Winsted Monument Falls Victim to Financial Troubles

By Doug Greene and Ari Mason
|  Monday, Dec 2, 2013  |  Updated 8:40 PM EDT
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Commission loses major money in alleged embezzlement

Commission loses major money in alleged embezzlement

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As Winsted works to recover from a deep debt caused by $2 million in reportedly misappropriated funds, another victim of the town's financial mess has been revealed.

The Soldiers' Monument Commission, out to restore the monument that sits atop the Crown Street hill in Winsted, lost more than $100,000 during the tenure of Henry Centrella, the former finance director accused of embezzlement.

"It's a betrayal of trust for everyone who has donated to the monument, remembered us in their will, who's bought a t shirt, a cup, a candy bar," said Steve Silvester, the chairman of the commission. "And now it's gone."

The commission had planned a $500,000 project to restore the roof, windows and stonework of the Civil War monument, erected in 1890.

Last month, Winchester voters approved a supplemental property tax to help pull the town out of debt. Residents also voted in favor of a $2 million loan to keep the town's public schools open, as they faced closure this month.

Centrella, arrested in August and charged with larceny, is in jail awaiting trial. Authorities say it's not clear what happened to the $2 million he's accused of embezzling.

An audit revealed the money went unaccounted for between January 2008 and November 2012.

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