Troy town employee under investigation

Troy town employee under investigation
By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff
| Posted: Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:00 am
TROY — N.H. State Police are investigating a Troy town official after they received information that she might be misappropriating town funds.
Cynthia P. Satas, 62, of Troy, who serves as the welfare administrator and administrative assistant to the selectmen, is the focus on the investigation, and will likely face charges, according to a news release from N.H. State Police Troop C on Friday.
Satas was accused of paying utility bills for her Richmond Road residence, and for rental properties she owns in Troy and Peterborough, using Troy town funds, according to police.
The investigation began on Oct. 24, and on Dec. 2, N.H. State Police executed search warrants at Satas’ office at Troy Town Hall and at her home, the news release said. Police said they were tipped off by a source outside the town.
Police seized several file boxes and two computers during the searches, the news release said.
Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Satas declined to comment about the investigation at this time.
Satas has been welfare administrator and administrative assistant to the selectmen for more than 10 years, according to annual town reports.
N.H. State Police Sgt. Shawn M. Skahan said Friday afternoon that the investigation is ongoing, and it was probably in her position as welfare officer that Satas took advantage of allegedly misappropriating the town’s funds.
The main focus on the investigation is Public Service of New Hampshire utility bills paid with town funds, he said.
“There was quite a bit of money going out of the welfare office to pay on things that it shouldn’t have been,” he said.
So far, police have found that Satas used town welfare funds as far back as 2008 to pay the utility bills of people who didn’t qualify for welfare and were living at her properties in Troy and Peterborough, he said.
Satas also owns property in Plymouth, but that site isn’t involved in the investigation, he said.
“We’re still going through files,” he said.
Troy selectmen Chairman William T. Matson said Friday afternoon that selectmen are aware of the investigation, and Satas has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
In the meantime, the selectmen have hired Municipal Resources Inc. of Meredith to temporarily handle the town’s financial operations, including payroll and bookkeeping, he said.
A cost for the firm’s services wasn’t available.
“This happened on Tuesday, and we don’t have an invoice yet,” Matson said.
He added, “All the financial functions are operating as before. There may be a reduction in services available at the town hall during the time of the investigation. Other than that, there is not much to report on.”
He said the selectmen didn’t want to comment further until the investigation is complete.
Troy police have been assisting State Police in the investigation. The investigating officer is Trooper Sean A. Eaton.