Former Fairfield CFO appears in court, accused of stealing ‘fill pile’ documents
The former chief financial officer for Fairfield accused of stealing documents connected to an illegal dumping scandal appeared in court Monday.
Robert Mayer, 77, pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.
Mayer turned himself in to police on Friday and has been out on bond since.
He's been charged with multiple felony offenses, including burglary, larceny and tampering with physical evidence.
A couple months after First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick took office, she announced she would not renew both Mayer and Human Resource director Emmet Hibson's employment. Their termination came months after the former Department of Public Works superintendent and director, as well as a construction company owner, were all charged in connection with an illegal dumping scandal involving the fill pile at the DPW yard.
According to the arrest warrant, Mayer and Hibson were let go on Wednesday, Jan. 15 and escorted out of Sullivan Independence Hall.
Police say Mayer was allowed to keep his keys and was told to come back the following Saturday to clear his office of all his personal belongings.
The warrant shows that employees noticed a box of files was missing from a table in Mayer's office the next day.
According to the warrant, Mayer admitted to detectives that he took the files and agreed to bring them to police headquarters. The warrant also says he asked if what he did was wrong.
Mayer told police he wanted the files so that he could put together a resume to find a new job.
Detectives say when asked if any of the files pertained to the fill pile investigation, Mayer told them he didn't think so and that he wasn't involved at all, but later admitted taking the files "looked bad."
The warrant shows two folders contained documents pertaining to the Penfield Pavilion FEMA denial and appeals, which police say Mayer was supposed to turn over to either the town attorney or state's attorney.
The warrant shows a third folder contained material relating to the fill pile investigation including DPW audits, contamination cleanup estimates and information regarding potential contaminated sites in town.
Mayer's attorney, Richard Meehan, says his client did nothing wrong.
"This an instance of taking innocuous innocent behavior and making it appear to be something it's not," Meehan said. "Bob Mayer is 78 years old. He's a distinguished member of the community, served eight long years for the town of Fairfield as a member of the Board of Finance as well. And quite frankly, had a right to be where he was."
Mayer is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on March 2.