Be wary of who you cross

City property owner Laurie Ortolano has made it her mission to bring accountability to Nashua City Hall, particularly within the Assessing Department.

After Ortolano repeatedly questioned the manner in which this department performed property assessments and valuations, Mayor Jim Donchess ordered an audit of the city’s assessing functions. This led to a reshuffling of the department, including the elimination of the chief assessor’s position.

However, Ortolano certainly didn’t stop there.

Ortolano suspected that Assessing Department employee Greg Turgiss may be doing things other than what he was supposed to do during working hours. Therefore, she went to the extent of paying Nashua private investigator William Freyler about $8,000 to track Turgiss.

Freyler said he spent about three weeks tailing Turgiss.

“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 stated in the report he shared 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.

On Friday, Turgiss told The Telegraph these allegations are false.

“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 Friday.

“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.”

We have no idea how this situation will ultimately resolve itself, but we find it quite unique when a private individual spends $8,000 of her own money to track a city official.

Whatever one’s opinion of Ortolano’s methods, she is clearly determined to make sure Nashua officials face public scrutiny. We do not know too many people who would spend $8,000 of their own money to track a city official.