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Suffolk audit panel never met in 2017, despite law requiring meetings

Suffolk Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. at Brookhaven

Suffolk Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. at Brookhaven Town Hall on June 9, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

Despite a law requiring Suffolk County’s audit committee to hold quarterly meetings on county fiscal issues — and the committee’s chairman to report to the county legislature on their sessions — county Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr., the chairman last year, failed to call any meetings in 2017.

The disclosure came as the three-member committee, chaired by Robert Lipp, director of the legislature’s budget review office, held its first meeting of the year last week. Lipp said he would issue a report within the legal time limit.

Kennedy said he never held meetings because the local law “as written, is defective” and should be reconstituted with members who are independent and who do not put the county budget together.

“Guilty as charged,” Kennedy said of his failure to hold meetings last year.

“In its present form, we have the fox watching the henhouse,” he said of the audit panel. “This committee is a colossal waste of time. I was elected to root out waste, not create more.”

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