The Village of Islandia Town Hall in Islandia, which is...

The Village of Islandia Town Hall in Islandia, which is located in the Town of Islip, is shown in September 2016. Credit: Randee Daddona

A new state audit found that eight Village of Islandia employees were paid almost $150,000 in overtime that was not properly approved — almost all of which was paid to its previous fire marshal and building inspector.

The report, published on Feb. 9 by the office of state Comptroller Thomas D. Napoli, said between Jan. 1, 2019, and April 30, 2021, the fire marshal and the building inspector approved their own overtime, and were paid $88,718 and $53,719, respectively, with no documentation to support it. 

Their pay made up 95% of the $149,964 in the total unauthorized overtime, the report said.

The audit did not list the names of the fire marshal and building inspector, and the village would not release their identities. (Kevin Peterson, the village's current fire marshal, told Newsday he was hired in December 2021.) 

In a statement, village spokesperson John Zaher said the village fully cooperated with the comptroller's audit and that “while the building inspector was authorized to work overtime, most of the overtime hours submitted by the fire marshal were not.”

After a disciplinary hearing in front of a judge at which he heard the charges, the previous fire marshal “requested to resign and the Village referred the matter to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office,” Zaher said in a statement.

Spokesperson Tania Lopez said the Suffolk District Attorney's Office could neither confirm nor deny if the office was “contacted to look at the cases.”

In addition, six employees were paid a total of $7,528 without preapproval or documentation explaining why the overtime was necessary, the audit said.

The board of trustees and village officials “did not monitor overtime and relied on the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector to only work overtime when they believed it was needed,” the audit said.

The village's original audit period was from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2020, but that was extended to April 30, 2021 to review the fire marshal's time and attendance records.

A new state audit found that eight Village of Islandia employees were paid almost $150,000 in overtime that was not properly approved — almost all of which was paid to its previous fire marshal and building inspector.

The report, published on Feb. 9 by the office of state Comptroller Thomas D. Napoli, said between Jan. 1, 2019, and April 30, 2021, the fire marshal and the building inspector approved their own overtime, and were paid $88,718 and $53,719, respectively, with no documentation to support it. 

Their pay made up 95% of the $149,964 in the total unauthorized overtime, the report said.

The audit did not list the names of the fire marshal and building inspector, and the village would not release their identities. (Kevin Peterson, the village's current fire marshal, told Newsday he was hired in December 2021.) 

In a statement, village spokesperson John Zaher said the village fully cooperated with the comptroller's audit and that “while the building inspector was authorized to work overtime, most of the overtime hours submitted by the fire marshal were not.”

After a disciplinary hearing in front of a judge at which he heard the charges, the previous fire marshal “requested to resign and the Village referred the matter to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office,” Zaher said in a statement.

Spokesperson Tania Lopez said the Suffolk District Attorney's Office could neither confirm nor deny if the office was “contacted to look at the cases.”

In addition, six employees were paid a total of $7,528 without preapproval or documentation explaining why the overtime was necessary, the audit said.

The board of trustees and village officials “did not monitor overtime and relied on the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector to only work overtime when they believed it was needed,” the audit said.

The village's original audit period was from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2020, but that was extended to April 30, 2021 to review the fire marshal's time and attendance records.

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