Three months after senior center director Roger Wey was placed on paid leave, an auditor hired to investigate the financial activities of the council on aging has issued a report which has not been made public.
Selectman Walter W. Vail confirmed this week that all five town selectmen had received the report and an accompanying memorandum, but Mr. Vail said he was not authorized to release the report. “We want to hold onto it until we get a chance to discuss it,” Mr. Vail said. “We thought that it would be best to hold off until Tuesday.” He said he was allowed 10 days to respond to a request from the Gazette for a copy of the report.
A special meeting of the selectmen has been scheduled for Tuesday; the agenda for the meeting includes an executive session to “consider the discipline or dismissal of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual.” Discussion of the report on the investigation of the council on aging director is also posted on the agenda. Mr. Vail could not confirm if any part of the meeting will be public.
Until now, the selectmen have conducted all their business around the issue in public. Mr. Wey was placed on leave in February after questions surfaced around a town fund called the Quilting Fund, created to help citizens in need pay for fuel and other emergencies. The fund was apparently connected with the council on aging but managed outside the town treasury.
In February the selectmen called publicly for a police investigation into the fund, but that investigation resulted in no criminal charges. In a memorandum urging the selectmen to hire outside expertise to study the issue further, the town’s special labor counsel, John M. Collins, wrote that initial findings detailed in the police report “indicate potentially a great many irregularities.”
As a result, in March John Sullivan, an employee of Melanson, Heath, & Company, a certified public accounting firm with offices in Andover, was hired to conduct a review of the Quilting Fund.
Mr. Vail said that Mr. Wey has also been provided with a copy of the auditor’s report.
“It’s a sensitive issue and we are required, and reasonably so, to be respectful of Roger Wey’s position in all of this,” Mr. Vail said.
The Gazette attempted to reach Mr. Wey for comment Thursday, but he did not immediately respond to a call.
Pressed further about the release of the report, Mr. Vail said it wasn’t right to have the information out in the newspapers before his board had a chance to discuss it.
“I think it’s inappropriate to have an awful lot of information floating around and to have people making assumptions,” he said.