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Subpoenas issued in audit of Hempstead Town animal shelter

The Nassau County comptroller issued subpoenas Thursday to the Town of Hempstead and its animal shelter as part of his audit into the Wantagh facility.

Comptroller George Maragos, who is running for county executive, has issued four subpoenas to the town and the animal shelter. Two seek documents and two require testimony under oath from Supervisor Anthony Santino and shelter director Michael Pastore, according to Michael Scotto, deputy county comptroller.

Attorneys for Hempstead Town officials have said Maragos must limit his audit to the shelter’s finances.

Maragos’ office, however, has said it will conduct “performance audits” and is seeking information about animals’ records and employees’ qualification. His auditors also plan to inspect the shelter.

The subpoenas must be answered by March 2, Scotto said. If not, criminal sanctions under the county charter might be possible, he said.

“We hope it doesn’t come to that,” Scotto said.

A spokesman said Thursday that the town has made its position clear: Maragos lacks the authority to audit the shelter outside of its finances.

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