By James Niedzinski
---- — ROCKPORT — A town Department of Public Works employee is facing larceny charges for allegedly taking about $125 in “petty cash” from a locked box at the department.
Police arrested Stephen Silva, 52, of Paradis Circle on Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. after a weeks-long investigation into the missing town cash.
Police Chief John “Tom” McCarthy said Wednesday he was first told of the missing money on Feb. 26, when $35 had reportedly been taken from the cash box.
The next day, police and DPW employees installed a security camera directly across from where the box is placed nightly, the report states.
The following Monday, March 4, officials noted an additional $40 missing. After reviewing the security footage, police said Silva was seen deliberately taking money from the locked office on March 2.
”The money was removed and Mr. Silva closed the box and backed out of the office,” Sgt. Michael Marino wrote in the report. “Mr. Silva has a key.”
Court documents indicate DPW Director Joseph Parisi was the employee to realize that $50 had been taken from the cash box last weekend; as a result, cameras were installed in the work area prior to March 2nd.
Silva agreed to a police interview on Tuesday and admitted stealing $20, however he denied stealing any amount more or on any other occasion. He was soon after arrested and the key returned to Parisi.
During his arraignment Tuesday, he paid $750 in counsel contributions and fees and was released on personal recognizance.
This arrest follows an unrelated charge filed against a Rockport firefighter, who was arrested Saturday.
David Somers, 26 of Broadway Terrace was charged with a marked lanes violation and driving under the influence of alcohol. Somers was arrested Saturday around 12:30 a.m., after police were notified that he had been involved in a car accident in his own vehicle on Blue Gate Lane.
It remains unclear if the two are still serving the town.
Somers’ Facebook page, says he drove fire engines for the department.
Silva’s annual salary is roughly $44,000, according to a town official.
In an email to the Times on Wednesday, Town Administrator Linda Sanders said she could not disclose confidential information about disciplinary issues. Sanders said she was not certain on why the DPW would have a cash box, but departments throughout town have similar ones in order to make change.
“They are not unusual,” she said.
Neither James Doyle, the town’s fire chief or Parisi could be reached for comment on the story Wednesday.
James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.