The Academy for New York State's Local Officials

About the Academy

Comptroller DiNapoli launched The Academy for New York State's Local Officials – an innovative and strategic program that builds on his commitment to offer a helping hand to local government and school district officials. By increasing the number of classroom training sessions and web-based seminars, The Academy:

  • provides local officials a convenient way to improve their knowledge of local government finances; and
  • delivers a focused curriculum that’s helpful to both administrators and employees as they carry out their duties and day-to-day responsibilities.

Local officials, whether they're new to their job or just want to stay informed on the latest policy developments, will find that our staff closely tracks emerging issues affecting New York’s municipalities and school districts. This ensures that The Academy provides the most relevant training on topics such as budgeting, audits, ethics and fraud prevention. With more than 100 training sessions typically offered each year, local officials across the State can rely on the Office of the State Comptroller’s expert technical assistance to help them improve the fiscal health of their communities, better safeguard public assets, and find new ways to deliver services more efficiently.

Meet the Trainers

Executive Staff


Tracey Hitchen Boyd
Tracey Hitchen Boyd

Tracey Hitchen Boyd is the Assistant Comptroller at the Office of the State Comptroller’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability, leading modernization of analysis and systems, and advancing initiatives and best practices in Information, Research and Training.

Prior to joining the Office of the State Comptroller, Tracey was the Public Finance Director at the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, managing over $15 billion in capital markets transactions and equity financings providing low-cost funding for municipal infrastructure. Tracey was also a senior analyst at the State Budget Division, and a regional economist with an economic forecasting firm.

Tracey graduated from Union College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.


Janet Hyde
Janet Hyde

Janet Hyde is the Director of Information, Research and Training for the Division of Local Government Services and School Accountability. In this capacity she develops and leads the Division’s various research and policy analysis activities as well as its data collection and review activities. This work is done in support of the Comptroller’s role in overseeing the fiscal affairs of New York State’s many local governments and school districts.

In 2003, Janet joined the Comptroller’s Office as a member of the Division’s research unit, where she authored several reports covering topics in municipal finance, demographic and employment dynamics, financial condition, and municipal structures. Over the years, she has participated in some of the Division’s major initiatives such as development and implementation of the Fiscal Stress Monitoring System and administration of the Property Tax Cap and Tax Freeze Programs.

Janet has spent her entire career in public service. Prior to joining the Comptroller’s Office, she worked at the New York State Education Department, where she evaluated policy related to school district funding. She started her career with New York State in 1991 with the Department of Health.

Janet earned a Doctorate in 2004 from the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy where she currently serves as an adjunct professor, teaching classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Ben Schwartz
Ben Schwartz

Ben Schwartz is the Chief of Policy and Research for the Division of Local Government and School Accountability. In this capacity, he oversees the Division’s research and policy analysis efforts, training for local government officials, the collection and review of required property tax filings statewide and the payment of various aid programs to local governments.

Ben joined the Comptroller’s Office as a member of the Division’s Research Unit in 2004. He was promoted to manage the Division’s Publications and Web Services Unit in 2012 and managed the Monitoring and Analysis Unit from 2017 through 2019.

Ben graduated from the University at Buffalo and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy in 2004 from the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.


Training Staff


Daniel K. Acquilano
Daniel K. Acquilano

Dan Acquilano is the Manager of the Local Official Training Unit. He joined the Division of Local Government and School Accountability in 2005 and worked as an auditor in the Rochester Region until 2014. Since then, he has been presenting at many local government conferences and at OSC’s accounting schools as part of the Local Official Training Unit.

Dan is a highly sought-out trainer and technical assistance resource for local government officials throughout the State. He has built relationships with many of the local government associations with which OSC partners in providing training to all levels of local government in New York State. Outside of the Comptroller’s Office, Dan is a certified Master Trainer in the United States Navy and a faculty advisor at the US Navy War College’s Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, Rhode Island.

Dan graduated with honors from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Dan is also an honors graduate of the US Navy Senior Enlisted Academy. In 2017, Dan received the New York State Society of Municipal Finance Officers Director’s Award.


William D. Naylor
William D. Naylor

William Naylor is an Associate Examiner in OSC’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability. He has been with the Division since 2008. In January 2016, he joined the Local Official Training Unit. His current duties include presenting at local government conferences and at OSC’s accounting schools.

Will was the lead auditor on a variety of municipal audits conducted in compliance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards. He has also provided training and technical assistance to local officials out of the Rochester Regional Office.

Will graduated from the State University of New York College at Brockport with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and a Minor in Economics. He is a Certified Internal Auditor, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.


Leslie Richard
Leslie Richard

Leslie Richard is an Associate Examiner in OSC’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability. She has been with the Division since 2005 and worked as an auditor in the Glens Falls Region until 2020. In 2020, she joined the Local Official Training Unit. Her current duties include presenting at local government conferences and at OSC’s accounting schools.

Leslie was the supervisor and lead auditor on a variety of municipal audits conducted in compliance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards. She has also provided training and technical assistance to local officials. Earlier in her career, Leslie was an audit supervisor at a local public accounting firm. She primarily prepared financial statements for nonpublic companies as well as corporate, partnership and individual tax returns.

Leslie graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She also graduated from SUNY Adirondack with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts - Humanities and Social Sciences. She is a Certified Public Account and a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Ingrid M. Otto
Ingrid M. Otto

Ingrid M. Otto is an Associate Examiner in OSC’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability. She has been with the Division since 2007 and worked as an auditor in the Syracuse Region and in the Monitoring and Analysis Unit (MAU). In 2020, she joined the Local Official Training Unit. Her current duties include presenting at local government conferences and at OSC’s accounting schools.

Ingrid has worked on a variety of audits while working out of the Syracuse Regional office. While in MAU she worked directly with local officials, providing technical assistance for questions related to the real property tax cap and tax data verification. She has also been a lead presenter on various webinars for local officials.

Ingrid graduated from Utica College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant.


Sarah Driscoll

Sarah Driscoll is a Senior Examiner in OSC’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability. She started her OSC career in the Glens Falls Regional Office in 2012 and joined the Local Official Training Unit working out of Albany in April 2020. Her duties include developing and presenting various topics for local officials, presenting at OSC’s accounting schools and other training events, and providing technical assistance to local officials.

Sarah was the lead auditor on a variety of municipal audits conducted in compliance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards and provided technical assistance to local officials. Prior to joining OSC’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability, Sarah worked as a staff accountant at a public accounting firm where she was responsible for conducting financial statement audits of school districts and preparing tax returns.

Sarah graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.