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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Town of Geddes - Account Clerk's Salary and Benefits and Cash Disbursements (2019M-56)

Released: January 17, 2020 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the salary and benefits paid to the account clerk (clerk) were accurate and authorized.

Determine whether the Board and Supervisor provided adequate oversight over cash disbursements.

Key Findings

  • The clerk received $6,000 in inappropriate health insurance buyout payments for 2017 and 2018 while the Town paid for her health insurance coverage totaling $30,876 from April 2017 through July 31, 2018.
  • The clerk did not withhold the required health insurance premium contributions from her pay, totaling $2,875 and received an unauthorized retroactive buyout payment of $2,000 for 2016.

These matters were referred to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. In April of 2019, the clerk was arrested for grand larceny in the third degree, falsifying business records in the first degree and official misconduct. The case is currently pending in court.

  • The Supervisor did not regularly review and approve the clerk’s time records; therefore, she received overtime pay totaling $13,129 that was not approved in advance.
  • The Board did not audit and approve claims.

Key Recommendations

  • Continue to work with law enforcement to recover any funds due to the Town.
  • Perform a thorough and deliberate audit of claims.

Town officials agreed with our recommendations and have initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action.

Background

The Town of Geddes (Town) is located in Onondaga County. The Town is governed by a seven-member Town Board (Board) composed of six Board members and a Supervisor. The Board is the legislative body responsible for general management and control of financial and operational affairs. The Supervisor serves as the chief financial officer and oversees an account clerk (clerk) whose duties included entering payroll information into a payroll system and processing accounts payable.

Town officials put the clerk on administrative leave in early September, 2018 and officially removed her from her work duties in November 2018.

Town officials contract with a vendor who provides payroll processing services.

Quick Facts
2018 Appropriations$10 million
Population16,600
Employees100

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018.
We extended our audit period back to May 1, 2016 and forward through July 31, 2018 to review the clerk’s salary and benefits.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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