A gavel.

A gavel. Credit: Jim Peppler, 2011

Legal Aid Society careful with funds

The March 23 news story “Audit: Legal Aid lax with funds” described the county comptroller’s audit of the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County. The story is misleading.

First, the Legal Aid Society did not accept all of the comptroller’s findings and submitted a comprehensive response to the report. The auditors determined certain financial procedures employed by the society lacked sufficient management oversight. However, the article fails to acknowledge, as documented in the society’s response to the audit, that the Legal Aid Society proactively instituted many of the structural changes suggested.

The Legal Aid Society is not mismanaging county funds or misappropriating county money for nonagency expenses. Indeed, the taxpayers of Nassau County can be assured, as Comptroller George Maragos emphasized, “No public funds were misspent.” The office assiduously accounts for all budgeted funds.

All expenditures are carefully reviewed before payments are issued, and then are routinely examined by the comptroller’s office. Every expense is made to advance our constitutionally mandated mission to provide outstanding and effective representation for all criminal defendants and Family Court litigants who are unable to afford counsel.

N. Scott Banks,Hempstead

Editor’s note: The writer is the attorney in chief of the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County