A Wyandanch library board trustee cited by the state comptroller's office for altering payroll records for a nephew Wednesday said she did nothing improper and library officials said they are addressing fiscal oversight problems.
The audit released last month from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli resulted in Wyandanch becoming the second Long Island library under state scrutiny. Last month, state library officials told Roosevelt's library board that funding would be halted until they meet minimum state standards.
On Wednesday, Wyandanch library board trustee Nancy Holliday, who was president during the audit period of July 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012, defended herself and the library. She noted that the library was "in transition" at the time of the audit and working without a "functioning director" and that the board had her do the director's duties, including payroll.
The audit found Holliday routinely changed payroll records for her nephew, Kwaisi McCorvey, a library custodian, so he would be paid for working on days he did not clock in or out. The audit questioned $19,534 in pay for 83 workdays, including one when he was paid for 21.5 hours.
"I can assure you that there were no violations of the public trust, of favoritism towards any employee," Holliday said during a news conference at the library. "I have not abused my authority nor broken any laws."
Holliday's attorney, Tom Liotti of Garden City, said auditors did not have "ample opportunity" to speak with Holliday, who also is a Wyandanch school board trustee.
"We have over 2,000 special districts in the state of New York," he said. "Things get lost and sometimes information just falls through the cracks."
Liotti said he sent a letter in October to DiNapoli's office requesting a meeting. DiNapoli spokesman Brian Butry said they declined the request, which came a month after the board had filed its response to the audit.
Library board attorney Monte Malik Chandler of Hempstead said the library has fired treasurer Joan C. Woodhull, whom the audit found failed to deposit more than $4,000 in cash receipts. After being questioned by auditors, Woodhull turned in $1,265 in new bills, saying she'd found the money in her garage, according to the audit. Chandler said the library board has implemented changes to its deposit, payroll and overtime practices and has implemented a policy to guard against nepotism.
Chandler and Liotti said that during the audit period, the library had been denied assistance to help manage finances after reaching out to the Suffolk County civil service department. A county spokeswoman said the department had worked with the library to find directors in 2012 and 2013 and would never deny a request that conforms with civil service requirements.
DiNapoli's office has referred its audit findings to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. A spokesman for Spota's office acknowledged receipt of the report but declined to comment further.