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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of LeRay – Justice Court (S9-14-05)


Released: August 15, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if Court officials properly collected, reported and remitted moneys on behalf of the Court for the period January 1, 2012 through February 28, 2014.

Background

The Town covers 73 square miles and has approximately 21,700 residents. The Town Board (Board), comprising a Supervisor and four Board members, is the governing body responsible for overseeing the Town’s financial activities, including the Court’s general management and financial operations. The Court’s 2013 budgeted appropriations were $90,300. During the audit period, the Court operated with three Justices – George Mead (retired June 2013), John Hallett and Larry Covell (who started July 2013) – and two Court clerks. According to the Court’s System, the Court collected 4,639 payments totaling approximately $443,900 in fines, surcharges and fees from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

Key Findings

  • The Court has not properly collected, reported and remitted moneys received. We found numerous errors and irregularities. Specifically, cash receipts of $892 were recorded but never deposited into Court bank accounts; the Court has not reported and remitted $7,542 to the Office of the State Comptroller Justice Court Fund (JCF); outstanding bail of $7,200, over six years old, has not been remitted to the Town as required; and the traffic violations reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are not up-to-date.
  • The Court does not reconcile monthly DMV reports with current Court caseload activity and, therefore, may be losing revenue from traffic violations.
  • The Court has not completed monthly bank reconciliations.
  • The Court’s information technology system (System) allowed changes and deletions to information without accountability and user transactions are not properly monitored.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that all receipts received are deposited intact and in a timely manner. Ensure that the Justices report and remit all applicable revenues to the JCF. Transfer all bail money that is over six years old to the Town.
  • Periodically review and reconcile the DMV pending-ticket log with caseload activity to ensure that tickets are properly reported, as paid or enforced, in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that bank reconciliations are being completed for all Court bank accounts when monthly bank statements are received.
  • Assess the risk areas in the Court software, such as an inadequate audit trail and insufficient automated controls.

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