NORWAY – The town is insured for theft of up to $250,000 by a town employee and all costs of auditing financial records, Town Manager David Holt said Friday.
Two forensic auditors are currently combing all of the town’s books and grant statements as part of an investigation into a charge of theft against Community Development Director Deborah P. Wyman, 51, of Harrison. Officials say, so far, they have found indications that more than $55,000 of town money was deposited into her personal bank account during the past three years. She has been responsible for administering more than $20 million in economic development grants in the past 20 years and also helped customers at the town office counter for the past three years.
“We believe we are covered for the losses,” Holt said.
Norway is insured by the Maine Municipal Association, Holt said. The association provides blanket coverage for the town office, insuring for damage caused by fires, burglaries, automobiles, embezzlement and other situations.
Holt said if the losses are more than the $1,000 deductible, the town should be reimbursed. The upper limit for insurance payout is $250,000.
Holt said if Wyman is convicted of the charge of felony theft by unauthorized taking, she may be ordered to pay the town directly for missing money or reimburse the insurance company. Holt is also recommending that the town budget additional money next year for a more detailed annual town audit. In the past, it has paid between $5,000 and $6,000 for a standard audit, but Holt said he will propose increasing that amount to $10,000 or more.
The forensic audit being undertaken now will cost several thousand dollars, which the insurance company will cover, Holt said.
Meanwhile, Marcy Boughter, who works for the Growth Council, will step in to oversee a couple of town grants. She will be hired on an as-needed basis, Holt said.