Debt Ceiling Impact in Connecticut; Federal Courts Operating for Now; Living in Stolen Luxury

Oct 14, 2013

It's all about cash money in The Wheelhouse Digest. While the government is coming close to hitting the debt ceiling again, with federal dollars in a state of seizure, someone else is in the news for stealing public money from a Connecticut town, and leading a "double life." Can anyone make an honest dollar anymore? That and more below.


Keith Phaneuf, budget reporting guru.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state could see job losses in the tens of thousands.

Keith Phaneuf wrote that Connecticut could experience "violent fiscal contractions" in its state budget if revenue shrinks as quickly as it probably will if investor confidence is shattered by a landmark national failure to cover debt. The reason the impact is potentially so serious: a large chunk of the state's income tax receipts are linked to sensitive investment-related earnings.

Read more at The Connecticut Mirror.


U.S. District Court for Connecticut, in New Haven.
Credit Federal Judicial Center

Connecticut's federal courts may call jurors to serve but delay their payment.

Chief Clerk Robin Tabora posted a notice on Friday stating the Judiciary had enough funds to operate, albeit with restricted spending, for ten business days, despite the October 1 federal shutdown. It's not yet clear what will happen after this week for the state's federal courts. Private attorneys have been asked to take up some of the cases that would have gone to federal public defenders -- likely at a greater eventual cost.

Read more at CT News Junkie.


The town of Winchester's former finance director is held in a New Haven jail.

Arrested August 30, former Winchester finance director Henry Centrella, Jr. has been charged with stealing over $2 million from the town over five years, which officials charge supported not just his wife and kids, but also a gambling habit and a mistress in Florida. The warrant for his arrest tells some of the alleged story. Centrella is accused of dodging quality control checks in his job, resisting recommendations from auditors and town managers, and canceling meetings with bank officials to avoid being discovered.

Read more at The Hartford Courant.