City employee allegedly caught sleeping on the job
Turgiss would allegedly drive to either the River Rail Trail parking lot, or to the lot behind Holiday Inn & Suites. There, the detective claims he watched Turgiss recline his seat to take naps.
Nashua private investigator William Freyler said he spent three weeks following Turgiss during his assigned working hours.
“Greg has been signing out of the office, saying he is doing field work, when he is actually driving aimlessly around to accrue mileage and waste time napping or sitting in his personal vehicle,” Freyler concluded in his report shared Thursday with The Telegraph.
Furthermore, Ortolano said during the last three days of the investigation, she would disguise herself by wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and at times wear gloves on her hands as she carried out the remainder of the surveillance.
“The last three days when I surveilled him, he was defrauding the city, doing little to no work – either napping or staring into space,” Ortolano alleges.
Ortolano told The Telegraph she hired Freyler for about $8,000 after city officials repeatedly declined to respond to her allegations, which accused Turgiss of causing “irreversible and widespread” damage to the city. During the last several months, Ortolano brought to light problems with Nashua’s assessing department. This prompted the city to eliminate former chief assessor Jon Duhamel’s position.
At times, Ortolano said she even helped Freyler track Turgiss. For instance, she visited the assessing office at City Hall frequently, “checking … for sign-out times on the whiteboard,” she said, adding she also recorded some of his return times.
Freyler, meanwhile, indicated in his report an emerging pattern involving Turgiss’ travels outside the office. On one occasion, Freyler reported, he followed Turgiss to the Merrimack YMCA, watched him leave about a half-hour later, then followed him south on what he refers to as Route 3, presumably referring to Daniel Webster Highway.
“While trying to follow Greg, I noticed he took several right-hand turns,” Freyler wrote, describing a circuitous route that led back to Route 3.
Back in Nashua, Turgiss turned onto Charron Avenue, turned left on Pine Hill Road, then right onto Broad Street, at which time he got onto the Everett Turnpike headed south, Freyler wrote.
After losing sight of Turgiss’ car, Freyler said he “ended surveillance for the day.”
Freyler describes several such scenarios in which he lost Turgiss, but on April 11, while waiting at the River Rail Trail parking lot of Gilson Road, Freyler said Turgiss drove into the lot, parked and smoked a cigarette.
Turgiss then “took off his cowboy hat, reclined his car seat and began to nap,” Freyler wrote. About an hour later, he said Turgiss woke up, drove out of the lot, headed down Countryside Drive and arrived back at City Hall about 15 minutes later.
On April 22, Turgiss wrote “OTL/field” on the whiteboard schedule, meaning “out to lunch” then “field work.”
However, Freyler said Turgiss didn’t return to City Hall until 3 p.m., “nor did he perform any work besides driving around … then parking for hours at the Holiday Inn.”
Ortolano dropped Freyler’s investigation report off at the Mayor’s Office at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
“I believe that this has been going on for a very long time and if we investigate his logs and his field work, there would be a good bit fraud in there,” Ortolano said of Turgiss.
Turgiss, for his part, acknowledged the city has received the allegations from Ortolano and he is aware of the accusations. In a statement to The Telegraph, he expressed confidence the city, after an internal investigation, will be satisfied with his performance.
“The city informed me today that it received allegations of impropriety on my part regarding time spent out of the office and the legitimacy of mileage reimbursement requests for use of my personal vehicle for city business,” Turgiss said in his Friday statement. “I wish for The Telegraph to know that I encourage the city to conduct its own investigation. I am confident that my behavior in both regards will satisfy the city’s scrutiny.”
Mayor Jim Donchess referred inquiries to the city’s legal and personal departments.
“The city of Nashua is interested in making sure we have an effective and efficient government,” Donchess added.
When asked about the investigator’s report, Nashua Corporation Counsel Steve Bolton said all personnel complaints are subject to a fair and thorough investigation, but he would not comment further on how officials will address the allegations against Turgiss.