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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Clinton County - Separation Payments (2018M-44}

Released: June 15, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the County accurately paid employees’ separation payments.

Key Findings

  • The County lacked effective procedures to ensure employees were accurately paid separation payments.
  • We reviewed 30 separation payments totaling $512,693 made during the audit period and found that seven payments (23 percent) were not accurately calculated. As a result, four former employees were overpaid a combined total of $10,089 and three former employees were underpaid a combined total of $403.

Key Recommendations

  • Implement an independent review and approval of separation payments.
  • Direct the County’s legal counsel to review the identified overpayments and take appropriate action to recover those funds and reimburse identified underpayments.

County officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.


Clinton County (County) is located in northeastern New York State and encompasses 14 towns, three villages and a city. The County is governed by the County Legislature (Legislature), which is composed of 10 members, one of whom serves as the Chair. The Legislature is responsible for the general oversight of County financial affairs and safeguarding its resources. The elected County Treasurer (Treasurer) is the chief fiscal officer.

The County Administrator is responsible for the general supervision and coordination of the activities of all County departments. Personnel Department staff determine the eligibility of employees to receive a separation payment and these payments are processed by the payroll clerk in the Treasurer’s office.

Quick Facts
2018 Appropriations$167.5 million
2016 – 2017 Separation Payments$1.3 million

Audit Period

January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236