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December 22, 2008


DiNapoli Audit: Olympic Regional Development Authority
Incorrectly Reported Attorney as Employee

Second Audit of Attorney’s Time and Attendance is Underway

The Olympic Regional Development Authority incorrectly reported its general counsel, John Cansdale, as an employee to the New York State and Local Retirement System when he actually served as an independent contractor, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

The audit, which covered April 2005 to February 2008, found that the authority incorrectly reported its general counsel as a full-time employee when he served in the capacity of an independent contractor and simultaneously was employed full-time by the Racing and Wagering Board.

“Independent contractors who provide services to state entities are no different than independent contractors who provide services to school districts,” DiNapoli said. “In both cases, they are not entitled to state pensions. The Olympic Regional Development Authority needs to correct its error.”

The Retirement System has initiated action to rescind Cansdale’s salary credit that was reported by the authority to the Retirement System. DiNapoli’s office is conducting a second audit to determine the accuracy of Cansdale’s time and attendance records at the Racing and Wagering Board.

DiNapoli’s audit found that Cansdale did not have permanent office space at the authority and performed most of his work from his office at the Racing and Wagering Board. In addition, Cansdale did not work set hours for the authority and the authority did not control how Cansdale performed his duties.

DiNapoli’s audit also noted that if the relationship between the authority and its general counsel continues as it was at the time of the audit, the authority should publicly and competitively bid for the services.

The audit also found that the authority did not properly enroll two full-time employees and one part-time employee in the Retirement System.

DiNapoli’s office recommends that authority officials:

  • discontinue reporting its general counsel to the Retirement System;
  • recover employer contributions to the Retirement System made on behalf of Cansdale;
  • enroll the two full-time employees in the Retirement System; and
  • determine if the part-time employee would like to enroll in the Retirement System.

The authority’s response is included in the audit. Click here to view the audit.

DiNapoli’s office has now revoked membership or retirement service credit for 46 individuals.



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