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June 3, 2008

DiNapoli Will Audit Use of State Grants
for Paetec Park

Mayor Duffy Joins DiNapoli for Announcement

The State Comptroller’s office will conduct an audit of PAETEC Park to determine if $19 million in state grant money was used for its intended purposes to help fund the design and construction of the Park, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today at a news conference with City of Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy.

“Even in today’s economy, $19 million is still a lot of money,” DiNapoli said. “Those are tax dollars; they should only be used to provide services that benefit taxpayers. Mayor Duffy asked us to audit the state grants associated with PAETEC Park, and we’ll be coming in to make sure the funds were spent appropriately.”

“Earlier this year, the financial situation of the former lessees of PAETEC Park and owners of the Rhinos was in jeopardy. I asked Comptroller DiNapoli to conduct an audit to ensure that taxpayer dollars were being spent appropriately,” said Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy. “Since the new owners have taken over, the operation seems to be moving in the right direction. There has been a flurry of outstanding lawsuits involving the former owners, which has resulted in a negative public perception. This audit is necessary to ensure that the public’s trust is preserved.”

In February Duffy requested that DiNapoli’s office conduct an audit of PAETEC Park. DiNapoli’s auditors began a risk assessment and determined a full audit is warranted. The audit will start within the next few weeks.

DiNapoli’s audit will focus on examining how state grants were spent to determine if the money was used in accordance with grant requirements and will also review the process for committing state funds to the project. Auditors will review a $15 million grant administered by the Empire State Development Corporation and a $4 million grant administered by the state Dormitory Authority.

It is too early in the audit process to determine how long the audit will take to complete.



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