An annual state audit of the town was largely positive, but raised significant concerns over actions taken in the tax collection department in 2019-220, including changing the dates on tax payments to avoid interest charges for some residents. 

Currently, the tax collector is Roberta Gill-Brooks, who has served since 2017.

Towns are audited annually by a firm designated by the state. 

The findings raise serious questions regarding the actions of the department, to the point town leaders are questioning if the position should continue to be elected.

One of the claims is that the office took actions to waive interest “by posting tax payments on dates prior to the receipt of the tax payment,” essentially changing the date on a payment to avoid interest charges.

The report also finds that payments were made directly to principal instead of past interest, and that some residents “paid less in interest during the year that ended June 30, 2020 than they owed in interest as of June 30, 2019, while also paying down their unpaid principal.”

The auditors, Clifton Arson Allen LLP, find that the actions taken in the department cost the town funds, and that the “controls within the Tax department were either insufficient, or the controls were circumvented or overridden to allow for the occurrence of the above noted items.”

The auditors found no issues with any other department in the town.

Concerns have been raised internally by members of the department and the town in the past on issues in the Tax Collection department, and have now been confirmed by independent auditors.

Questions have been raised in the past about the process of electing such positions, which can lead to someone who may lack the qualifications for the position winning the seat. Many towns have chosen to hire the position instead, based on qualifications. In Branford, that would require a lengthy process of a charter revision.

It is also possible that the town consider the elected position largely ceremonial, reducing the salary significantly, and hire qualified people to run the department.

Gill-Brooks is seeking re-election this November. 

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(23) comments

Guest

Sounds like she's gotta go!

Guest

If she were in the private sector, she would be fired!

Guest

It's wonderful to work for the town. Get paid more than private sector. Work less. Better benefits. can never get fired and retire on taxpayer dime. Town TAXPAYERS = SUCKERS = KEEP UNION DEMOCRACTS EMPLOYED

Guest

Healthcare "Experts" Butter Bad/then Butter Good...Baby Aspirin Good/then Baby Aspirin Bad...Covid Vaccine good/in 5 to 10 years....??? NEVER trust experts and group think...THINK for yourselves..

Guest

Doctoring payments that impacts tax dollars should be criminal. This is sad, but she needs to be taken out in handcuffs.

Guest

Nothing will happen for she is a democrat. If you are a democrat you can do whatever you want and nothing will happen.

Guest

True! Arrest her. Criminal behavior should not be rewarded! ✌️

Guest

She also spoke at a Black Lives Matter protest last summer. Completely untouchable. She'll probably get a raise.

Guest

Can we see if there is any relation with political donations and individuals who had they're payments either retrodated or applied directly to principal?

Guest

Just another politician that got caught

Town Cr@p

She is no politician. She is a fraud.

Guest

Nothing will happen to her. Just like nothing happened to the Former Branford town employee that doctored the peer review for the Costco application.

Town Cr@p

Please remove her. There is evidence of tampering with collection due dates and there is obviously favoritism.

Guest

Have not seen any updates on removing this woman from her position. If it were anyone else, the removal would have been swift and completed by now. This is criminal and she should be arrested (as others have indicated). Investigation has been done - via the audit. She was trained (although she says she wasn't ) and had to attend classes when she was hired in. NO EXCUSES. She should go and not be allowed to run ever again!!!

Guest

Jamie Cosgrove is part of the machine now and afraid to act and won't remove her. Would rather try to get along with everyone than do his job.

Peter Black

Jamie cannot remove her. She is elected. She can stay so long as Branford voters keeping electing her. Want a change? Vote for Bob Imperato and urge others to support him as well.

Guest

Where's the FBI - they should be investigating...Or is the FBI too busy at BOE meetings and targeting parents who want teachers to teach math/science and not BS CRT?

Are all institutions worthless now?

Guest

"If it were anyone else, the removal would have been swift and completed by now".

Really? llike she who doctored a peer review was dealt with swiftly ? " She was trained (although she says she wasn't) and had to attend classes when she was hired in" Really? I have heard her speak of training and classes at public meetings. "......hired in" . Really? She was not hired, she was elected. You are truly a wealth of knowledge.

Guest

"It is also possible that the town consider the elected position largely ceremonial, reducing the salary significantly, and hire qualified people to run the department."

It certainly does sound like the current office has exercised too much subjective discretion to benefit certain people at the expense of the rest of us!

This proposed solution sounds like something that could be done relatively soon, compared to amending the Town charter.

Guest

Maybe they should be a little nicer in the tax office when you go to pay your bills. I witnessed some very rude behavior towards an elderly man who had to write a check.. no tolerance or patience.

Guest

Public Parasites NOT Public Servants. The are over paid, lazy and rude.

They should be happy someone hired them. or why don't we just automate the whole process and get rid of town employees...they are democrat union thugs who work 1 hour a day and complain about that!

what next

I would like to have more information here- how much was involved? were the accounts personal friends? was there any explanation for why this was done? was it only done in one year? there are a whole lot of gaps here

Guest

It looks like the voters decided to fire Ms Gill-Brooks and hire a replacement!

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