Bloomfield closed the MVD last Friday, less than an hour after staff within the department reported missing money to city administration, said Bloomfield Mayor Scott Eckstein.
Police suspect a part-time employee was skimming money from funds going into the MVD that were supposed to be deposited in a city bank account.
The woman was spacing out deposits to make it appear they were normal deposits, City Manager David Fuqua said.
Fuqua identified the suspect as Melissa A. Mead, 34.
Though Mead had not been charged with a crime by Thursday evening, Bloomfield Police Chief Mike Kovacs said an arrest was pending.
Fuqua said Mead confessed to stealing money to support a gambling addiction.
“She made the comment that she will pay every penny back,” Fuqua said.
Fuqua said city officials acted swiftly and efficiently when the theft was brought to their attention. The department was immediately closed and police started an investigation.
“City governments should be responsible to their citizens,” he said. “We will be responsible. When someone is caught stealing from city government we’re going to get everything we can back because they are stealing from the citizens.”
Eckstein said the city will request the state auditor conduct an investigation to determine exactly how much money is missing from the department.
Kovacs said police estimate between $20,000 to $30,000 was taken in the last four months. Mead was hired about four months ago.
The Bloomfield MVD has an annual budget of $206,000, Fuqua said.
There are six total employees within the department. Mead has been placed on unpaid administrative leave while police finish the investigation. The other five employees are on paid administrative leave.
Mead was hired four months ago and the city suspects she started embezzling money immediately, Fuqua said.
It is not known when the MVD will reopen.
Eckstein said Bloomfield hopes to “restore the integrity (of the department) and get it opened as soon as possible.”