Crier by Bruce
Posted in the Moriches Forum
Since: Apr 09
#1 Aug 27, 2014
We just had a financial audit released (download it here) from the state comptroller’s office concerning the Village Office of Treasurer and village credit card use/abuse which is quite damning.
The Mayor tends to blame the report’s deficiencies on the former Treasurer but the truth is that there were three treasurers during the audit report period and the only constant during this period was the Mayor and the husband and wife team of the Village Administrator and Deputy Treasurer, both mayoral appointments.
Audit results show that the treasurer(s) did not adequately fill his/her(their) role as Village Treasurer nor inform the Board of Trustees of the village’s financial affairs.
The Treasurer only signed 3 out of 454 checks that were reviewed with the Mayor signing (along with either the clerk or deputy treasurer) 426 checks for a total of $1,338,880.00 with no board resolution to do so and signed three checks by himself for a total of $1,921.00. The remaining checks totaling $15,337.00 were signed by individuals not authorized to sign under village law.
Funds were disbursed without obtaining the proper itemized receipts. Petty cash checks were disbursed from a non existent petty cash fund. Both without Board approval. The Deputy Treasurer issued six petty cash checks totaling $1,814.00. Three were cashed by herself, one by her husband the Village Administrator (Tim Brojer) and two cashed by a Village Trustee.
$48,585.00 out of $50,531.00 in credit card purchases (96%) had inadequate or no documentation. I’m sorry, but these are a lack of controls that extend beyond the Treasurer’s office and lead to a lack of oversight stemming from the people in charge.
What I find perplexing is how/why our new Treasurer did not pick up on any of these inconsistencies on his own during the first four months of his term or before the audit report was made public. I also find it “illuminating” that our current Treasurer has been working with the Deputy Treasurer reviewing the financial activity, signing checks approved by the Board of Trustees and is "engaged in educational discussions" with the Deputy Treasurer to reduce (not eliminate?) the issues brought up in the audit. Educational discussions now, after four years on the job? Better late than never.
Budget Status Reports were not provided to, or discussed with, the Board of Trustees. The Mayor, when questioned, said, "I will email the Deputy Treasurer to question what the budget position is." Really? Why wouldn’t you email the Treasurer?
Instead of monthly discussions between the Treasurer and Board of Trustees about budget lines that are over/under budget, The Board of Trustees instead make yearly transfers well after the overspending has occurred. The report showed the village had overspent 23 of 48 appropriations by $945,495.00 in the 2012-2013 fiscal year and 12 of 51 for a total of $337,486.00 in 2013-2014.
Some of these appropriations remained overspent for months until the Board authorized retroactive budget transfers. This report showed that inadequate budget monitoring resulted in a “forced reliance” on retroactive budget transfers.
Reconciliations were done on all accounts and the trust and agency account did not balance. A “plug in” number (basically made up to balance the books) called “Excessive Transfer” was used for $4,255.00 to balance the books. The following month another “Excessive Transfer” was used for $3,958.00 entitled “Shortage in Transfer.”
Village law requires the Treasurer disburse all monies from the village treasury. The Mayor may sign checks, along with a second authorized signature, but only with a resolution by the Board of Trustees which was, and is, non-existent.
Since: Apr 09
#2 Aug 27, 2014
Whereas the Treasurer is rarely in Village Hall the report states that the Deputy Treasurer is in Village Hall daily. She is not!
She takes two days off a week in exchange for working three 13.5 hour days mostly unsupervised from home. This “perk” is offered to no other employee and in light of this report should have ended years ago.
Now onto credit cards. A sound credit card policy identifies the individual authorized to use the card, describes the types of purchases with documentation required to support those purchases, and provides dollar limits for those purchases.
Our policy adopted in 2012 provides for the documentation (although never implemented as shown by this report) and lacked important oversight controls.
The Mayor and Village Administrator were issued two general credit cards with two additional cards for Staples, used by whoever was sent there, and three cards for the Home Depot. As stated before $48,585.00 out of $50,531.00 in purchases lacked adequate documentation.
There are also 17 fuel credit cards with PIN numbers issued to 18 village employees and two board members. Just an example; 13 receipts for fuel exceeded the fuel capacity of the vehicle and in addition 11 receipts showed a total of $666.00 dollars in fuel purchases for the same vehicle, within minutes of each other.
Furthermore, three purchases were made outside of village boundaries. Two by the Deputy Treasurer to fuel rental vehicles used to attend conferences unauthorized by the Board and the third made by her husband, the Village Administrator.
Basically, the report showed a lack of review by the Board of Trustees with recommendations too numerous to include in this report. I suggest that all interested parties access the full 25 page report on the Village's and The Village Crier website.
I think the best way for the public to have assurances that things are running right and in the spirit of true transparency, the village should have a full "forensic audit" where an auditing firm is hired to specifically look for "wrong doing" through all parts of the municipality. There will be resistance to this idea but if you agree with me then send me an email with the subject title saying , "forensic audit—yes" and I will accumulate them. Please, only village residents in the 11951 or 11967 zip codes should reply.
Until next time-God Bless and be Well.
#3 Aug 27, 2014
The Village Whiner
#4 Aug 28, 2014
I would assume the( N.Y.S. Comptroller) is not the only agency looking in to Billy's 4 year cluster F**k & show of horrors.Billy is not smart enough to floss with out written instructions and some one to read them to him. Proud MB?.It's more like a Proud BM.Your tears will fall in March wiener. Tic Tock...Tick Tock
#5 Aug 28, 2014
Better than the "village crook". Sorry, but this is why they were voted in. To keep crap like this from happening year after year.TRANSPARENCY! Look it up.
#6 Aug 28, 2014
To the one who "judged" me WRONG,(cough cough, Brady)' sorry, but the rest of the tax payers want TRANSPARENCY with our government. Sure, you sheepole believe anything the crooks in charge say, but WE THE PEOPLE OF MASTIC BEACH VILLAGE are sick of their lies and corruption. That's why they will get voted out next election. Deal with it.
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