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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller

Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

January 16, 2020

Town of Andes – Conflict of Interest and Cash Receipts and Disbursements (Delaware County)
Auditors determined that board member had a prohibited interest in the contracts between the town and his machining company. In addition, the supervisor did not properly segregate the disbursement duties of his office as the bookkeeper controls most aspects of the disbursement process. Auditors also determined that the clerk collects, deposits, reconciles and reports all aspects of her cash receipts, including water and sewer rents, with limited oversight.

Town of Canton – Compensation and Benefits (St. Lawrence County)
The Supervisor re-allocated and collected additional salaries for bookkeeping duties totaling $73,794 from April 2015 through August 2017 without board authorization. In August 2017, he reimbursed the town for these extra payments and the town paid $58,858 to the supervisor’s wife for services she provided during this period. The board also did not authorize salaries paid to officers and employees totaling $145,671 or certain health insurance benefits provided by the town.

Finger Lakes Community College – Credit Card and Travel Expenditures (Ontario County)
Auditors found that the college could have saved $18,135 on 76 lodging claims by using the United States General Services Administration (GSA) per diem rates. In addition, a credit card company was allowed to directly withdraw 18 payments totaling approximately $4 million from the college’s bank account prior to audit. Auditors also determined that a travel agent who is not an employee uses their college credit card to automatically charge fees.

Town of Rensselaerville – Real Property Tax Exemption Administration (Albany County)
Of the 252 granted exemptions reviewed totaling approximately $7.3 million of assessed value, 97 exemptions (38 percent), valued at approximately $2.4 million in assessed value, lacked one or more pieces of supporting documentation to verify their eligibility and/or were incorrectly granted or calculated. In addition, 10 agricultural building exemptions lacked necessary supporting documentation.  Finally, the assessors did not review the exemptions calculated by the Real Property Tax System (RPTS) after they were entered by the clerk, allowing errors in the calculation of these exemptions to go undetected.

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