Ossining Town Pursues Possibly Missing Highway Funds

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The Ossining Town Board discusses possible missing funds during a work session in January. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

OSSINING, N.Y. – Town of Ossining officials are demanding to know what happened to thousands of dollars that may be missing from the town’s Highway Department.

The Town Board asked during a work session Feb. 19 that Highway Superintendent Michael G. O’Connor draft a report detailing the records of about $5,000 that has been unaccounted for over several years. In January the board reviewed an independent audit that found a lack of compliance in half a dozen areas and incomplete documentation of funds received over several years that could add up to thousands of dollars.

With the audit performed in October and records revealed in January, Town Supervisor Susanne Donnelly said during the recent work session she and other board members were disappointed that few changes have come to the Highway Department.

“So in essence, you have done nothing since the report came out,” Donnelly told O’Connor during the work session. “To stay status quo is not acceptable.”

Donnelly and other board members added that the Highway Department has failed to file monthly reports as required by state law.

“According to the law, you must give us a monthly report,” she said to O’Connor. “What we suggest you do is in two weeks’ time you come back here with a complete accounting and proposals as to how you want to fix this problem moving forward.”

Town Board member Peter Tripodi echoed her concerns.

“There is still ongoing theft on the premises,” Tripodi said, referring to an open scrap metal container that reportedly had several thefts in recent years. “We haven’t yet solved that issue. I think we can’t forget the fact that we are missing $5,000 in revenue from 2004 to 2010. I think we have a serious concern of managing our assets, and it comes down to properly disposing of this metal. This is pretty serious. I will never forget about this until the money is somehow received by the town.”

O’Connor said Monday that he was working on the report, which he expects to present to the Town Board on March 19. He disputed the thefts during the work session.

“A lot was said about the fact that sometimes stuff appears to go missing from there. But that’s on a rare occasion,” he said during the work session, noting plans to install a security camera on the site. “I will do my best to see if that report can be completed.”

Attached: Audit of Ossining Highway Department done in October 2012 (ossining_highway_department_audit_october_2012-2013-01-02.pdf)

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Comments (4)

stephano:

Nothing more than a witch hunt. By the way I hope the Town Board learned something about APPOINTED rather than ELECTED from the Town of Brookhaven this past winter. The Town of Brookhaven is a whole lot bigger than the Town of Ossining. All the more reason why consolidation of the two governments should go forward. Let the people of Ossining (both town and village) come together and get one government that truly listens to the people. Right now we have neither...the Village has RIVERGATE and the Town has HIGHWAY GATE. Time to get rid of all these people. amen

Adelard:

I don't understand from this article. Is that $5k including the missing scrap? This all cries of petty politics if you ask me. The board tries to change the position from elected to appointed, loose the vote, and now all the sudden start making an big deal about an issue that has been going on for years? Issues that predate Mr O'Connor's tenure. Sounds to me like the board is taking retribution on Mr. O'Connor for a decision the tax payers voted on. Petty politics wont win any votes from me. Work with Mr. O'Connor, not against him. you're all on the same team, act like it.

FedupGrandma:

so $5,000 was not enough for prosecution so this guy gets let off scott free, give me a break. Are you mad your metal was stolen and sold? I sure as hell am, and lets not forget who was there when this originally came out- Borgia, she is just as complacent as the highway superintendent in this theft of taxpayer property

singsing:

This issue has been investigated by the D.A.'S office and no charges were filed. It looks like sour grapes. We the Town outside residents voted 2-1 to keep the Superintendent of Highways position an elected position, so it appears the board is trying a different avenue. He who without sin shall cast the first stone. If the situation of scrap metal is being stored in an unsecured area and some of it is being stolen, then secure the area.

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