The first week in July was a busy one in the Village of Manorhaven.
It started with the of newly elected Mayor Giovanna Giunta and Trustees Mark Lazorovic and Noelle Smith. That event was followed by news of a state audit of the village's financial operations. That same week also saw the resignation of a key village employee.
Village Attorney Charles J. Casolaro confirmed that Jonathan Fielding “abruptly resigned” from his position as village clerk, “to our surprise” on July 3. Casolaro had no other comment on Fielding’s resignation. Fielding did not return a request for comment at press time.
Meanwhile, Mayor Giovanna Giunta and the board of trustees are working on taking corrective actions on an audit completed by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Released July 3, the audit looked at operations from June 1, 2009, through Oct. 31, 2010.
It found that employees of the Village of Manorhaven had not maintained timesheets, and that management or a village official did not provide approval of the hours recorded onto the weekly timesheet prior to employees being paid.
It revealed, too, that the board had not established a policy to guide the overtime process. Auditors found discrepancies between the timesheet and the payroll register in 41 of 126 instances tested.
Auditors also found that the village did not obtain competition when procuring seven of the eight professional services providers who were paid $155,000 during the audit period.
In addition, auditors found that the village had not adequately implemented internal controls over the audit, processing, and payment of credit card claims, resulting in payments of $10,022 being made without receipts supporting the charges.
What’s more, village officials had not adopted comprehensive IT policies and procedures regarding acceptable use standards for computer, remote access, breach notification and disaster recovery, auditors said.
Finally, auditors claim that internal controls over the court operations were not properly designed or operating effectively to properly account for village assets.
“The Mayor and the board of trustees are putting together a corrective plan of action for submission to the comptroller's office,” Casolaro said.
He added that although "the village is in sound financial condition, the report did highlight several lax controls and very poor, almost reckless and negligent oversight by Mayor John Di Leo and his administration.”
“We intend to correct that,” he said. “There will be no more contracts awarded without the proper bid process being followed.”