Torrington reviewing audit into tax collector’s office

Robert Crovo, Torrington tax collector.

TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– Torrington city leaders are reviewing an audit into the tax collectors’ office.

The private tax office, the only of its kind in Connecticut is operated by Robert Crovo, a local podiatrist.

In just the past nine months, city leaders have fielded more than a dozen complaints about his office from taxpayers, who feel that they can not get the assistance they need, to solve relatively simple issues.

“I am writing you as a last resort,” wrote Torrington taxpayer Justin White to mayor Elinor Carbone. Since 2013, he has been billed for property owned by a Juston White, a person unrelated to him.

“I thought it was a scam at first,” said White from his Torrington home. He has asked his family to help him fix the issue, to no avail.

“They told [my father] it wasn’t their problem,” said White.

White emailed the Mayor in April 2014 pleading for help. In internal emails, the details of the dispute are clearly laid out: Justin White has been getting billed for a Juston White, who moved from Torrington to Waterbury.

Torrington Administrative Assistant Tim Waldron detailed the issue to the tax office, including pictures of the system discrepancy.

Darlene Kantor, the tax office manager points to the Assessor’s office and information they put in the system.

To date, Justin White and his family say they have not heard a resolution about the tax bill that keeps coming to them.

This is just one of the many complaints received in the Mayor’s office. This includes complaints from an office just up the stairs from the tax office, the assessors’ office.

“Ignorance is bliss and this broad is truly blissful,” wrote City Assessor Donna Patchen in an email to a coworker referring to Kantor.

“I wish there was an easy fix to this entire solution, but that is not the case,” wrote Mayor Carbone to a taxpayer asking why Crovo remains in the position.

“Even in the event that the city deems it fit to break the contract, building a tax office is not an easy task that can be overnight,” wrote Carbone.

The 223 page audit, being performed by Ron Beaulieu, is being reviewed by city staff. Carbone says it will be released shortly, possibly by weeks end.

Attempts to reach Crovo were unsuccessful. When asked for comment via text to the cell phone given to city officials he responded, “This is a restricted Podiatry Line n serves [sic] as my answering service for patients… [sic] Any more texts or calls will b [sic] taken as harassment… U [sic] will need to b [sic] a little more creative…”

Tax office staff said they were ordered to lock the door during regular business hours after we stopped by to ask questions.

Crovo’s attorney declined comment.

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