New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed audits of the Town of East Greenbush, Town of Elizabethtown, Lockport Housing Authority, City of Long Beach, Putnam County and the Village of South Glens Falls.
“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” said DiNapoli. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”
The justices do not provide adequate oversight of court operations to ensure moneys are accounted for accurately. Additionally, an annual audit of the justices’ books and records was not performed for 2014.
The supervisor did not maintain complete and accurate accounting records, present accurate financial reports to the board or provide adequate oversight of the clerk to ensure the accounting records and financial reports were accurate.
While the executive director was generally compensated in accordance with adopted policy, the board did not periodically compare the executive director’s compensation with what it had authorized, or monitor the executive director’s accrual and use of leave time.
The significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable. The proposed budget includes estimated one-time revenue of $600,000 from the sale of city property and there is currently no contract for the sale of this real property. The proposed budget exceeds the allowable tax levy limit.
Internal controls over the department’s cash receipts were not appropriately designed or operating effectively. As a result, $4,811 collected by the department could not be accounted for. Following referral of these findings to the New York State Attorney General’s office and a subsequent investigation, the former department director entered a guilty plea in Carmel Town Court on Feb. 23, 2016 to a class A misdemeanor. As part of the plea agreement, the former director agreed to terminate her employment with the county and pay restitution, and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.
Of the two previous audit recommendations, one recommendation was partially implemented and one recommendation was not implemented. Auditors found the board continued to adopt general fund budgets that were unrealistic, that were not supported by historical trends and that relied on a diminishing amount of fund balance.
For access to state and local government spending and 50,000 state contracts, visit OpenBookNY. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.