NORWALK - The interim director of the Norwalk anti-poverty agency NEON says she had the painful task today of issuing pink slips to many of her workers, some of whom spoke candidly with News 12 Connecticut.

Interim director Patricia Wilson Pheanious said if city officials release the money they froze following the recent investigation into NEON's funding practices, the layoffs could be averted.

An external audit found NEON's outgoing director Joe Mann misappropriated money.

Pheanious says 82 workers, or one-third of the company's staff, are either facing layoffs or reduced hours.

NEON director: Ex-chief will not get big bucks