West Haven mayor’s son charged with embezzling $80,000

West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi

West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi

The son of West Haven’s mayor has been charged with embezzling more than $80,000 from two restaurants he was managing.

Stephen Rossi, of Aircraft Road, West Haven, the son of Mayor Nancy Rossi, was charged with first-degree larceny, first-degree computer crime and criminal impersonation.

Rossi had been manager of the Sitting Duck restaurants in Trumbull and Stratford.

“From what I'm told, it's an employee-employer dispute," Mayor Rossi said. “I believe in the Constitution, he's innocent until proven guilty."

Police said they received a complaint from William da Silva, co-owner of the Sitting Duck restaurants in Trumbull and Stratford, that Rossi had been embezzling from the restaurants.

An audit determined that between Nov. 1, 2015, and April 21, 2018, Rossi had taken cash from sales at the restaurants and had inflated inventory at the restaurants, pocketing the difference, police said. They said the loss totaled $80,511.56.

Police said they reviewed the video surveillance footage from inside the Trumbull restaurant which they said showed Rossi counting cash in the office of the restaurant and putting some in his pocket.

Detectives later recorded a conversation between Rossi and da Silva in which police said da Silva accused Rossi of stealing money.

“How do we fix this without it blowing up completely,” police said Rossi asked da Silva, volunteering to repay the money in payments.