Tuesday, May 10, 2011
State Auditors Pour Over Town Books
The New York State Comptroller has begun to give Lou Desso his "wish" for a "forensic audit". Lou's desire to provide political cover for his firing of the former Comptroller by inferring criminal conduct in the establishment of a fully authorized town bank account in a bank he authorized as a Board member, is on its way to fulfillment.
The State Comptroller is likely to find that Lou's CPA firm was incorrect when it recklessly declared that the bank account was in any way an unauthorized or improper account under Town Law which the firm and Lou apparently never bothered to read. After slandering the man's reputation in two local newspapers, the State Comptroller's Office took the bait and now a team of auditor's are combing through records and more importantly, procedures which the town follows that allow all kinds of abuses.
For example, they will learn that there is no time clock in town hall and no way to be certain those unionized employees are there when they are paid to be there. They will learn of the "special arrangement" that allows a Fire Marshall whose position was unlawfully established without a required Local Law, to work four 10 hour days so he can also work a full time job in the City of Troy which continues to refuse to release his city time sheets for comparison to his town time sheets. In addition, they will learn there is no one to supervise his hours after town business hours which end at 5PM.
Auditors will learn that the Town's Assessor was allowed to be part of a union in town hall and that despite this conflict with his management position, he was appointed to the conflicting post of Comptroller where he could no longer "advise" the Board on the fiscal impact of a union contract because he, as a member of the union, stood to benefit from it.
They will learn how Desso and company refused to reappoint the Comptroller to a two year term in order to exercise undo influence over him by holding his job over his head. How they tried to manipulate State reports to massage the deficit and keep critics at bay. The auditors will see a budget process last year which was hijacked by Desso on the night of passage with a new document with changes no one knew about, pay raises for certain folks, increased hours for others and a goody basket for the pals that increased General Fund spending by taking the funds from the Highway Department PILOT monies.
The State auditors will see how that budget was passed without any input from the Supervisor or Comptroller who were kept in the dark on his changes. They will see how politics governs every decision in town hall such as the firing of a Youth Director as "unnecessary" only to give a Building Inspector ten grand in needless overtime to do the job they said was unnecessary. Yep, the OT was given to the highest paid employee in town hall to do the Youth Director's unneeded job.
They will also see how the Board continues to ignore a $35,000 State Grant for Brownstones because they don't like the folks who got the grant for the town. That's good management Lou and Al, hey? And who knows, maybe they'll see how their pension office is moving to collect monies owed to the State when the Assessor reported his last town position incorrectly to the State resulting in a higher pension payout than justified.
It should be an interesting time in Town Hall as the coffee pot is sure to get a workout.
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 8:24 AM