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December 7, 2010

 

DiNapoli: Bath Wasted Tax Dollars

Village Officials Received $64,000 in Salary and Benefits
That They Were Not Entitled To


The Village of Bath failed to properly monitor payroll functions and as a result, village officials paid themselves and others approximately $64,000 in salary and benefits that they were not entitled to, and failed to properly approve another $119,000 in salary increases and employee benefits, according to an audit released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“The Village of Bath failed to protect taxpayer dollars,” said DiNapoli. “This is not acceptable. Village officials should never enrich themselves at the taxpayers’ expense. Bath must do better.”

The audit covered the time period June 1, 2007 to February 11, 2010.

DiNapoli’s audit found that nine village employees received improper payments totaling $63,977. During a 10-month period, all three individuals who served as clerk-treasurer made unauthorized payments to themselves totaling $13,533. Further, the village did not authorize salaries and benefits for non-union employees. As a result, 12 non-union employees, including village management, received $118,945 in unapproved salary increases and employment benefits such as holiday pay for holidays they did not work.

The village also failed to implement policies and procedures to adequately control village funds. Cash receipts totaling $136,000 had not been deposited and the village invested $782,000 in a manner not permitted by law. In addition, village officials failed to obtain competitive bids or quotes for purchases from 22 vendors totaling $365,255 and paid 315 claims totaling $1.3 million without auditing them.

DiNapoli recommended that board and village officials:

  • consider contacting law enforcement officials and encouraging prosecution of employees who intentionally overpaid themselves or took pay to which they knew they were not entitled;
  • take necessary action to recover all improper salary benefit payments made to current and former village employees;
  • develop policies and procedures to ensure all financial transactions are properly recorded and reported in a manner to allow taxpayers to gain assurance that village assets are properly safeguarded; and
  • solicit competition when procuring goods and professional services and ensure that all purchase are clearly documented.

Village officials agreed with DiNapoli’s recommendations and plan to take, or already have taken, corrective action.

For a full copy of this audit, see: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/villages/2010/bath.pdf



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