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Housing authority issues corrective plan after critical audit

East Hampton Housing Authority executive director Catherine M.

East Hampton Housing Authority executive director Catherine M. Casey speaks about the authority's affordable housing plan at an Amagansett Citizens Advisory Committee meeting in Amagansett, May 9, 2016. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The East Hampton Housing Authority said it will clean up its books after the Office of the New York State Comptroller called in an audit report on officials to tighten financial controls.

In a corrective action plan issued this week, the authority’s board of commissioners and executive director said more officials will review bank records monthly and checking records weekly. They have also voided all signed blank checks that were kept on file in case of emergency and created a separate spreadsheet to keep track of voided checks.

“If there are areas where we can improve, if there are mistakes that are being made that could be avoided, we are more than happy to take any recommended action to see it doesn’t happen in the future,” executive director Catherine M. Casey said Wednesday.

Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a recently released audit report that between Jan. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, the board of commissioners did not make sure the agency’s books matched monthly bank statements.

The board said it has “always reviewed monthly cash reports but did not check detail.” Casey said she reviewed monthly statements for irregularities and disputed DiNapoli’s finding that the authority did not record all financial transactions. She said all transactions were recorded in QuickBooks, and all signed blank checks that were used were recorded in a separate ledger.

DiNapoli and Casey both said the more than $6.324 million issued in nonpayroll checks were for “appropriate authority purposes.”

The housing authority manages three properties — including one in Montauk — with a total of 93 housing units and is developing a fourth property with 40 housing units in Amagansett.

Its financial records are submitted every year to the East Hampton Town government and the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal and are audited annually by an independent firm, the board said.

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