The Board of Finance carried on at its quarterly meeting Tuesday night without its clerk -- Fiscal Officer Paul Hiller.

Hiller has been absent from his town office since last week, when sources say he was placed on administrative leave by First Selectman Michael Tetreau.

"There have been some press reports," finance Chairman Thomas Flynn said of the possible action against Hiller, who has held the chief fiscal officer's post for more than 12 years. "We weren't consulted on this item."

Flynn gave Tetreau an opportunity to address the issue, but as he did at the previous night's Representative Town Meeting, Tetreau said he would not comment on a personnel matter.

While the fiscal officer is appointed by the first selectman, the clerk of the Board of Finance, under town charter rules, is appointed by that board and must "be a certified or licensed public accountant or otherwise have experience in the financial field." The clerk serves at the pleasure of the board.

"As of right now, Mr. Hiller is the clerk of this board," Flynn said, adding he believes Hiller was first appointed as the clerk 13 years ago. Prior to that, he said, Hiller had been a member of the Board of Finance for 18 years.

Sources indicated that they do not believe the board plans to replace Hiller as the clerk.

Flynn asked Tetreau to provide the board with updates on Hiller's status as soon as he is able.

Board member James Brown asked Tetreau if he had any idea when that might be. Tetreau again said he had no comment.

Town employees said that Human Resources Director Mary Carroll Mirylees had escorted Hiller out of the building last week after he was put on administrative leave, a description Mirylees disputed as "essentially inaccurate."

"I did not escort him out of the building," she said. "That is factually inaccurate." However, she refused to elaborate on what the circumstances regarding Hiller's status are.

Hiller recently shepherded the town through a bond sale that garnered the town historic low interest rates, and in the last two months, the town's top AAA bond rating has been reaffirmed by all three credit-rating agencies.

Hiller, a Republican who once unsuccessfully sought the GOP first selectman nomination, was appointed fiscal officer by then-Selectman Kenneth Flatto, a Democrat. He had been a member of the Board of Finance, and its chairman, for many years prior to that.

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