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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at forward.ny.gov.

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

May 8, 2021

Audits and reports issued during the week ending May 7, 2021 by the New York State Comptroller

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits and reports were issued during the week ending May 7, 2021.

Click on the text highlighted in color to access the complete audit report.

Local Governments

Town of Potter – Town Clerk (Yates County) A former clerk did not deposit, report and remit all collections to the appropriate parties in a timely and accurate manner. Auditors identified a cash shortage of $23,838 during this former clerk’s tenure. The former clerk did not complete monthly bank reconciliations, issue or properly prepare duplicate receipts, or retain receipts for all collections. In addition, the town board did not annually audit the clerk’s records as required. As a result of the audit and subsequent investigation, the former clerk was arrested in November of 2020. The matter is still pending in court.

South Butler Fire District – Board Oversight of Financial Operations (Wayne County) The board did not provide adequate oversight of the district’s financial operations and did not adopt or enforce key financial policies. As a result, the treasurer lacked guidance to adequately perform financial duties and did not maintain sufficient banking or purchasing records. The treasurer also funded and disbursed money from reserves without authorization and paid unapproved claims. Officials could not demonstrate the district obtained the best available prices on purchases auditors reviewed. In addition, the board adopted inaccurate and structurally imbalanced budgets and did not properly establish, fund or use reserve funds. Fund balances and real property tax levies were higher than needed to fund operations.

South Butler Fire Department – Oversight of Financial Activities (Wayne County) Department officers and members did not provide adequate financial oversight. As a result, officers and members were not in a position to monitor and assess the department’s financial status. Existing bylaw provisions were not enforced and adequate accounting and fundraising records were not maintained. Petty cash funds were not properly overseen or accounted for, and $65,658 was disbursed without any review or approval. In addition, auditors found the president routinely signed blank checks. The treasurer’s books and records were not annually audited as required. Required state and federal filings were not completed, and annual budgets were not prepared.

Town of Fishkill – Information Technology (Dutchess County) Town officials did not adequately secure and protect the town’s information technology (IT) systems against unauthorized use, access and loss. The board did not adopt adequate IT policies or a disaster recovery plan. Auditors also found officials did not adequately manage user accounts for the network or financial application. In addition, town employees did not comply with the acceptable use policy and officials did not monitor the use of IT resources. Sensitive IT control weaknesses were communicated confidentially to officials.

Town of Ithaca Justice Court – Justice Court Operations (Tompkins County) The justices collected, deposited, disbursed, recorded and reported the fines and fees auditors reviewed in an accurate and timely manner. During the audit period, the justices deposited 2,111 cash receipts totaling $306,087 and made 60 disbursements totaling $318,091. Auditors reviewed a sample of 556 cash receipts totaling $78,948 and all 60 disbursements totaling $318,091. There were no recommendations as a result of this audit.

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Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on https://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html