Oversight by Old Field officials criticized
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Lax oversight by Old Field officials allowed a former treasurer to steal almost $60,000 from village coffers, state auditors said Wednesday.
During the three years Andrea Brosnan was village treasurer, the five-member village board, led by Mayor Michael Levine, failed to review bank statements, approve disbursements or require her to submit monthly financial reports, the office of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in an audit of village records.
Brosnan, who left the post last year, gave herself $12,800 in extra pay and used $46,289 in village funds to make personal purchases of items such as gasoline, a digital camera, cookbooks and New York Yankees paraphernalia, the audit report indicates.
"The Village of Old Field learned a powerful lesson about what can happen when no one minds the store," DiNapoli said in a statement.
Brosnan, 42, of Port Jefferson, pleaded not guilty in May to second-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records, defrauding the government and official misconduct. Released without bail, she is due back in court on Aug. 30.
Levine, in a response attached to the audit, said the village board now receives monthly treasurer's reports and details of village spending.
The village is seeking about $50,000 in insurance compensation for losses associated with Brosnan's alleged thefts, Levine said. He had appointed Brosnan treasurer in January 2009 after she had served as deputy clerk in 2008.
Brosnan's attorney, Anthony LaPinta of Port Jefferson, said he was "carefully reviewing the state audit to determine the accuracy of these allegations."
Old Field has about 900 residents and a $900,000 annual budget.
The 17-page audit said Brosnan used village-issued gas cards, petty cash and electronic disbursements to buy fuel, food, laundry supplies, clothing and an air mattress.
Receipts indicated some purchases were "clearly unrelated to village business," such as an airmail package to France, priority mail sent to Portland, Ore., and a 4-pound parcel post box mailed to Costa Rica, the audit report said.
Brosnan also falsified payroll reports to claim she had worked an additional 607 hours, resulting in $12,862 in fraudulent earnings, the audit said.