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Candidate withdraws name in protest at New Canaan Town Council meeting

Published 4:55 pm, Friday, January 11, 2013
  • Roy Abramowitz leaves the Town Council meeting after withdrawing his name in protest. Jan. 10, 2013. New Canaan, Conn. Photo: Tyler Woods
    Roy Abramowitz leaves the Town Council meeting after withdrawing his name in protest. Jan. 10, 2013. New Canaan, Conn. Photo: Tyler Woods

 

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Roy Abramowitz's opening statement as a Town Council candidate was also his closing statement during Thursday night's meeting.

Abramowitz abruptly declared his withdrawal from consideration claiming he had been unfairly maligned in an email sent to Town Council members which he claimed "attacked my professionalism and my character."

Abramowitz referred to a memo sent Thursday morning to Town Council Chairman Mark DeWaele from New Canaan resident Mike Farrell, chairman of the Historical Review Committee. In the email, Farrell questioned several of the credentials Abramowitz cited in his Dec. 12 letter to the New Canaan Advertiser announcing his intention to run for the Town Council seat. DeWaele asked the Town Council Secretary Kit Devereaux to forward the memo for the rest of the Town Council.

Abramowitz told the New Canaan News he was "disgusted" that the inflammatory email was disseminated to the Town Council the morning before they were to vote for their new member.

"For the chairman of the Town Council not to alert me about this and not give me a chance to prove that the thing is totally false and baseless and send it around to every member of the Town Council is unacceptable and to me it's election rigging and I didn't want to be a part of it. Why would I waste my time?"

DeWaele said he felt that not sharing the information would have been a disservice to the members of the Council.

"Town Council members, when they receive a letter from a resident asking for information be disseminated to the council, make the information available to all members of the council," DeWaele wrote in an email to the New Canaan News Friday. "Town Council members would be right to criticize if the information was not made available to them for their own evaluation as to the validity of the information."

In the email, Farrell took issue with Abramowitz's claim to be a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, an august financial regulation board created by Sarbanes-Oxley, whose members are appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and vetted by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and the Secretary of the Treasury.

In fact, Abramowitz is not a member of the board, he is merely registered with the PCAOB as an accountant. In the description of his qualifications, Abramowitz had written, "I have been a practicing Certified Public Accountant since 1974, a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and manage a `Quality Review Certified Public Accounting Practice.'"

In an interview, Abramowitz claimed that his letter had read "member firm" rather than "member" and been edited for length by the Advertiser, which has a word limit.

Farrell, who in the email identifies himself as a retired accountant who worked at Price Waterhouse for 39 years, also claimed that Abramowitz, who has an office on Locust Street in New Canaan, is not registered as a CPA in Connecticut.

Abramowitz responded in an email to the Town Council saying that in fact he does have an accounting permit, even listing his number: 4851.

At the New Canaan Nature Center Thursday night, Abramowitz went well over the allotted two minutes for his opening statement, reading from prepared remarks to set the record straight on his record.

"I will never stop questioning and I will continue to stand by what I believe, even if I stand alone. I will consider running again when civility and fairness [return]. Thank you and God bless America," he concluded.

He then got out of his chair and exited the room.

twoods@bcnnew.com; 203-972-4413; https://twitter.com/Woods_NCNews