Kevin Sweet, Town Administrator
195 Main St.
Maynard, MA 01754
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 7, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Former Town Treasury Employee Accused of Stealing Trash Sticker Revenue
Individual Fired, Barred from Town Hall
Maynard Town Administrator Kevin Sweet today announced that a former employee in the Town Treasurer/Collector’s Office has been fired and criminal charges are being filed after an investigation determined she had allegedly been siphoning proceeds from the sale of “pay-as-you-throw” trash and rubbish stickers.
Denee Howard, 36, of Leominster has been terminated from her position as Assistant Collector after an internal investigation revealed she stole a percentage of the cash paid by local business owners for trash stickers and then doctored financial records to cover her tracks.
“Ms. Howard betrayed the trust of the citizens of Maynard, literally taking money out of their pockets and putting it into her own. I am deeply saddened and disappointed,” Sweet said. “At the same time, I am grateful for the hard work of the Maynard Town Treasurer and Maynard Police Department for putting a stop to this before more damage was done.”
The town has been experiencing a decline in trash sticker revenue in recent years. An internal audit revealed a shortfall of more than $50,000. Last week, investigators observed Howard’s sale of trash stickers to local businesses and determined that the amount of cash deposited into the treasury did not match the number of trash stickers sold that day. Maynard Police questioned Howard on Wednesday, April 2, and she confessed to stealing money over a three-year period. She then turned over the exact quantity of cash missing from that day’s sales.
Since his appointment in August of last year, Town Administrator Sweet has been working with the Maynard Finance Team to review all internal financial controls and address any deficiencies. That review identified the trash sticker program as a potential area of vulnerability, which ultimately led to the investigation into the Assistant Collector’s office.
The Town will now retain the services of a forensic accounting firm to conduct a full audit of the trash sticker program.
Howard will be summonsed to court on a later date. The criminal investigation is being handled by Maynard Police, working with the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.