Updated 3:15 p.m. Dec. 12
Spokesman for Milford Rotary Paul Mangels says allegations that the group's former treasurer embezzled more than $235,000 from the nonprofit has shaken members "to the core," many who knew the man for 30 years.
"I think the message has to be we're 100 people doing good," Mangels said. "It's important we communicate we're still alive and well."
Mangels said it would be "unfortunate" if the community's conception of Milford Rotary turns on this incident.
"We ended up being in a place we never thought we'd be," he said.
Mangels said new procedures are in place to better warn of any future financial malfeasance. He said he plans to share these initiatives with other rotaries in the area.
Milford Rotary meets tonight. At the request of Milford Patch, Mangels said he will draft a statement on behalf of the group concerning the alleged embezzlement.
Our original report follows.
The treasurer of the Milford Rotary Club was arrested Wednesday after a forensic audit allegedly showed he embezzled more than $235,000 from the nonprofit over the past 18 years.
Richard Weir, 66, of Snug Harbor Road, is accused of misappropriating funds in the amount of $211,000 between 1995 and 2008, and in the amount of $25,000 between 2008 and 2013, Milford police spokesman Jeff Nielsen said Thursday.
Weir used the funds for personal and business finances, police said the months-long investigation, which started with a complaint from the group itself, revealed.
Police said further information was developed that linked Weir to a misappropriation of funds at two additional non-profit groups where he served as treasurer: Milford Special Olympics and The Milford Club.
The Milford Club audit calculated $19,000 in diverted or stolen funds, police said. The Milford Special Olympics audit found misappropriated funds in 2012 in the amount of $3,500, which were later returned this summer, police said.
For the alleged crimes, Weir was arrested on three warrants Wednesday that charged him with first-degree larceny, second-degree larceny and third-degree larceny.
The 66-year-old Milford man was released from police custody after posting $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court on Jan. 7.
Milford Rotary spokesman Paul Mangels tells the Connecticut Post that the alleged thefts went unnoticed for years because they "were done very creatively.
"But in June," Mangels tells the paper, "there was an opportunity to see the checkbook, which was not usual, and we found some suspicious notations."
No Milford Rotary projects were adversely affected by the misappropriations and the group plans to seek recovery through insurance and a civil lawsuit, Mangels said, according to the Post. Additionally, the club has implemented new safeguards to protect it against future financial malfeasance.
The newspaper reports that Weir works as an accountant downtown at the firm Discenza & Co.
The report adds that he "was immediately removed from the treasurer's post that he'd held since 1995 and he resigned from the Milford Rotary a short time later."
"What would it take to change the world?" reads the first sentence in the about section on the Milford Rotary's website. "Rotary's 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self."