Share this article

print logo

State audit faults record-keeping, transactions in North Collins finances

A State Comptroller’s Office audit has found improper transfers, erroneous adjustments and a failure to keep complete financial records in the Town of North Collins.

Supervisor Rosaline A. Seege acknowledged mistakes but described the audit as “grossly exaggerated.”

Town Board members received the audit report and discussed it Wednesday night. Auditors examined the town’s records from November 2011 to March 2015.

The audit determined that Seege improperly transferred more than $125,000 caused by her attempt to correct errors. State auditors also wrote that she did not record the independent auditor’s adjustments of more than $188,000 in a timely manner.

Auditors also found that she did not maintain trust and agency fund records in 2012 and 2013, accurately record trust and agency activity after April 30, 2014, or compare the accounting records with the bank balances.

“As a result of these deficiencies, the accounting records did not support annual and monthly financial records and the board did not have appropriate information with which to properly monitor the town’s financial operations,” the auditors wrote.

In a written response, Seege contended that the previous supervisor, Thomas R. O’Boyle, failed to provide transition information.

Seege also wrote that the errors she needed to correct were from December 2011, before she took office.

“There were legitimate reasons why things happened the way they did,” she said after the meeting.

Afterward, the former town bookkeeper said she has photographic evidence of documents she and others left in the offices to help Seege with the transition.

“I am very happy that the state auditor found it was not the previous administration’s fault,” said Tracy M. Mallaber, who is also O’Boyle’s daughter.

A board member running unopposed for supervisor, Councilman John M. Tobia, hopes the board can take corrective actions and move on.

“We have some work to do, and we’re confident we can correct the problems the state has found,” he said.

Councilwoman Karen A. Ricotta emphasized that the audit confirmed issues she and other board members had been raising.

“We did have a lot of questions and concerns,” she said. “We did feel the audit validated our questions and concerns.”