Grand jury indicts Wyman

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NORWAY – Longtime town employee Deborah P. Wyman was indicted by an Oxford County grand jury on a charge that she stole thousands of dollars from Norway over the past three years.

The indictment filed Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court charges theft by unauthorized taking.

The 51-year-old community development director is likely to be arraigned later this month but no date is scheduled.

She posted $2,500 cash bail Monday after returning from a three-month unpaid leave of absence spent in Florida and the Caribbean.

Wyman, of 25 Main St., Harrison, is accused of taking money earmarked for community development and depositing it in her personal checking account. She has held the 20-hour-a-week director’s job since 1986.

Although the indictment charges her with taking more than $10,000 cash, an affidavit filed last month in support of an arrest warrant said the amount of missing money deposited into her bank account stands at more than $55,000.

Wyman remains on unpaid leave as the investigation continues.

Town Manager David Holt declined Thursday to comment on the indictment. He said two forensic auditors are continuing to examine town and community development grant accounts to identify any discrepancies.

As part of the original audit process, Holt said all taxpayers in Norway will receive a letter showing what balance they owe for property taxes for the second half of fiscal year 2006 with instructions to contact the auditors or town officials if the amount does not match their own records.

“It’s a way for anyone who doesn’t agree with the balance we have to let either the town or the auditors know so we can look into that,” he said. Wyman “handled tax payments, and it’s just necessary to do,” he explained.

“We haven’t found evidence that put us in this direction,” he said. “Anything she touched, we want to take a look at.”

Holt said the audit process has placed additional burdens on his staff, although no one has had to work overtime. “A lot of people here have worked extra; they’ve had to fit it in with their regular duties,” he said.

He said the auditors’ fee will cost the town “thousands” and he will seek reimbursement from Wyman.

“We’re going to request to be reimbursed by Debbie for these costs,” he said.

Wyman’s attorney, Edward L. Dilworth III, of Norway was not available for comment Thursday.

The investigation was launched in February after a community development block grant recipient told town officials he never received the money indicated on a tax form the town sent to him, prompting Holt to contact police, Oxford County Superior Court records stated.

The investigation shows that Wyman made some checks out to KeyBank and deposited them into her personal account at the same Main Street, Norway, bank, according to court documents.

In addition to the criminal charge, Wyman faces a civil complaint filed by the town that seeks recovery of more than $55,000, plus all costs incurred by the town and punitive damages.

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