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Hiller to Resign as CFO of Fairfield

First Selectman Michael Tetreau announces Hiller's resignation; status of CFO had been mum until now.

Fairfield's Chief Fiscal Officer Paul Hiller will resign, effective Sept. 15, 2012, First Selectman Michael Tetreau announced in a release Wednesday.

by Human Resources personnel, though Human Resources Director Mary Caroll Mirylees said that was an inaccurate account of what happened, according to a report in the Fairfield Citizen.

Hiller's status as CFO was kept quiet until now. When asked about Hiller at both the RTM and Board of Finance meetings in July, Tetreau declined to comment.

Though he will resign as CFO, a post he held for 13 years for Fairfield, Hiller will continue to assist the town with financial matters by serving as manager of financial services through June 30, 2013 upon his September resignation, according to the release.

"The Town is very fortunate to have had such a dedicated and hard working CFO who always had the best interests of the Town at hand," Tetreau said in the release.

"Under Mr. Hiller’s fiscal leadership, Fairfield maintained the coveted AAA rating from leading national rating agencies.  Mr. Hiller’s financial experience helped deliver a clean audit of the Town’s balance sheet at the end of every year.  I thank Mr. Hiller for all of his positive contributions to the Town and to our residents.”

Tetreau's Chief of Staff, Robert Mayer, will serve as acting CFO come Sept. 15, while continuing his role as Chief of Staff.

"I am thankful Mr. Hiller is willing to stay on to assist the Town with the help of Mr. Mayer," Tetreau added.

Mayer is a CPA and former Fairfield BOF member who served as a former CEO and Director of a $1 billion healthcare company, Health America. Mayor is also a former Chief Finance Officer and Director of Sierra Health Services, a NYSE Company, according to the release.

