Thursday, February 25, 2010
NYS Comptrollers Audit Blasts Scirocco
Back in 2008, after theft of approximately $45,000 by a City employee was uncovered in the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) an audit was called for from the NYS Comptrollers office to clean up the shoddy handing of massive amounts of cash that flows through DPW’s office.
People familiar with the case of the arrest of Joy A. Karam and her subsequent guilty plea to the theft of the money were well aware that this was only the tip of the iceberg in DPW. Under Scirocco’s DPW, petty cash was held as a sort of payday loan scheme in which connected employees could borrow a little bit to “tide them over until payday”. Even more sinister was the out and out theft of garbage bags.
This is no small change. The City annually sells approximately 58,000 trash bags at $3 per bag, generating approximately $174,000 annually. Now the word on the street was that you could buy these trash bags from certain DPW workers for the heavily discounted price of $1 to $2 bucks a bag and many DPW workers simply brought them home to use for their own garbage and remember most of them don’t even live in the city.
Now with the arrest of Joy A. Karam one would assume that Scirocco and “his boys” would have woken up and realized the gig was up. But not Scirocco, not only did the Comptrollers office find the same practices continued they flourished
The report found
“We visited the DPW garage in May 2009 and inventoried trash bags in stock. According to the inventory records maintained at the DPW garage, there were 185 cases of bags in stock (each case contains 200 bags). However, our count of the bags showed that there were actually 202 cases in stock, resulting in a discrepancy of 17 cases,or 3,400 bags. In addition, there were three full cases and a partial case in the ofﬁce at the transfer station and a partial case at the DPW ofﬁce. However, there was no record of inventory or calculation of bag sales at these locations as required by the policy.
The failure to maintain an acceptable inventory increases the risk that fraud or misuse of City receipts or inventory could occur and go undetected. The $45,000 theft in 2008 is proof of the risk. It should be noted that the 202 cases of trash bags in stock at the DPW garage represents $121,200 in future revenue for the City.”
The report also found that petty cash to maintain the payday loan scheme was still kept in a desk in DPW.
“Monies collected at the transfer station for the sale of trash bags are sent daily to the DPW ofﬁce in City Hall. The DPW ofﬁce is responsible for remitting the collections, along with the supporting documentation and reconciliations, to the Finance Department daily for deposit, in accordance with the City’s recently prescribed policy and procedures. We found that collections received at the transfer station and the DPW ofﬁce were not being remitted daily to the Finance Department. We reviewed 48 days of collections totaling $29,895 that were received at the transfer station and the DPW ofﬁce from December 2008 through April 2009. For 32 of the 48days tested, the daily collections were not remitted to the Finance Department timely. The monies were not remitted to the Finance Department on a timely basis with remittances ranging from one to 27 days”
So what was Scirocco response to the Comptrollers report?
He Fucking dismissed it out of hand.
“DPW disagrees with the report” Skip Scirocco
So their you have it folks. Scirocco ether can’t or won’t change his sloppy accounting practices in his office. DPW will continue to be an underground Credit Union for the privileged few and garbage bags will continue to be available on the new “Saratoga Black Market.”
On a more happy note Scirocco will be holding an Open House in his new City Hall “Mancave”
No word if complementary garbage bags will be given out.