WESTMORELAND — New Hampshire State Police announced Tuesday it is investigating a former town employee who abruptly resigned last September.
The statement, from Trooper Aaron Gillis out of the Troop C headquarters in Keene, does not identify the Westmoreland ex-employee in question, though court records filed in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene indicate former town clerk and tax collector Cindi Adler has been under investigation.
“The initial investigation has led (detectives) to believe that town revenue, including but not exclusively property tax revenue, was being diverted by a former town employee,” Gillis wrote in a statement. “Based on the information at hand, it appears this activity may have been on-going for an extended period of time.”
Adler, who has not been charged with a crime, did not respond to a request for comment. She resigned suddenly last year after months of disputes with selectmen over her record-keeping. Selectmen took her to court in order to get her to disclose her records over the summer.
Adler resigned on Sept. 1 without warning. Selectmen declined to comment Tuesday, citing the ongoing investigation. The board met in a non-public session Tuesday morning.
Adler’s resignation spurred selectmen to call for an audit, which found discrepancies, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in court.
“In our testing and subsequent work, we consider the irregularities found to be unusual,” states an audit letter from the firm, Melanson and Heath filed in court long with the search warrant application.
The audit found $16,000 in over-payments for property tax bills recorded by Adler for 2017, but the property owners told town officials they had not overpaid their accounts. There were also numerous instances of liens being improperly placed on various properties.
In his search warrant affidavit, Gillis writes that town officials discovered close to $20,000 in discrepancies through the audit. That is when they approached police in November of last year, according to the affidavit.
Gillis writes in the search warrant affidavit that Adler was known to do much of her work by hand, in her own ledgers. She did a significant amount of work from home, including motor vehicle registrations, Gillis wrote.
Gillis was granted a search warrant to get the ledgers and other records Adler reportedly had when she left employment with the town. The court records do not indicate what, exactly, Gillis found when the warrant was executed.
Gillis is asking any current or former Westmoreland resident who recalls anything suspicious or unusual about property tax bills, or other town bills, to contact him at 223-8494, or via e-mail at Aaron.Gillis@dos.nh.gov.