maryHelen Melnick August 05, 2012 at 07:14 AM
Dear inside townhall,if what you say is true and you can remember the names on the list then send it to the local news station. Evil such as this in this administration needs to be exposed. I think that this is just the beginning of what is going to hit the fan if you expose what you knw.
James H August 06, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Mr. Hiller was a decent and honest man and this is a HUGE loss to the town!!!. That being said, the CFO and for that matter the Human Resources position serve at the pleasure of the First Selectmen. Like I saw many times in the business world, when their is a new leadership team they usually want to bring in their own people. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't we should wait and see. I'm VERY interested in seeing how this plays out. I think that we have definately not been told the extent of the damage done by the Flatto administration and the amount of things that still need to be fixed. It could just be a way to show that the town is cleaning up those that were kept alive by Flatto (even though in this case I think it's the wrong move).
KEVIN DILLON August 06, 2012 at 07:28 PM
It is my understanding that the CFO of the town can only be removed by unanimous vote of the 3 selectman and he does not serve at the pleasure of one individual.
James H August 06, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Kevin...thanks for the clarification
Sherri Steeneck August 13, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I almost NEVER write to comment on things, I have been in and out of town and missed most of this commentary after Paul chose to retire. I am amazed at how quickly things both become political, get blown out of proportion or become totally distorted..oh wait... its local town stuff... I am not amazed! First, Jim Gallagher is right. Paul Hiller didn't do anything illegal and Paul is both a great guy and an honorable man. He has done a lot of good things for the Town and the community in general. Second, "InsideTownHall" has about as much inside knowledge as my dog. Mary Myrilees and Paul are friends and were talking and walking together. That doesn't constitute "being walked out". Third, Kevin and James, most employees, with the exception of some few, VERY FEW, appointed positions, of which the CFO is NOT one, can only be dismissed for cause (cause doesn't mean illegal) and the information in a human resource event is confidential. Only the person it pertains to can discuss it. From what I can see, Mr Hiller is retiring, was offered a package which acknowledges his service, in exchange for staying on in another capacity for about a year. If as some alledge, he was removed, he may have felt whatever cause expressed was valid and chose to retire, or he may have thought that he was planning on retiring anyway and this was a good way to ease out. To me, it looks like he chose to retire and was good enough to stay on a while to help with the transition. Best wishes to him!
Sherri Steeneck August 13, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Caitlin.... thank you for the Aug 1st article which was concise, yet specific, accurate and informative.
KEVIN DILLON August 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM
I refer you to Section 3 A and B of the town charter. Unless somewhere else within the charter it excludes the CFO, this section states that a unanimous vote of the selectmen is required to remove an officer with cause. That said, clearly there is no cause in the case of Paul Hiller. This might be the only article you read since you said you were away. There was another article that goes into detail about the agreement between Paul and Tetreau. If this was as you suggest a simple retirement, why can't Paul talk about it? This agreement precludes both sides from discussing it. This is not a voluntary retirement and my guess is when there are upcoming public meetings, enough questions will be raised to the current administration they will not be able to avoid addressing them. You are correct about Paul. He is a great guy and honorable man.
Andrea Williams August 13, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Sherri I must say you have no clue. You really shouldn't comment unless you have all the facts which it appears you don't
Fairfielder August 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM
So Andrea, you are implying that you do. I have to think Ms. Steeneck knows a heckuva lot more about town politics than you, so if you're going to call her out like that, you'd better have some iron-clad facts! Wow, some people!
InsideTownHall August 13, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Sheeri, you are forever the spin doctor. Mary and Paul are not friends. Mary with her do it my way idiotic behavior has alienated everyone around her. She and Paul have not spoken on a friendly note in more than two years. Bottom line is the First Selectman forced Paul out because he would not go along with the 401/pension conversion. Sheeri follow your dogs lead, don't try to spin this one. It will all come out in the next month and you will look very foolish.
Andrea Williams August 13, 2012 at 05:22 PM
InsideTownHall is 100% correct. To Fairfielder - I am not implying that I know more about town politics than Ms. Steeneck. I just know a lot of what goes on inside the town. I have iron-clad facts as you call them and everything will come out just wait and see.
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Sherri are you kidding me? First let's get the facts on the table, Mike Tetrreau is your past boyfriend and was your hand chosen person for First Selectmen after the Flatto fiasco. How do you know whether Hiller was walked out by Human Resources or was walking with "his friend" Mary Myrilees ... did Tetreau, Hiller or Mtyrilees tell you that ... because pursuant to the Secret Agreement they all signed they all signed they were not supposed to. Clearly you do not think that the Town would give Hiller a golden parachute for just retiring as you suggest, do you? You mean when someone retires from Town hall we give them a golden parachute including pension bonuses they are not entitled to just to say "Happy Retirement." I mean from what has been reported, the Secret Agreement will cost the Town hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars over Mr. Hiller's life. Now that's a nice retirement present. Wouldn't a party have been cheaper? Is that what you and Flatto did when you were First Selectmen??? Give employees Golden Parachutes they did not deserve on their way out the door???? Tetreau is a bully and thought he would force Hiller out without cause because he wanted his buddy Mayer in the position. Hiller lawyered up and the tax payer is going to pay dearly for Tetreau's management (or lack there of) style. What a sad day for the Town.
