State Releases Audit of Patchogue Village Finances

Audit is critical of several Village Board actions; claims alleged theft by former clerk should have been discovered soon.

The New York State Comptroller's office recently released the results of an audit that went through several of Patchogue Village's projects and board approvals. 

The state audit focused on the Village's capital projects, the sewer district, claims auditing and information technology. 

"We reviewed five projects with expenditures totaling $11,397,503, and found that the board did not properly authorize all projects, nor did they effectively monitor them," said the report regarding capital projects. "As a result, the Village had $284,808 in unauthorized expenditures and experienced cost overruns in two of the five projects reviewed totaling $1,900,957."

The report also said the Village issued debt to reimburse the general fund for capital expenditures totaling $549,015, in violation of Local Finance Law. 

The audit also discusses the  of Village funds by a senior village clerk. 

“The failure of the Board to audit claims increases the risk of unauthorized disbursements of Village funds which may be made and go undetected,” says the report. “The failure to audit and approve claims resulted in the former senior account clerk being able to conceal and misappropriate $193,000 over the course of several years.” 

Patch talked with Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri and Village Treasurer Ronald Krawczyk Thursday afternoon about the audit. Pontieri and Krawczyk both said that since the last audit of the Village took place in 1992, there was no way of knowing several of the policies that were mentioned in the report. 

“The last time they did an audit of the Village was 1992. Since that time there were five treasurers and four mayors,” Pontieri said. He also said that all of those officials came to the position from private positions and not from the public sector or the judicial sector to understand the policies. 

Krawczyk said that due to the rapid growth of the Village since the last audit, there is a need for them to enhance several of the policies and procedures. One of the ways is that they intend to start a policy for capital projects, which Krawczyk said historically the Village has had very few. 

“We need to put a capital projects policy in place,” Krawczyk said. 

Regarding the statements on how they could have found out about the senior clerk’s alleged theft sooner, Krawczyk said that transitioning from paper checks to technology created issues. 

Pontieri and Krawczyk pointed out that the audit was not the definitive definition of the Village’s financial strength, which includes an improving bond rating and a large surplus. 

Pontieri also told Patch that the audit does not mention issues brought up from opposing sides during last spring’s Mayoral election including and .

"I got beat up for 8 months on gas," Pontieri said. "They did an audit and never said a word on how gas was disbursed. All that was happening while the auditors were here."

To read the full audit from the state comptroller, including responses from Patchogue Village, click here or view it in the PDF section.

Dennis Barone September 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM
McGiff and Crean knew what was up. Nobody listened.
Joseph Adriano September 05, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Why is anyone surprised by these audit results? Most people in the Village don't have a clue how their money is being spent (or misspent). Some don't even seem to care what happens with their tax dollars. I would like to know what project had the $284k in unauthorized expenditures. I believe it might be Artspace they are referencing. This Mayor is in over his head. His quotes in Newsday were pathetic. He doesn't understand his fiscal responsibility to the tax paying residents on the Village and he doesn't seem to care to follow the law. He didn't even know about the NYS audit in 2001. Ignorance is not a justifiable defense. I hope he doesn't start helping himself to gas again.
Dennis Barone September 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM
So what is to be done. He has surrounded himself with a shield of people who share in any bounty. When Crean and McGiff tried to tell us what was going on, Pontieri villified them and the residents agreed with the mayor. Now what!!!! Maybe Ferb has the scruples to do something, who knows. The vision for this place has faded
Patchogue Snoop September 30, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Ferb?????????? No way, he would not even respond to emails I sent him about some building issues. He is a hack and crook like PP. Not a single word other than a generic article that favored PP lame excuse. You are right once again friends of the ole boy network out that slob in office. Saw him eating another free lunch at Per......with Tritec. Interesting thing is the Tritec guy wasn't eating and just watching him wolf his free lunch down. Hmmm. Spota....he only prosecutes hate crimes these days all his Dems....PP, Lesko the quitter, and others are up to this sewer crap. He wont investigate obvious crimes by his cronies another hack who now can run forever.
Patchogue Snoop September 30, 2012 at 01:06 PM
oops typing too fast....no article in Advance, in the Tank for the PP machine as they want another 1500 customers in Patch to buy newspapers. Now PP is doing the obvious and letting Lomabardis ruin a neighborhood. THIS BALONEY IS CLASSIC SMALL TOWN POLITICAL CROOKERY.....A KID COULD SEE THIS AUDIT COMING. FREE SEWER HOOK UPS FOR HIS GOOMBAS, SLAM DUNK ZBA DECISIONS AND PETTY THEFT. PP BRAGS ABOUT A SURPLUS...THEN WHY ARE OUR TAXES GOING UP EVERY SINGLE YEAR HE HAS BEEN IN OFFICE. HMMM PATRONAGE JOBS GALORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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