Fi­nance di­rec­tor quits abruptly, es­corted from City Hall

Mayor surpised, hires as­sis­tant can­di­date as re­place­ment

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pam McLough­lin

WEST HAVEN — The city’s fi­nance di­rec­tor re­signed abruptly Fri­day.

In a one-sen­tence let­ter sent to Mayor Nancy Rossi, Fi­nance Di­rec­tor Ron Ci­catelli re­signed with­out warn­ing and left City Hall.

Rossi said he didn’t give a rea­son for his res­ig­na­tion.

“(It’s a) tough job be­cause we're deal­ing with a re­view board,” Rossi said of the fi­nance job.

Wit­nesses at City Hall said Ci­catelli, for­merly a mem­ber of New York City’s fi­nance staff, was es­corted out of the build­ing.

Within hours of the res­ig­na­tion, Rossi hired a new fi­nance di­rec­tor, whose name she has de­clined to dis­close un­til Mon­day when he or she will start the job, she said.

Rossi said it hap­pened so quickly be­cause the can­di­date al­ready was in the pipe­line to be hired as an as­sis­tant fi­nance di­rec­tor, al­though qual­i­fied to be fi­nance di­rec­tor.

Rossi said she can hire as many as­sis­tant di­rec­tors as she wants be­cause of the city’s com­pli­cated fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.

The fi­nance di­rec­tor po­si­tion is an ap­point­ment that does not re­quire ap­proval by any boards or com­mis­sions.

When asked whether Ci­catelli was es­corted out of the of­fice by po­lice, as some wit­nesses have re­ported, Rossi said she didn't know be­cause she is on the third floor.

Rossi said as far as she knew he was do­ing a fine job and she was sur­prised by the sud­den res­ig­na­tion and brief let­ter.

Ci­catelli started as fi­nance di­rec­tor at the end of Septem­ber. His wife and 15-month-old son were ex­pected to move with him from the Bronx to West Haven, he said at the time. He served in the Army Re­serve for eight years.

“I think that Ron has an im­pres­sive re­sume. He has mu­nic­i­pal ex­pe­ri­ence and he has also served our coun­try,” Rossi said in Septem­ber.

Ci­catelli was be­ing paid about $120,000 a year, slightly less than his pre­de­ces­sor, for­mer Di­rec­tor of Fi­nance Kevin McNabola,

Rossi said, also in Septem­ber.

Work­ing with two fis­cal con­sul­tants, Ci­catelli was lead­ing the city’s ef­forts to get back on firm fi­nan­cial foot­ing.

West Haven is un­der the ad­vise­ment of the state Mu­nic­i­pal Ac­count­abil­ity Re­view Board.

The city has met state re­quire­ments and ear­lier this month ini­ti­ated the process to re­ceive $8 mil­lion in mu­nic­i­pal re­struc­tur­ing funds ex­pected to pro­vide it with the means to fin­ish the 2017-18 fis­cal year in the black, Rossi has said.

Ci­catelli

Con­trib­uted

Ci­catelli’s res­ig­na­tion let­ter, which Mayor Nancy Rossi said came as a sur­prise.

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