Chief Richard D. Howe
20 Westford Road
Tyngsborough, MA 01879
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 7, 2017
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Chief Richard D. Howe
Email: [email protected]
Tyngsborough Police Department Investigating Missing Funds from Town Finance Department
One Employee Placed on Leave
TYNGSBOROUGH — Chief Richard D. Howe and Town Administrator Matthew T. Hanson issue the following statement:
Accounting irregularities were discovered in May by members of the town hall’s financial staff. The discovery occurred shortly after a change in personnel and after new financial processes were implemented in the town’s finance departments. The issues were brought forward to the Town Administrator who then notified the Police Chief.
“The investigation thus far has determined that a significant amount of money from cash tax payments is missing. This has apparently been going on for a period of several years. While we are confident that we have determined how much money is missing, we cannot release the specific details at this time due to the ongoing investigation,” Chief Howe said.
According to Town Administrator Hanson, Tyngsborough recently created a combined Finance Department, with oversight from an appointed Finance Director, and the town also created a combined appointed Treasurer/Collector position. As part of this change, the financial team increased internal controls, including an emphasis on new policies/procedures and increased oversight of financial accounts and software. This additional oversight from the new financial team led to the discovery of the accounting irregularities.
“As a result of this information the Tyngsborough Police Department has opened an investigation into the possible theft of cash tax payments at Tyngsborough town hall,” Chief Howe said.
A Tyngsborough Police Detective and a State Police Detective assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office are assisting in the investigation at the request of Chief Howe.
“An employee in town hall has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, which remains ongoing,” Administrator Hanson said.
Chief Howe is working closely with the Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator’s office.
“The Town and the Tyngsborough Police Department are dedicated to a complete and thorough investigation which will result in a full accounting of all missing funds and identification of the person or persons who are responsible,” Chief Howe said.
“While our new financial oversights discovered the accounting irregularities, the Town is committed to conducting an independent forensic audit of the situation and will continue to expand financial protocols and software integration to prevent this from ever happening again,” said Hanson.
According to Chief Howe the investigation remains ongoing and additional information will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. All inquiries into this matter should be directed to Chief Howe.