Winchester schools in jeopardy of closing - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Winchester schools in jeopardy of closing

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  • Winchester finance director fired amid probe

    Winchester finance director fired amid probe

    Wednesday, January 23 2013 8:40 AM EST2013-01-23 13:40:06 GMT
    The town attorney for Winchester says former town Finance Manager Henry Centrella has been fired amid a criminal investigation of alleged accounting irregularities. Town Attorney Kevin Nelligan told theMore >
    The town attorney for Winchester says former town Finance Manager Henry Centrella has been fired amid a criminal investigation of alleged accounting irregularities.More >
WINCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -

The town of Winchester needs about $5 million and if they don't get it, they are talking about closing schools in December.

Winchester Town Manager Dale Martin said there have been years of mismanagement and a poor economy.

After months of looking at town audits and other records, state police arrested Henry Centrella, who had been in charge of the town's finances for over 30 years.

Centrella, who remains in jail, was charged with five counts of first-degree larceny after $2 million was found missing.

According to officials, Centrella can't make bail because the town is suing him and has put a lien on his house.

The bottom line is the town has to get out of this mess, but there are only a few options, which include a temporary, one-time tax, borrowing money from banks or possibly using state grant money they may be eligible for down the road.

Taxpayers will have to vote on how to get cash.

"If we are going to have a referendum, there's a tax legal process," Martin said.

"I don't think it's right for taxpayers to have to pay for something we didn't do,"
 said Karen Munzer of Winchester.

Town officials will be discussing their options at a Board of Selectmen meeting Monday at 7 p.m. It is unclear if a decision will be made Monday night.

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