begin an investigation and assign auditors to review financial information at the Board of Education and central office.
"My inclination is to begin immediately," Giuliano said. "To have our auditors get in there and look at things."
In the past financial managment of Board of Education expenditures fell to the city's financial director, but when the current financial director, Carl Erlacher, came on board "he allowed that procedure to end," ceding control of finances to the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education.
"That change occured under the Thornton administration," Giuliano said, referring to the Democratic mayor who preceded him in office. "I intend to have that practice reinstated so that all disbursements are controlled by the city's financial director."