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Sherri, is Rich White, Director of Public Works, getting the same package that Hiller got when he retires later this month? He should since he was a loyal and honored employee longer than Hiller. I thought you were better than this Sherri!!! Maybe it is better you did not run for re-election, you would have just been officially covering for your boyfriend Tetreau then. Shame on you!!!
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Sherri are you kidding me? First let's get the facts on the table, Mike Tetrreau is your past boyfriend and was your hand chosen person for First Selectmen after the Flatto fiasco. How do you know whether Hiller was walked out by Human Resources or was walking with "his friend" Mary Myrilees ... did Tetreau, Hiller or Mtyrilees tell you that ... because pursuant to the Secret Agreement they all signed they all signed they were not supposed to. Clearly you do not think that the Town would give Hiller a golden parachute for just retiring as you suggest, do you? You mean when someone retires from Town hall we give them a golden parachute including pension bonuses they are not entitled to just to say "Happy Retirement." I mean from what has been reported, the Secret Agreement will cost the Town hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars over Mr. Hiller's life. Now that's a nice retirement present. Wouldn't a party have been cheaper? Is that what you and Flatto did when you were First Selectmen??? Give employees Golden Parachutes they did not deserve on their way out the door???? Tetreau is a bully and thought he would force Hiller out without cause because he wanted his buddy Mayer in the position. Hiller lawyered up and the tax payer is going to pay dearly for Tetreau's management (or lack there of) style. What a sad day for the Town.
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Sherri, is Rich White, Director of Public Works, getting the same package that Hiller got when he retires later this month? He should since he was a loyal and honored employee longer than Hiller. I thought you were better than this Sherri!!! Maybe it is better you did not run for re-election, you would have just been officially covering for your boyfriend Tetreau then. Shame on you!!!
Gideon Tomlinson August 14, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Actually, Mike Tetreau was unanimously endorsed by the Fairfield DTC and then elected in his own right by a convincing margin. In fact, he got many more votes than both of his opponents put together. Perhaps this could have been handled better, but one person who we have not heard complain about it is Paul Hiller. If Mr. Hiller had a problem with what happened, surely he would have refused to sign the agreement and taken the Town to court. Perhaps it is a very personal personnel matter such as a health issue. Perhaps not. I don't know. I am not sure any of us on this site do, but if Mr. Hiller was wronged, surely he is smart enough to know he could have sought and obtained redress in court.
R. Ludlowe August 14, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Perhaps he just made out well in the deal and signed a gag order.
Gideon Tomlinson August 14, 2012 at 02:39 AM
So according to all the other comments here, Mr. Hiller is the most honorable guy since George Washington, but R. Ludlowe is suggesting he sold his silence for 30 pieces of silver? I don't think so. If you take all the known facts into account, he did not publicly complain before signing this agreement, he stays on in a sort of part-time basis, and it is all treated as a personnel issue, sounds more like he has a health or similar issue that he does not want discussed.
Sherri Steeneck August 14, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Kevin, you are right, I didn't see the article you referred to. Since Paul resigned there is no Board of Selectman vote and I haven't had time to dig the charter out, but I will accept that I am wrong and if he was dismissed there would need to be one. And as you said, there still has to be cause for dismissal, not just a unanimous vote of the three members of the BOS. My main concern in my response was that people know that Paul is a good man and that he didn't do something illegal, because I have heard and read some nasty comments and suppositions. If he had done something wrong, Mike wouldn't be keeping him on in any capacity. As for why he won't talk about it. I don't know. That is his business.
Sherri Steeneck August 14, 2012 at 04:22 AM
I generally don't write on these things because people like InsideownHall and Sydney loves to make accusations, declare they are in the know and no one can say anything to them directly. They hide behind the pseudonym. I find it offensive, I think the Patch shouldn't allow it and won't be responding to any more of the pseudonyms after this. I have been with Mary and Paul in many meetings and have seen them talk casually many times before and after the meetings. Clearly InsideTown Hall has some grudges to vent. Andrea Williams I am not really clear on what facts you have, but as Ms. Melnick said, if InsideTownHall has knowledge of wrongdoings then he or she should come forward. And InsideTownHall, if I have been misled and look foolish, then so be it. I would rather go by my interactions with people than follow the rumor mill.
Sherri Steeneck August 14, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Sydney, Rich White is also a wonderful man and a stellar department head. You are right in saying he was an awesome member of the Staff and also did a tremendous amount for the town. The difference between his retirement and Paul's.... is that Paul is staying on in another capacity. Rich is not. If he was staying on, there would have to be something else for him. (I have no idea what Rich's retirement plan is..it would be based on years of service and his department head's contract.)
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Gideon: You are correct the entire DTC did endorse Mr. Tetreau. However, from all accounts the same DTC may be re-considering that decision. A week ago Monday at a DTC meeting there was a civil war over Tetreau's cowardly and taxpayer costly actions. Even Governor Malloy's counsel Tony Jannotta, a respected member of the DTC, tore into the Administration and selectman McCarthy Vahey for their cowardly and costly handling of Hiller. Mr. Hiller is not complaining because he cut an amazing deal for himself ... His silence was bought. As for your wild assertion that Hiller was sick, this is the the DTC line to deflect attention from Tetreau's stupid actions. I have never heard of a situation, other than the Town of Fairfield, where an employee gets sick and the employer has to give him a golden parachute costing the town hundreds of thousands of dollars. Crazy!!! Come on Gideon!
