A month-long investigation leads to the termination of two employees in New Bedford's Auditor's Office.

The Mayor's Office says Acting City Auditor Lynn Gaspar and a second unidentified employee were fired Friday for improperly coding payroll withholdings which would have allowed them to receive larger weekly "take-home" pay than normal.

The investigation, conducted by the Department of Personnel, the Department of Management Information Systems, and the Chief Financial Officer, was initiated after the improper coding was discovered during a routine review of payroll.

The New Bedford Police Department has reviewed the matter, and determined the actions of the employees were not criminal. No city money was lost, but the combined amount of withholdings amounted to about $5,000. The former employees will be required to return those funds.

No other improper codings were found during a precautionary review of payroll, and CFO Ari Sky has ordered a forensic audit by an independent firm to rule out any other violations by the two employees.

Mayor Jon Mitchell has appointed Sharon Thomas as the new Acting City Auditor.