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State to audit Huntington Town finances

A study to determine the unused and potential

A study to determine the unused and potential capacity of the Huntington sewer district is expected to begin this fall. Huntington Town Hall is pictured here. Credit: Carl Corry

The state comptroller's office has notified Huntington Town officials that it plans to conduct an audit of town finances in the near future.

A letter dated May 25 indicated the audit will focus on policies and procedures related to internal controls at the town.

"We welcome the audit and look forward to working with the comptroller's office as we have in the past," town Supervisor Frank Petrone said. "And to any suggestions they may have about new procedures that will help us manage the town's finances even more effectively."

In April, town board member Gene Cook, an Independent on a board with three Democrats and a Republican, sent a letter to the governor, state comptroller, state attorney general and the Suffolk district attorney requesting an audit. His request came after he questioned the accounting practices of the town's now former comptroller. At the April town board meeting, Petrone also sponsored a resolution that was approved requesting an audit.

"I am thrilled," Cook said. "We have to hire a new comptroller, so if the state comes in and shows us what we have to do, what the rules are and do the things that are right for the hardworking taxpayers of Huntington," that is great.

Brian Butry, deputy press secretary for state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, said Friday the audit should start in the next few weeks. "It will last anywhere from 6 to 9 months, depending on the scope of the audit and how much work there is for the auditors once they get in there," Butry said. Some of the information the state is expected to review includes minutes, annual financial reports, budgets, cash receipt journals, cash disbursement journals, general journals, general ledgers, inventory records for gas, fuel and other commodities, and property and equipment inventory records.

Auditors are expected to look at bank statements, canceled checks, copies of deposit slips, bank reconciliations, investment policy, security and custodial agreements, confirmation of pledged collateral, duplicate receipt forms, purchasing policy, the code of ethics, vendor listings and purchase requisition orders, among many other items.

Town officials said there have been discussions between the town and the comptroller's office to work out logistics about the visit by auditors.

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