New details emerge in investigation of tech schools superintende - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New details emerge in investigation of tech schools superintendent

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Nivea L. Torres. (cttech.org photo) Dr. Nivea L. Torres. (cttech.org photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

New details are emerging in the case where a superintendent, who oversees the state’s technical high schools, was placed on paid leave.

Nivea Torres has been in charge of the 17 technical high schools in the state for four years, and she oversees a $156 million budget.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said this investigation all started with a routine audit.

It was during the audit where it showed there was a possible violation of policies and potential misuse of state funds.

Eyewitness News confirmed reports that a public relations firm signed agreements with the state for over $7 million, and some included social media with the tech schools.

The Pita Group’s attorney John Droney said they were paid approximately $4.9 million by the Department of Education during the period of 2014 to 2017. 

They said $3.6 million of those funds were paid for "media buys" such as social media, radio, and TV advertising, and $2.5 million was paid by other state agencies for services unrelated to services furnished to the Department of Education.  That's for a grand total of $7.4 million.

They are cooperating with the investigation.

He also said his clients have nothing to apologize for and that this is the 21st century, where things like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the ways to communicate with millennials, especially from tech schools.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Department of Education, but they did not return calls.

Torres is not allowed to enter the high schools until the investigation by the Department of Administrative Services is complete.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.