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Long Beach has Friday deadline to respond to state audit

A state audit says Long Beach overpaid employees.

A state audit says Long Beach overpaid employees. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The City of Long Beach is expected to submit its response Friday to a state comptroller’s draft audit that said the city overpaid at least 10 employees more than $500,000.

The comptroller’s audit said the city issued separation payments and drawdowns of accrued time that exceeded city code limiting vacation and sick time.

City council members voted last month to rescind a response by the city’s outside attorney Anthony Capozzolo, which detailed an additional $3.1 million in vacation and sick payments made for more than a decade to union, management and police and firefighters.

A council majority of three members said they did not support the response because it was not authorized by the city council. City council President Anissa Moore said the response was outside the scope of the comptroller’s audit from 2017-2018 and also did not respond to a second audit looking at the city’s long-term fiscal crisis.

The city was granted a one-month extension by the comptroller’s office until Nov. 11 to submit a new response. The city agreed Nov. 7 to hire outside counsel John Gross with the Hauppauge law firm Ingerman Smith, who requested a 35-day extension that was denied by the comptroller’s office.

State officials agreed to an extension of end of business Friday, according to a letter from Gross. The response must be submitted and approved by the city council before it is submitted to the state comptroller.

JOHN ASBURY

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