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Audit: Bayville's financials not illegal

Bayville Commons is located in the heart of

Bayville Commons is located in the heart of Bayville at the intersection of Bayville and Ludlam avenues. (Jan. 25, 2012) Credit: JC Cherubini

A financial practices found improperly audited expense claims, budget transfers posted long before they were approved by the Bayville Village Board, and failure to use competitive bidding methods -- but nothing illegal.

The audit by the office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli -- dated earlier this month and examining June 2010 through October 2011 -- also showed Bayville had improperly hired an independent contractor for code enforcement work.

"Unless expressly authorized by statute, a village may not contract with a private party to perform village functions that involve the performance of police powers," the audit read.

Bayville Mayor Doug Watson last week said the contractor stopped working for the village in March and the building inspector has since been responding to code complaints.

The audit found six of 25 claims had no signature by a village official, and budget transfers were posted into accounting records up to 34 days before the board voted on them.

Watson said he and two other trustees will review the claims before meetings to help make the process "foolproof" going forward.

The comptroller's report also found the village did not seek competitive bids for services rendered by five professionals totaling $230,000.

The contracts were for legal and engineering services, Watson said. "We try to get the best deal no matter who we contract with," he said. "I think the auditors knew that."

Bayville, in a letter to the comptroller, maintained the contracts are "in compliance" because general municipal law permits it to forgo the competitive bidding process for "special skill and expertise."

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