August 6, 2008
DiNapoli: Whitehall Clerk Diverted Nearly $93,000
By End of 2007, Town Was Short of Cash by $28,000
Between 2003 and 2007, the former town clerk of the Town of Whitehall diverted $92,848 in public moneys, and then wrote personal checks back to the town for $64,800, according to an audit released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. This activity, which resulted in a $28,000 cash shortage by the end of 2007, occurred largely because there was little to no supervision of the clerk’s activities, and very weak controls over cash transactions.
Subsequent to her resignation in December 2007, the former town clerk submitted two checks to the town totaling $31,000 to cover the shortage in town accounts. DiNapoli is referring the audit’s findings to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
“Public officials have to keep a very close watch on public finances,” said DiNapoli. “No one should have the opportunity to play fast and loose with taxpayer dollars. Personnel charged with handling cash should be properly supervised, and there have to be controls in place to ensure that employees aren’t losing or stealing the public’s money.”
The audit found that:
DiNapoli recommended that town officials:
Town officials have generally agreed with DiNapoli’s recommendations, and indicated they would take corrective action.
Click here for a copy of the audit.