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Byron dinged in state audit for poor record keeping in town court

A state Comptroller's audit of the Town of Byron found what might be deemed sloppy bookkeeping in the town court.

While no money is alleged to be missing, several traffic tickets may have gone unpaid.

The audit report dings the town for not conducting annual audits of the court to ensure its books are balanced and items are sufficiently recorded.

Going back to 1985, 629 tickets issued in the Town of Byron are still listed as "pending," including 11 in the 1980s and 84 in the 1990s.

Auditors selected 25 tickets at random to determine what happened to them and found that 13 were either dismissed, a fine was paid, or the case was transferred to another court even though they were still listed as pending with the DMV.

Seven tickets had not being enforced by the court until auditors inquired about them, according to the report.

When fines are not paid on tickets, they are supposed to be reported to the DMV as "scofflawed," and that apparently did not happen with these tickets.

"Every town justice is required to present his/her records and dockets at least once each year to be examined by the Board, or by an independent public accountant," according to the report. "In conducting the review, it is important for the Board to determine whether the Court has effective procedures to ensure the Court’s financial transactions are properly recorded and reported, and that all monies are accounted for properly."

Typically, there is some segregation of duties in a town court, but in Byron, according to the report, the justices (Daniel DiMatteo and James Lamkin (for most of the period of the audit)) performed all of the accounting and reconciliation duties themselves.

"The lack of segregation of duties make the annual audit even more important, however, Town officials failed to provide sufficient evidence that annual audits of the Justices’ books and records were conducted," the report reads.

In response to the audit, the town board informed the Comptroller's office that it will create the position of court clerk and hire a person for the job and perform annual audits of the court records.

david spaulding
chunky's picture
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Joined: Sep 12 2011

.........kind of like the fox guarding the hen house....be interesting if anyone is held accountable.........

Scott Blossom
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Joined: Oct 25 2012

Oh how the chickens have come home to roost.

It wasn't that long ago we had a 3rd justice in front of the town board asking for a clerk. He stated that requests for information on past cases could not be completed because they could not locate the files in question. He opened a door and showed the courts filing system of cardboard file boxes in a closet!

The board flat out refused to concider it. So that justice promptly tendered his resignation.

Yes folks, I was in that town board meeting, and a witness to what I just stated.

This is another example of the utter lack of leadership in the Byron Town Board. I suggest that all residents of the Town of Byron attend the monthly meetings and see the fiasco that is called a meeting. Its great entertainment until you realize thats your tax dollars being wasted.

Elections are the only way to fix this problem. Start with with the Town Supervisor. They are trying to screw with your fire departments and now got spanked by the state. Wake up folks, they have to go.

They complain that Bethany provides fire protection at a lesser tax rate, well they are paid $39,000 dollars more than Bethany's Board(public record), when was the last time you heard of the Town of Bethany getting spanked? Maybe we could hire that board to fix our board!

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