SDTC Responds to Ongoing SEEC Investigation

SDTC Responds to Ongoing SEEC Investigation

Southington Democratic Town Committee Responds to Southington Police Charge and Ongoing SEEC Investigation

To move forward with the utmost fiscal transparency, the Southington Democratic Town Committee (STDC) filed a SEEC complaint in conjunction with a Southington Police Department investigation to address financial disparities uncovered through an internal audit late last year.

On November 15, 2021, the SDTC voted to investigate reported discrepancies using whatever means necessary to ensure a fair and open process. After failing to comply with the initial SDTC request of treasurer’s report documentation, then-current treasurer James Sinclair refused to resign and was removed from the treasurer’s position. On December 7, Erin Cowles was appointed interim treasurer, John Moise as deputy treasurer under acting Chair Tony D’Angelo, who succeeded as DTC Chair upon the abrupt resignation of Erica Byrne on November 5.

Upon the acting board’s review of State Elections Enforcement Committee (SEEC) filings and bank statements, the decision to formalize a police complaint became an urgent order of business to identify and resolve outstanding discrepancies and blatant legal and SEEC violations. In addition to charges issued by Southington Police Department on March 31, SEEC currently has an open investigation into related violations.

Documentation submitted to Southington Police and SEEC includes bank statements from January 2018 through December 2021 and a summary of identified violations including missing cash and checks as well as unpaid invoices and checks returned for insufficient funds. Additionally, bank fees and checks were undocumented in SEEC reports; checks were documented in SEEC reports that were not written; and closure of the SDTC bank account for insufficient funds was undocumented in SEEC reports.

“It is our priority to uphold our obligations as a community organization to be fiscally transparent and to ensure Southington DTC members, supporters and residents of our commitment to serve the town with principle and integrity,” said Tony D’Angelo, former acting Southington DTC Chair. “While it’s unfortunate to have subjected the DTC to a complaint on our own organization stemming from a former board member’s actions, it is in the best future interest of the Committee to correct past discrepancies and allow the authorities to address illegal activities and violations as deemed necessary from their findings.”

To create a more transparent process that ensures accountability and accuracy in all financial filings, the newly elected Southington DTC board and members have outlined detailed protocols to adopt within its bylaw updates.

“The SDTC would like to thank our dedicated members and the supportive community, as well as SPD and SEEC authorities, for helping to ensure independent, complete and thorough investigations. We look forward to moving past this and serving with dignity and respect for both process and purpose,” said Erin Cowles, Southington DTC Chair.

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