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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Waverly – Justice Court Operations (2012M-113)


Released: October 19, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Justice Court's financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, to February 24, 2012.

Background

The Village of Waverly is located in the Town of Barton in Tioga County. The Village is governed by a Board of Trustees which comprises six elected members and an elected Village Mayor. The Village operates its Justice Court with two Justices, one elected and one appointed acting Justice, who are responsible for Court operations. The Justices have one full-time and one part-time clerk, who handle the majority of the Court's activity.

Key Findings

  • There was a complete lack of oversight by the Justices of the Court clerks. The Justices did not ensure that Court moneys were properly accounted for. We found errors and irregularities occurred along the entire process from adjudicating tickets to their recording, collection, and reporting to the JCF.
  • The Board was not aware of the extent of the problems with the records, because they relied on a CPA to review the receipts and disbursements of the Court. The CPA did not detect or bring these serious problems with the records to the attention of the Board.
  • We tested 120 transactions totaling $18,000 and found 50 instances totaling $2,805 where money was not accounted for and may have been stolen. However, the Court records were in such disarray that we were not able to identify the cause of this missing money.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide the Court clerk a clear description of job duties to be performed. Ensure that ticket amounts recorded in the accounting system do not differ from the amounts as reported to JCF and DMV.
  • Stop contracting with their current CPA firm to provide agreed upon procedures engagements.
  • Ensure that each ticket is recorded in the accounting system and that authorizing documentation is prepared and maintained on file for each ticket that is deleted from the accounting system.

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