Spin Cycle

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Embattled Republican Suffolk Treasurer Angie Carpenter, already under attack from Democrats who want to ax her job in a merger, was not feeling the love last week when she said a joint appearance with Comptroller Joseph Sawicki had been switched without letting her know.

Carpenter showed up for the Legislature's ways and means committee on Wednesday, only to find out she had been taken off the agenda and Sawicki had appeared at the budget committee a day earlier. Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) blamed the mistake on miscommunication, and let Carpenter speak anyway.

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The two officials were scheduled after an emergency resolution was needed at the last legislative meeting to permit in-house borrowings, to ease cash flow problems during the year.

Carpenter suggested the authority be given during the legislature’s organization meeting in January to avoid the need for emergency resolutions. In an indirect dig at Sawicki, Carpenter also said that as chair of this year’s county audit committee she plans to hold quarterly meetings as recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association, noting that the comptroller as chairman last year failed to hold any audit committee meetings in 2013.

An angry Sawicki retorted, “This is a perfect example why the office should be consolidated as she doesn’t know what she's talking about or what she’s doing.” He said the audit committee’s sole duty, under the county charter, is to pick the county’s outside auditor. The committee met in November 2012 and named Ernst & Young, which was given a three-year contract.

He also noted that in three of the last four years Carpenter did internal borrowings before getting legislative approval, as required. Carpenter said some borrowings may have occurred before approval was given, but officials at all levels were notified beforehand and no one had objected.