WESTBROOK, Maine — The city of Westbrook is investigating multiple ways to recoup $118,000 in funds allegedly embezzled by a former employee.

“We have insurance we’re pursuing, but it’s not clear at this point whether this is covered,” City Administrator Jerre Bryant said.

Bryant also said the city has made it clear to the U.S. Attorney’s Office that, if the former employee is ultimately charged and convicted, pursuing full restitution payments from that person should be a top priority.

City officials have declined to name the former employee in question, saying that the person has yet to be charged.

Mayor Colleen Hilton released a one-page statement Wednesday to alert the public that the FBI and a local police officer discovered that a city employee had skimmed $118,000 in public funds over the course of nine months, from July of last year to April of this year.

Bryant told the Bangor Daily News that the employee, who was immediately fired after the allegations came to light, is believed to have taken cash from city bank deposits and altered financial records to cover her tracks.

In the aftermath of the revelations, “the city has revised its reconciliation and bank deposit procedures, increased redundancy in that process and further separated responsibilities among multiple employees,” Hilton said

She added that the city is reviewing its hiring procedures to ensure the backgrounds of prospective employees are adequately investigated before they’re hired, although Bryant said he doubted anything in the suspect’s background would have raised red flags even under greater scrutiny.

Hilton said nobody’s private information was stolen as part of the alleged activity.

“It’s a city’s nightmare, and whoever did it should be prosecuted,” one resident, Eileen Martin, told WGME, CBS 13. “That’s ridiculous. People have it hard enough in Westbrook.”

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.