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Audit shows Babylon Village court flaws

Babylon Village’s Justice Court should tighten its accounting practices, according to an audit submitted by an accounting firm retained by the village.

While the court is “substantially in compliance” with its fiscal responsibilities, for the third year in a row it was sometimes late reconciling its bank accounts, the audit found.

Reconciliation every month would enable “prompt discovery of any errors or irregularities,” the audit said.

The court should also detail civil surcharges by justice, the audit recommended, so they can be “easily reconciled to other Justice Court records.”

The Islandia-based firm of Skinnon & Faber conducted the audit, which the state requires of village justice courts. The courts in New York hear small claims, misdemeanors and violations. They may also conduct arraignments and pretrial hearings in felony matters.

As of November 2011, the Babylon Village court had processed 9,141 tickets and generated $363,765 in revenue, according to court records.

This year’s audit showed improvement over earlier reviews. In January 2008, auditors found the justice court was not preparing monthly bank reconciliations or formal monthly accountability reports.

Village Mayor Ralph Scordino said the latest audit’s findings have been acted upon.

“We have to stay on top of it,” he said. “Anything we’re trying to do to strengthen accountability must go forward.”

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