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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department – Payroll, Civil Fees and Bail (2013M-120)


Released: August 2, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Department’s operations for the period January 1, 2011, to February 28, 2013.

Background

Schuyler County is located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State and has a population of 18,340. The County is governed by eight part-time Legislators. The Chairman of the Legislature is the County’s Chief Executive Officer; however, the Legislature appoints a Chief Administrative Officer who acts as the supervisor of County administrative functions. The County’s budgeted appropriations for 2013 are $45.2 million. The County Sheriff’s Department appropriations total $2.9 million.

Key Findings

  • The County entered into an improper contract for security services with Watkins Glen International (WGI), a private entity. Over the last two years, the County has paid 351 individuals $233,840 for providing law enforcement services to WGI in connection with events at the racetrack. In these cases, the County improperly pays these individuals as if they were independent contractors by check based on completed vouchers and issues them a 1099 form at the end of the year. As a result, no taxes are reported or withheld, and no information is reported to the State retirement systems.
  • We found errors with 231 of the 333 leave request forms that were available for review, 40 exceptions with the 395 overtime entries, and exceptions with eight of the nine employees’ leave accruals reviewed.
  • The Sheriff’s Confidential Secretary is responsible for processing all civil fees and bail received and disbursed by the Department with little to no oversight. The Secretary did not prepare monthly reports or perform an accountability analysis.

Key Recommendations

  • Cease contracting with WGI for the provision of law enforcement services at the racetrack. Pay temporary officers or employees of the County using the payroll system. Contact ERS regarding reporting the earnings and period of service and eligibility for membership of additional law enforcement personnel.
  • Ensure employees’ electronic time records are supported with properly completed leave request forms and overtime slips prior to approving them.
  • Segregate cash receipts duties. Prepare monthly reports and accountability analyses for review by the Sheriff or his designee.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236