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Yorktown Supervisor Responds to Leaked Audit Draft

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Following a leak of an audit draft report, Town Supervisor Susan Siegel has issued comments on the audit itself, which suggests potential issues with certain town officials and finances. Upon taking office, Siegel said she requested that the Office of the New York State Comptroller perform an audit of the town’s finances to “investigate” its financial situation.

“As a regular attendee at town board meetings, I already knew some things were not being done correctly, or according to state law,” Siegel wrote. “That’s one of the reasons why I ran for office in the first place.” Siegel said the audit brought forward items in the town that needed to be corrected, but said upwards of 90 percent of those items have already been corrected or addressed.

In a statement sent out Tuesday, Siegel said the board did not respond immediately to the draft report because it is only in draft form and items can be changed before the document is made official by the state. She said that the leaked information -- whether factual or incorrect -- could harm the reputations of certain town officials.

“One of the reasons the town did not make the draft report public was our concern that it contained factual errors. The second reason was that we did not want to harm anyone’s reputation by releasing comments about town officials’ improper behavior until those officials had a chance to respond to the allegations and a final report was released,” she wrote.

The leak of the audit draft report raised concerns that the town was not always responsible when it came to finances, as well as concerns about the behavior of Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo, according to the report published in The Journal News . After the leak was publicized, board members said they would investigate whoever leaked the document and filed an ethics complaint.

"It's a very serious problem, and a very serious violation I think of our ethical responsibilities, so I’m hoping that we can get to the bottom of it, and hopefully find out who did leak this report and hope it never happens again,” said Councilman Jim Martorano at the June 21 board meeting.

Councilman Nick Bianco echoed his calls for an investigation and said he was adamant about finding who was responsible for the leak. “I too, with Jim, call for an investigation on who did this. And whoever did do it lost their fiduciary responsibility not only to the citizens of the town, but also to themselves and to the fairness that we all strive for.”

Reportedly, the audit draft report states that pornographic material was found on DiBartolo’s computer and that some of his spending practices posed a conflict of interest between personal and professional boundaries. DiBartolo and another town employee currently have a defamation lawsuit against Siegel and the town for a seemingly unrelated matter.

Siegel said the audit was done to detect inefficiencies in Yorktown, and that it accomplished just that. The town has since challenged parts of the audit draft, and has received a revised audit draft. They are expected to send their response to the comptroller by July 8.

“The bottom line is simple. The state audit confirmed what many ‘insiders’ knew for some time: There were inefficiencies, sloppiness and omissions in many of Yorktown’s practices and procedures. All that changed, beginning January, 2010 when I took office. I promised to fix what was broken in town government, and that’s what I’ve done and what I continue to do,” she said.

Now that the document has been leaked, do you think the town should make the document public? Let us know by commenting below or email jswift@mainstreetconnect.us .

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