A former Glen Cove City School District board member had a “conflict of interest” because his sporting-goods company sold products to the district, according to a state comptroller’s office audit of the district.
The audit, released Wednesday, also says the district does not have an adequate system in place to keep track of computer tablets and other equipment issued to employees.
State municipal law bars school board members from benefiting from selling products to their districts, and “none of the statutory exceptions appear to apply in this instance,” the audit states.
Comptroller’s office spokesman Brian Butry said the board member in question, who was not named in the report, is former board president Richard Maccarone, who did not run for re-election in May.
Maccarone said in an interview that he did not realize his status as a board member violated the law. If he were to run for the board in the future, he would ensure that his company, Valley Sport and Trophy in Glen Cove, was no longer selling to the district, Maccarone said.
In an interview earlier this year, Maccarone said that he has “been in business in Glen Cove for 34 years, and I have done work for the school district for 34 years. It’s never changed.”
School district records from a Newsday Freedom of Information Law request show that the typical dollar amount of annual Valley sales to the district did not vary greatly in the 10 years before Maccarone first joined the board in 2009 and the six years he served — from 2009 to 2012 and 2013 to 2016.
The largest amount, $3,857, was during the 2007-08 school year, when Maccarone was not on the board.
In the interview, Maccarone said he never bid for sales to the district and instead focused on fulfilling last-minute orders, such as for personalized trophies for award ceremonies.
The response from district Superintendent Maria Rianna to the audit states that officials did not “knowingly and willfully violate provisions of the General Municipal Law pertaining to conflicts of interest.”
“All actions previously taken were in good faith . . .” Rianna wrote. “The District has taken affirmative steps to ensure that all purchasing policy rules will be strictly adhered to.”
Rianna declined to be interviewed for this story, but she said in a written statement that officials in February requested an audit “to further assist the district in its continued efforts to fully align our practices and procedures in compliance with state guidelines and regulations.”
Butry said a prescheduled audit was already underway when the three requests for an audit — from Rianna, the board member and a resident — were received.
Maccarone said he requested an audit after resident Steven Siracusa spoke at a board meeting about the alleged conflict of interest.