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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 & School Audits

February 8, 2024

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

Garrison Union Free School District – Information Technology (IT) (Putnam County)

District officials did not adequately secure the district’s network user accounts, establish physical controls, maintain complete and accurate inventory records for IT equipment or develop an IT contingency plan. Auditors found that district staff did not have sufficient documented guidance or plans to follow after an unexpected IT disruption or disaster. As a result, district officials have an increased risk they may not recover data and resume essential operations in a timely manner.

Town of Marion – Misappropriation of Justice Court Cash Collections (Wayne County)

The justices and board did not provide adequate oversight of court financial activities. As a result, the former court clerk misappropriated more than $59,000, or 38%, of the fines, fees and surcharges collected between Jan. 1, 2016 through May 31, 2021. In August 2023, the former court clerk pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second degree, corrupting the government in the second degree, tampering with records in the first degree and official misconduct. In October 2023, the former court clerk was sentenced to serve six months in jail and pay more than $59,000 in restitution. The justices did not perform a proper review of reports submitted to New York state agencies to ensure that all cases, including any cash collected, were properly reported and remitted. The justices failed to perform an adequate review of bank reconciliations or accountabilities to ensure that all collections were accurately accounted for and to promptly identify discrepancies or review deleted transactions reports. In addition, the board did not perform a proper annual audit.

Village of Washingtonville – Budget Review (Orange County)

The scope of the review was significantly limited by the village’s lack of complete, accurate and current accounting records. Specifically, the village does not maintain up-to-date budget-to-actual reports to aid in the monitoring of its fiscal performance. The 2024-25 tentative budget includes sewer meter rents revenue of $1.6 million, Orange County sales tax revenue of $1.2 million, and water meter rents revenue of $1.1 million, but auditors were unable to project the amount the village will receive as most of revenue has not been posted in the financial software for 2022-23 or 2023-24. The 2024-25 tentative budget includes personal services of $3.4 million, employee benefits of $1.8 million, retirement expenditures of $675,000 and debt service of $542,000. Auditors were unable to project the amount the village may spend, as the village did not provide salary schedules and most of the expenditures have not been posted in the financial software for 2022-23 or 2023-24. The 2024-25 tentative budget includes a $100,000 general fund contingency and a $20,000 water fund contingency. There is no contingency for the sewer fund. Given the potential cost overruns from current economic conditions and the lack of complete, accurate, and current accounting and financial records, the board needs to consider whether the contingency appropriations are adequate and appropriate for unanticipated events and uncertainties.

Willsboro Central School District – Student State Aid (Essex County)

District officials did not properly claim state aid for special education students who received services in summer placements. As a result, as of June 30, 2023, the district had not claimed $55,771 in state aid to which it was entitled, of which $52,640 would have already been received and benefited the district if claimed in a timely manner. The district also claimed $8,569 in aid to which it was not entitled. District officials also did not establish adequate procedures to ensure state aid was properly claimed for all special education students and also did not provide oversight over the official who prepared and submitted state aid claims.