Update 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16
Though they had an accepted offer letter and agreement in place, town officials said Wednesday afternoon that the CPA hired to work as the new comptroller for New Canaan backed out of the job.
Just one day after announcing that they had hired the Norwalk resident, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said that on Wednesday afternoon the town heard from the woman that her current company counter-offered and she accepted.
“I am deeply disappointed that the new addition to our finance staff received a counter offer but I understand the realities of the workplace and we will endeavor to put this behind us and to do our best to find an equally qualified candidate for the position of comptroller,” he said.
Original Article: ‘Huge Nod To Good Finance’: New Canaan Hires Experienced CPA As Town Comptroller
Town officials announced Tuesday that they’ve hired a CPA and longtime audit manager as comptroller for the town, a move that New Canaan’s highest elected official said will bolster internal financial controls.
Catherine Rapfogel most recently worked for 14 years as an audit manager with O’Connor Davies, and the Board of Selectmen during its regular meeting voted 3-0 to hire her as comptroller in the finance department.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said it was clear to those who attended meetings of the Audit Committee that “we could use [someone with] more CPA experience in [the finance department] office, aside from a wonderful CFO that performs amazing duties.”
“To have someone of Catherine’s caliber come in, as a CPA with a strong municipal background and who works for the auditing firm that we actually hire, this kind of takes some of the—I won’t say pressure—but the fact is when people look at our finance department, they know we will have two extremely competent professional folks running it for us,” Mallozzi said at the meeting, held in a Town Hall board room.
Rapfogel holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass-Amherst and a MBA from Pace University, according to her résumé.
“We were amazed at her credentials,” Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones said in presenting Rapfogel as a candidate to the board. “She was an audit manager with O’Connor Davies for 14 years, a controller for nine years with a research company and United Way. She has her MBA, she is a licensed CPA in both New York and Connecticut. She has worked with both Connecticut and New York municipalities and I think she will fit in beautifully in our finance department.”
The comments come about two weeks after New Canaan’s former budget director (and newly made Blue Wave supporter) starts a new job as CFO of Darien, and as town officials and the Audit Committee work together following disagreements that came to the fore two months ago. That disagreement culminated in the committee’s threat to step down or else make a handful of changes involving financial controls.
Selectman Nick Williams asked how the new comptroller’s position would dovetail with a recommended internal audit function for the town. Mallozzi said “that’s up for discussion” but that Rapfogel’s hiring “is a huge, huge nod to good finance, really good financial controls.”
Selectman Beth Jones asked whether the comptroller has the same or a different job from the former budget director.
Pickering-Jones answered that the new position “is more of a step-up.”
Mallozzi said that he and New Canaan Finance Director Dawn Norton would work together on the budget under a somewhat reorganized finance department.
Asked whether she felt good about the changes, Norton said, “Absolutely.”