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Broome Audit Reveals $16,000 in Improper Spending

Written By Editor on 12/29/14 | 12/29/14

The small Schoharie County municipality of Broome has been chided by the Office of the New York State Comptroller for failing to effectively manage and oversee the town's financial assets over a fourteen month period beginning in January 2013 and ending this past March.

In an official audit released on Friday, December 19th, the Comptroller's Office Division of Local Government and School Accountability criticized the town board's past failure to ensure taxpayer dollars were being appropriately expended and accounted for. 

According to the report, which is available for public consumption here, missteps in oversight had occurred in the management of the Court, of the Highway Department, and in the administration of storm-related reimbursements to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

However, the largest blow was not dealt to the previous town board but to former Town Highway Superintendent Michael Parker, who after he was defeated in his November, 2013 bid for re-election, engaged in a one man shopping spree against the board's wishes:
...the outgoing Highway Superintendent was able to make two purchases for loader tires (four separate invoices) over $16,000 without the required authorization forms being approved. These purchases were in opposition to the Board’s intent because the Board was considering purchasing a new loader. These purchases were made after the Highway Superintendent lost his bid for re-election, but before the end of his term in December 2013. Although the current Board initially would not approve these invoices for payment and attempted to return the tires to the vendor, the tires had already been partially used and, therefore, were not returnable. The current Board eventually paid the invoices. 
Furthermore, in his continued display of mismanagement, Parker failed to maintain records of invoices or Town man and machine hours related to flood repairs for federal reimbursement. As such, the municipality may not obtain the full $235,900 it was eligible for.

Broome Supervisor William Smith, who had not been in office during most of the audit's time frame, commented in response to the report that "We agree with the findings within the audit and corrective measures have been taken and procurement policies have been followed since Jan 1 2014."

Smith defeated former Supervisor Anne Batz in November, 2013. 
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