Technical high schools superintendent under investigation - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Technical high schools superintendent under investigation

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Dr. Nivea L. Torres. (cttech.org photo) Dr. Nivea L. Torres. (cttech.org photo)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

"Issues of concern" have prompted the superintendent of the state's technical high school system to be placed on administrative leave.

According to Karen Zuboff, human resources administrator for the state Department of Education, Dr. Nivea Torres is under investigation in connection with a financial audit of payments to a contractor.

Eyewitness News tried to get those answers from the state on Friday, but were told they wouldn't comment on any active investigations. While it's still unclear what prompted this audit, the letter written to Torres from Zuboff was clear on other points.   

"These issues include potential violations of state or federal laws or regulations, potential violations of policies concerning contracting, procurement and use of state or federal funds, potential violations of policies concerning contracting, procurement and use of state or federal funds, potential neglect or misuse of state funds, and the possibility that activities detrimental to the best interests of the agency or the state have occurred," Zuboff wrote.

Zuboff also said she wanted to make clear that no conclusions were reached and there's been no disciplinary action.

Torres, who made more than $200,000, has been in charge of the 17 technical high schools in the state. She oversees a $156 million budget. However, she is was put on paid leave on Thursday and will remain there until things are cleared up.

During her leave, Torres is not allowed to be at the technical high school offices in Middletown or any of the schools themselves. She also cannot contact any employees.

Zuboff said placing an official on paid administrative leave is a common practice.

Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell requested an outside investigation by the Department of Administrative services. They're not connected with the Connecticut Department of Education. Eyewitness News did reach out to the Association of Superintendents. They said they weren't aware of this until Friday and couldn't provide a comment either.  

Eyewitness News went to the Middletown home of Torres on Friday, but no one answered the door. 

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