Former Wareham Schools Bookkeeper Sues Town, Alleging Irregularities
WAREHAM — A former bookkeeper with the Wareham Public Schools is suing the town and three town employees alleging mistreatment leading up to her termination, deceptive accounting practices and a variety of financial irregularities.
Ex-employee Marie Ciccotelli filed the suit in Plymouth County Superior Court against the town, Wareham Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood, and two other staff members on Oct. 5.
Among the allegations in the lengthy complaint are that the district uses “hidden budget cushions” to cover operations and has made double payments or large payments for items that could not be found.
Specifically, Ciccotelli alleges that the district made “large payments” for solar panels and a $38,000 electric car kit, neither of which she found.
She also alleges that the district paid twice for the same computers at Decas Elementary School, and that an employee was “double billing” the town by being paid a salary and getting paid as a vendor at the same time.
Dr. Shaver-Hood has not yet responded to multiple requests for comment.
Ciccotelli was hired by the district in October 2018 and terminated on Sept. 27, 2019, according to the lawsuit.
In the complaint she outlined a belief that she was mistreated, harassed and ultimately fired after expressing concerns with the “questionable accounting and financing practices” at the district.
She accuses her supervisors of making unlawful payments that "constituted the theft of public funds.”
Ciccotelli's attorney Christopher Trundy called the payments in question "a matter of record," noting that the plaintiff is prepared to prove that they were issued.
The lawsuit also states that Ciccotelli contacted the state Attorney General’s office and the state Ethics Commission regarding her accounting concerns, although WBSM was unable to independently verify these claims.
The former employee is seeking reimbursement for lost wages and benefits as well as attorneys fees, relief for emotional damages, and reinstatement to her former position.
She is also seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants named in the lawsuit.