A statement from the Office of the First Selectman released on Tuesday said that the position of Dept of parking Services Director Rita Azrelyant will be eliminated in Greenwich’s 2018-2019 budget.
As the town begins its annual budget process, and departmental budget proposals are due Dec. 1, the decision was made to inform Dept of Parking Services Director Rita Azrelyant that the 2018-2019 budget would include the elimination of her position.
In April of this year, Greenwich Police arrested account clerk, Michal Gordon, 48, a Greenwich resident, for a scheme involving violations paid in cash. Through an elaborate series of fraudulent transactions, Mr. Gordon allegedly misapplied credits for non-cash transactions to satisfy parking violation tickets paid in cash.
He was charged with Larceny 2, Forgery 2, and False Entry by Officer or Agent. he been an account clerk for Parking Services since 2009.
The troubles in Parking Services were an issue in the race for First Selectman. During their Oct 17 debate, Sandy Litvack said a 2016 audit of Greenwich Parking Services found that not a single suggestion from ten years earlier had been implemented.
“I’m quoting from the report: ‘The existing control on the environment is so weak that we were unable to identify a single audible record to adequately support and document any of the revenue activities within the scope of review.’ That department reports directly to the first selectman,” Litvack said.
On his part, Mr. Tesei said the parking services director Rita Azrelyant, appointed in June 2014, met with resistance from employees, and subsequently brought in auditors and worked with Greenwich Police whose investigation resulted in charges against an employee for stealing. “I give great kudos to Ms. Azrelyant,” he said during the debate.
A week after the election, that earned Tesei an unprecedented 6th term, he announced the formation of a “cash handling” task force.
The four member task force, which is expected to complete its mission in six months, is expected to recommend modifications that will increase efficiency and security, and result in consistency across all departments.
Under the leadership of First Selectman Tesei, the Task Force will include Town Administrator Ben Branyan, Comptroller Peter Mynarski and Director of Human Resources Mary Pepe.
Tuesday’s statement said the decision is the first step of a reorganization and redefinition of the functions of Parking Services.
“This reorganization is part of the Town’s ongoing review process to improve the delivery of Town services,” Tesei said in the statement. “With Ms. Azrelyant’s departure, Greenwich Police Captain Mark Kordick will oversee all facets of the daily operation of the department at the direction of the First Selectman.
Captain Kordick, previously served as an interim director of Parking Services, and earlier this year was assigned to assist in the review of business practices in Parking Services.
“We thank Ms. Azrelyant for her service to the Town of Greenwich and wish her well as she pursues new endeavors,” Mr. Tesei said in the statement, adding that nothing further will be released at this time.