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Disagreement continues over Freeport audit

Mayor of Freeport Andrew Hardwick in Freeport.

Mayor of Freeport Andrew Hardwick in Freeport. Credit: Chris Ware

Freeport Village’s board of trustees will discuss a revised plan for a forensic audit of the village’s finances at its Aug. 6 meeting.

Mayor Andrew Hardwick has called for a forensic audit six times, and each time the other four members of the board have balked at the idea. Hardwick wants the audit, which he says should be performed by a private firm, to stretch from 2004 to the present.

Trustee Carmen Piñeyro on Monday said the trustees will consider a more targeted audit at the Aug. 6 meeting. The audit would stretch from 2007 to the present and would look at specific aspects of the village’s finances, including public contracts and the overtime budget.

The village will discuss the possibility of releasing a request for proposals for firms that could perform the audit.

“I want to make sure the responders have in line exactly what we are looking for,” Piñeyro said. Hardwick criticized the idea. He said the village needs a more sweeping accounting of its finances.

“We can’t keep finding things haphazardly,” he said. “There are no financial controls that exist.”

The probes are intended to piggyback on an audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. That audit found Freeport racked up debt by including in the budget nearly $5 million of nonexistent funds between 2006 and 2010.

The Aug. 6 meeting, at Village Hall on North Ocean Avenue, will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Above: Andrew Hardwick

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