[Editor's note: The following information was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. U.S. Attorney David Fein for the district of Connecticut stresses that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.]
The former director of the Fairfield Housing Authority was charged with embezzling federal funds from the administration.
Elizabeth Jo Gutierrez, 47, of Ridgefield, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to the indictment that alleges she stole $30,000 from the Housing Authority.
Gutierrez served as executive director of the Fairfield Housing Authority from July 2010 to December 2011. The Authority administers federal housing programs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the mission of providing affordable housing for eligible low-income families and the elderly.
According to the indictment, Gutierrez issued two $15,000 checks from the Housing Authority's checking account in the summer of 2011 and allegedly deposited them into her own checking account.
Gutierrez was released on a $50,000 bond after pleading not guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. The charge of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
The Fairfield Board of Finance was alerted to "suspect transactions" in December 2012, when the Housing Authority's new executive director discovered some discrepancies in the administration's accounts.