Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Former town clerk alleged to have used town’s credit card to pay personal debts


Former town clerk alleged to have used town’s credit card to pay personal debts

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reported that a former clerk of the Town of Argyle, Washington County, used a town credit card to pay for more than $8,000 of personal expenses.

DiNapoli’s auditors found that from January 2009 through December 2012, the former clerk made four separate purchases totaling $8,347 that were not for town business. In addition, late fees and finance charges totaling $2,013 were accumulated. The town supervisor alerted auditors to the misuse.

The former clerk paid off the debt and admitted to improperly using the town’s credit card. The town did not pay for any of the unauthorized purchases, late fees or finance charges incurred. Charges were not filed because the clerk repaid the town.

DiNapoli’s recommendations for the town to avoid such situations in the future included:

1. The board should ensure that all town-issued credit cards are used for business purposes only and the monthly credit card statements are included with the monthly claims to be audited prior to payment;

2. The board and town clerk should assess the credit limit on the Clerk’s credit card account and reduce it to an appropriate level for the needs of the office;

3. The clerk should deposit all moneys intact and in a timely manner; and

4. The clerk should remit moneys collected to the town supervisor and other agencies in a timely manner.

Town officials agreed with several findings in the audit. Their comments are included in the audit report.

For a copy of the report, it is available on the Internet at: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/towns/2013/argyle.pdf

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