Town Council To ‘Reconsider’ Audit Committee Appointment


Six months after voting against the appointment, the town’s legislative body is scheduled to “reconsider” adding a local man with a unique history in New Canaan to a prominent municipal body.

The following agenda item appears on the Town Council’s regular meeting agenda for 7 p.m. Wednesday: “Audit Committee Appointment – Reconsideration of the confirmation of the appointment of Roy Abramowitz as a regular member for a three year term ending December 1, 2025.”

In denying the appointment by a 6-5 vote at its April 5 meeting, Councilmen (as they had weeks earlier) voiced concerns about the process that landed the Abramowitz nomination in front of them. Specifically,  they said that since the Audit Committee is a creation of the Town Council itself, its members should be involved earlier in vetting candidates.

Formed in 2014, the volunteer Audit Committee helps oversee financial reporting for the municipal government and school district. The Committee has a vacancy left by founding member George Maranis, who resigned. Abramowitz is a CPA in town. Officials have said that he was among the early proponents for creation of an Audit Committee. Abramowitz has said that he’s already been vetted in the past for a seat on the Audit Committee.

As previously reported, New Canaan Police arrested Abramowitz in 2000 and charged him with breach of peace, according to court records. In 2013, Abramowitz was arrested in an incident at South Avenue and Farm Road, according to an article published by Hearst Connecticut. Charges were dismissed in both cases, Connecticut Judicial Branch records show.

In July, referring to his arrest history, Abramowitz contacted this news publication via text saying a “total retraction of your defaming, libelous false accusations are demanded within 24 hours.” He said in a subsequent email exchange that once criminal charges are dropped in Connecticut, the arrested party “is deemed never arrested.” Abramowitz said in the email thread, “I was never arrested.”

No one on the Town Council referred to Abramowitz’s personal history while discussing his appointment. Nominees for appointment to open seats on municipal boards, commissions and committees typically come from the all-volunteer Democratic and Republican Town Committees. While the appointment was under discussion at the Town Council, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan—who has supported Abramowitz’s candidacy—said he had checked with the RTC before adding the appointment to a selectmen meeting agenda.

It’s not clear why the Town Council is taking up a vote on Abramowitz’s appointment for a second time, though at the body’s April 5 meeting, councilmen did say they should fix an issue with the ordinance for the Audit Committee—specifically, details about how nominations come forward—prior to deciding on any individual candidate (then decided on Abramowitz later in the meeting).

Councilman Penny Young said at that meeting, “Whereas the Town Council was not conferred with in this selection of nominees for the Audit Committee and whereas there appears to be parts of the ordinance forming the Audit Committee which warrant further study in order to assure deeper research into the ordinance, legal opinion indicates the process would be to vote down the nomination, after which the Town Council will begin a thorough analysis of the ordinance. This vote does not reflect—necessarily—on the qualifications of the nominee, who shall be invited to be part of the future considered nominees that allows us to go through the process, allowing further discussion and complete comfort as we make this decision.”

Earlier this month, Abramowitz posted the following comment on an unrelated article: “ ‘I don’t want politics to get in the way of good governance.’ Perhaps you should speak to Steve Karl and Penny Young about their false charade and self dealing with my audit committee nomination. Afraid I would do to a good a job and request internal auditing.”

It wasn’t clear what he meant by “internal auditing.” Abramowitz referred in the comment to two of the six councilmen who had voted against his appointment earlier this year. Those voting in favor of Abramowitz’s appointment in April were Councilmen Luke Kaufman, Maria Naughton, Mike Mauro, Cristina A. Ross and Kimberly Norton. Those voting against were Karl, Young, Vice Chair Mark Grzymski and members Hilary Ormond, Robin Bates-Mason and Tom Butterworth. Councilman Rita Bettino abstained.

Abramowitz in the past has served on New Canaan’s Public Tree Board. He ran for Town Council as a petitioning candidate in 2013 and lost, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records. In 2015, he served briefly as treasurer on petitioning candidate Michael Nowacki’s ill-fated campaign for first selectman.

Here’s the 8-minute discussion and vote against the Abramowitz appointment at the April 5 Town Council meeting:

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