Derby mum on reasons why finance director is on administrative leave – New Haven Register

DERBY — The city’s new finance director was placed on administrative leave earlier this month and town officials are still mum on the reasons why.

Agata Herasimowicz was hired last May in an effort by the mayor’s office to professionalize the position, which was formerly a political appointment. Mayor Richard Dziekan confirmed Herasimowicz was placed on leave, but declined to comment further.

Days after Herasimowicz was placed on leave, the deputy finance director, Angela Gencarelli, resigned — just as the city is preparing to put together its annual budget this spring.

In a letter obtained by the Valley Independent Sentinel through the Freedom of Information Act, Chief of Staff Walt Mayhew notified Herasimowicz on March 1 that she was being placed on leave “pending an investigation of possible violations of city policy and procedures in your role as finance director.”

The letter does not name the policies or procedures in question.

Hearst Connecticut Media’s own FOIA request, submitted on March 16, has yet to be answered.

Herasimowicz, a University of Connecticut alumna, was previously the finance director in Tolland, Killingly and Rocky Hill. She was awarded the Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation in 2016 by a professional organization based on her performance in managing Tolland’s budget.

Gencarelli, meanwhile, also started in her role just recently — earlier this year, according to the Valley Independent Sentinel.

And Mayhew also is a new hire, replacing former Chief of Staff Andrew Baklik in January.

Herasimowicz’s name came up briefly Thursday in a Board of Aldermen meeting when Sarah Widomski, an alderwoman representing the 1st Ward, said she tried to speak to Herasimowicz after fellow alderman Charlie Sampson said Herasimowicz was in favor of hiring a grant writer for the city during a previous meeting.

But Widomski said she was unable to.

“A couple days later, I tried to have a conversation with her but was unable to,” Widomski said.

Other city officials reached by Hearst Connecticut Media have declined to speak about the investigation or reasons for the administrative leave.

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