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GOODELL NOT SURE WHERE INTEREST FUNDS HAVE BEEN POSTED

Chautauqua County Executive Andrew Goodell Friday admitted he does not know exactly where the interest on the county's Tax Stabilization Reserve Fund was posted, but said any change will have no impact on the county's financial strength.

Goodell and county Finance Director Robert Beckman have been ordered to State Supreme Court in Buffalo Oct. 20 to review the matter.

Randall Brown, chairman of the county's Independence Party, Friday said he was "offended" by Goodell's reaction to the show cause order.

"Under state law, it is clearly illegal for interest accrued by the account to be placed in the county's general fund," Brown added.

But Goodell said it is not clear where the money is.

"Our independent auditors did not raise any issues regarding this fund and the interest in our last three audits, and so we have asked them to analyze where that money went," Goodell said.

"Interest that accrues on county funds is allocated among a number of different accounts, and if it didn't go into this particular account it would have gone into the general fund," Goodell added. "There is no question the money is there because we have not had to use it. The county is in very strong financial condition."

Brown, County Legislator Michael Bobseine, D-Fredonia, and two other men petitioned State Supreme Court Justice Vincent Doyle for the show cause order.

Brown said one of the tenants of the Independence Party is "electoral accountability."

"The request for the judge's order was simply to get some questions answered," Brown said. "The county executive has an obligation to annually report to the Legislature on the status of the fund. It appears that has not been done."

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