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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

State Comptroller DiNapoli Releases Municipal Audits

April 8, 2022

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the following local government audits were issued:

Town of Coventry – Town Clerk/Tax Collector (Chenango County)

The clerk did not record, deposit, remit or report all collections in a timely manner. As a result, the town’s collections were at a greater risk of being lost or misappropriated. The clerk did not accurately record all real property tax collections and deposited some collections and fees months after they were received. As of July 31, 2021, a portion of real property tax penalties collected ($1,601), a taxpayer’s double payment ($1,465), and a portion of clerk fees collected ($1,075) were not remitted or refunded to the appropriate parties. The board did not conduct the required annual audit of the clerk’s records.

Town of Delhi – Highway Department Leave Records (Delaware County)

Town officials did not accurately maintain employee leave records. Leave balances for the former deputy highway superintendent from 2015 through 2019 were overstated by a total of 362 hours valued at almost $8,000. Of this, 272.5 hours was from leave time not being properly recorded, while 89 hours was attributed to the deputy’s failure to use sick leave for lost time due to an occupational injury, which resulted in an overpayment of his health and dental premiums of $6,411. The 2018 and 2019 leave balances of six of the other seven department employees were overstated by 94 hours. Based upon this examination and investigation of discrepancies the former deputy was arrested in September 2020 and charged with grand larceny in the third degree.

Town of Gaines – Town Clerk/Tax Collector (Orleans County)

The clerk did not adequately perform her financial duties. The clerk did not deposit collections in a timely manner or perform bank reconciliations. The board also did not perform an annual audit of the clerk’s records, as required by New York State Town Law Section 123.

Town of Morehouse – Records and Reports (Hamilton County)

The supervisor did not maintain the town’s accounting records and reports in a complete, accurate, up-to-date or timely manner. The town’s accounting records were not reliable and $2,082,924 in revenues and $673,497 in disbursements were not recorded. Cash balances were understated by about $1.7 million as of June 30, 2021. Federal payroll taxes were not filed timely, resulting in interest and penalties totaling $6,520. The 2012 through 2020 annual update documents (AUDs) were not filed with the Office of the State Comptroller, as required, and bank reconciliations were not performed. Monthly financial reports were not prepared for and submitted to the town board.

Town of Owego – Water Fund Operations (Tioga County)

Town officials did not provide adequate oversight of water fund operations. Specifically: 104 of 1,380 water bills tested were not calculated correctly resulting in approximately $70,000 of lost revenue for the town. All 51 water bill adjustments reviewed, totaling $233,400, were not approved by the board. Of those, 28 adjustments totaling approximately $70,100 were also not appropriate. The consolidated water district had operating surpluses of over $465,000 in 2019 and $395,000 in 2020. 28 percent of the water produced, or 138.6 million gallons, is considered unauthorized non-revenue (lost) water, 12 percentage points above the national average.

Sullivan County Funding Corporation – Millennium Revolving Loan Program (2021M-196)

Corporation officials did not award all funds from the program in accordance with established guidelines and did not ensure businesses complied with their agreements. The Loan Review Committee approved two loans that exceeded program loan allowances. One loan exceeded the allowance by $37,500, or 100%, and the second by $15,710, or 76%. Officials did not verify businesses’ self-reported job creation and retention numbers and had no procedures for recapture if job creation and retention expectations were not met. Six businesses self-reported they did not meet job creation and retention goals by a total of 24 jobs and seven businesses self-reported they met or exceeded job creation and retention goals by a total of 40 jobs.

Town of Ulysses – Information Technology (Tompkins County)

Town officials did not ensure IT systems were adequately secured and protected against unauthorized use, access and loss. The board did not adopt adequate written IT policies or a written IT contingency plan. Officials did not adequately manage local user accounts. The board did not enter into a written service level agreement with the town’s IT service provider. Sensitive IT control weaknesses were communicated confidentially to officials.

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