Complaints Raised About Hartford Chief Auditor

NBC Connecticut Investigates obtained the complaints about a key Hartford government department.

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NBC Connecticut Investigates has learned a high ranking official from one of Connecticut’s largest cities will remain on the job despite a recommendation for his removal.

Hartford Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo has worked in Hartford for more than a decade, often investigating controversial issues to see if taxpayers’ money is properly spent.

Yet for the past few months Trujillo has been on the hotseat, accused by Deputy Chief Auditor Joe Caruso of creating a toxic work environment, intimidating Caruso and co-workers, even using a bathroom not far from the auditors work area with the door open.

An independent investigator concluded “…no violation of city’s EEO, anti-harassment, or anti-retaliation policies has occurred.”  But “…it was more likely than not…” Trujillo made…disparaging comments about the auditors and their work product, and he “…used the restroom in the office without closing the door, but that the door was usually slightly ajar…”

Hartford’s Human Resources Director Thulani LeGrier wrote the Internal Audit Commission which oversees Trujillo, that “Mr. Trujillo’s combination of offensive behaviors set a tone that…was a stark and consistent reminder to the IAD staff that Mr. Trujillo believed that he could act with impunity.”

On Wednesday the city’s three internal audit commissioners met in executive session, and, according to Trujillo, decided to take no action.

The commission has not responded to our request for comment.

Trujillo denies the allegations, and told NBC Connecticut Investigates neither the independent investigator nor the city human resources director ever interviewed him, although the independent investigator did say Trujillo declined a phone interview.

Trujillo’s accuser, Joe Caruso, told us “I can’t comment at this time because it’s still a pending investigation”, referring to a different retaliation complaint he made against Trujillo.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is not commenting on this situation, even though it involves city employees. The audit commission is part of an independent city department and makes all of its own personnel decisions.

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