Sherri Steeneck August 14, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Sydney, whomever you are, I am not now and never have been Mike Tetreau's girlfriend (note his girlfriend is a very good friend of mine and I introduced them and she is called Sherry, short for Sheryl.) I have known Mike since the young Democrat days, 30+yrs ago, and we have been friends, never involved in a romantic sense...so GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. I also never ran for Election...so I couldn't run for re-election....feel free to shred that too. The comment about Mary walking Paul out the door was written in one of the papers where she commented that she didn't escort him out. I haven't spoken to Paul, or Mary, and Mike has been out of the country on vacation for about two weeks and returns tomorrow, so I haven't spoken to him either. Mr. Mayer is covering for Mr. Hiller now, and anyone who has seen him on the Board of Finance and spoken to him at length on the topic of finance is probably pretty pleased that we have him available to do that. His financial credentials are impeccable. (see my other comment to you, This is the end of my discussion with you "masked man," and I might say, coward fits.
James H August 14, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I saw this a number of times when I was in the corporate world. When an exec is given such a generous package to leave at the start of new leadership it generally means that the outgoing individual would not bend to the new leadership's way of thinking. As most of the posts here believe that Mr. Hiller is a good and decent man as well as an excellent financial executive it makes me wonder what he and Tetreau butted heads on.
James H August 14, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Frankly I don't much stock in anything Jannotta spews
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 04:18 PM
James H: Unfortunately Mr. Tetreau won't give us the reasons for the 2 weeks of administrative leave on the tax payer dime or the reason for Hiller's forced resignation with golden parachute of expensive added benefits and payments he was not entitled to firmly attached to his back. Mr. Tetreau promised during his campaign that he would provide open and transparent government. Fairfield is a Town, not a corporation. He needs to be open to the taxpayer when he wastes their money. Tthe Chief Fiscal Officer should not be the political appointment of your best friend. Hiller worked under both Democratic and Republican Administrations without any problem for 13 years. Tetreau gets elected and he has to leve, without cause, but with a golden parachute. Fairfield deserves better.
Sydney August 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Sherri: Are you kidding me? All an employee has to do in Fairfield is stay on in some capacity after retirement and they get hundred's of thousands of dollars in additional benefits and pay that they were not entitled to ehen they retired? Explain to me how someone resigns from their position and is still entitled to severance pay? When you resign you don't get that? When you resign, your pension does get increased to a level he would not be entitled to for another 5 to 7 years. Please explain. Rich White deserves the same package. Don't you agree??? Rich has been here longer. I take it that you would have done the same thing Tetreau did???
Sherri Steeneck August 15, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Sydney, This is my LAST comment about this. Again, I find it reprehensible that you can use a pseudonym and criticize without knowledge, only with supposition and innuendo. It is people like you who discourage good people from participating in the process.. I have no inside knowledge on the specifics. I learned the little I learned about it through the paper. I wrote only to state for those who thought Mr. Hiller did something illegal, that he did not. He could only be dismissed (Fired) for cause. If there is cause and he was asked to leave, then he had the right to appeal & to sue. LABOR LAW is specific. If he chose to retire, he has his reasons. I have said all I intend to say about something I don't know about and really don't care about. There are a thousand reasons for retirement and for dismissal. Past history doesn't guarantee future success or failure. I voted for Mr. Tetreau because I know that I am quite comfortable in his decision making. I don't need to know/micromanage every choice or action. Let's let everyone do their job and people who have a problem with something, be they an employee or the public, take whatever action is appropriate to the situation. I am done. I don't have time for this dialogue. As for the Charter,see section 9.5 as to how
Sherri Steeneck August 15, 2012 at 11:45 AM
(continued) the fiscal officer and controller is appointed, qualifications and duties. Mr. Dillon, it was a pleasure discussing this with you who seems like a reasonable human being. I did look at the Charter since you commented. (Please note, that what I say now isn't diected to you in particular.) Often the Charter says conflicting things in different sections and what it all means is debatable in court. When I PERSONALLY dealt with some personnel issues, I learned that there were very few positions that are at the First Selectman's sole discretion.... Chief of Staff, Director of Community and Economic Development, there may be one or two more. The huge majority of employees need CAUSE to be dismissed. CAUSE/performance falls under human resources, human resources kicks in labor law, much of which can't be discussed by anyone but the employee. It is hard for anyone to be "open and transparent" about everything when the law says you can't talk about it. Again, I have said what I am going to say about this. I am not privy to the specifics and I both trust the First Selectman and feel comfortable with his integrity and decision making. Did he handle it perfectly? Perhaps not, but sometimes there is no perfect way to handle something.
FHA Exposed June 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM
http://m.youtube.com/?reload=9&rdm=moep053z6#/watch?v=Jcf0_3SA8xE

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