The writers here at the HV News Lies strive to use thought and reason, intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning to question current issues in town and present their findings to the readers to then make use of their
critical thinking skills to make their own determination.
One instance in the December 19, 2011 has us questioning:
Sue Serino presented a bank reconcilation signed by Tom Martino to the auditors and made the statement that she obtained it from Joanne Lown. The auditors stated it did not look familiar to them.
The only way that Joanne Lown would be able to obtain that bank reconciliation was 1) She had to file a FOIL request which means that it was on file with the Town Clerk's office and the auditors had it available to them
throughout the audit or 2) Joanne Lown took documents, which included bank reconcilations with her before her employment was terminated and that is why the reconciliations were not available to the auditors.
If this is the case, and the writers here don't doubt it given Ms. Lown's unsavory charachter which included blaming a dead co-worker for her follies, then what other documents did she happen to take with her?
You may come up with your own conclusions on this.
The auditors have spoken...bank reconciliations were not performed correctly per the 2009 audit. Due to her negligence of performing this function, it took the auditing firm from the time of January through November to complete the audit due to the extra task of having to reconcile the bank records themselves.
Other key points:
1. 70% of the purchase orders tested could not be located which can lead to speculation that unauthorized purchase orders were being placed. Mr. Doyle, care to comment?
2. Manual journal entries were not authorized by management, which meant NO SUPERVISION was being performed by previous supervisors. And where was Pompey and Yancy? Not Supervising, that's for sure.
3.Rather than admit that maybe she dropped the ball and take the heat for her mistakes, as someone with principle and integrity would, Joanne Lown made attempts to defend herself by claiming she DID perform reconciliations. However, they were locked away in a box in a closet. Ms. Lown, do you really take the people of Hyde Park to be so stupid to accept your excuse that bank reconcilations are in a closet someplace? With an excuse such as that I would expect to find Jimmy Hoffa alongside this box of bank reconciliations.
Ms. Lown made reference to not being able to meet with the auditor's beforehand concerning the audit. Ms. Lown is not employed in the capacity as a consultant nor is NO LONGER employed by the town, though for the past 18 months she liked to think she was. Most people move on with their lives after the loss of a job. Clearly Ms. Lown has not.
What Ms. Lown failed to mention that she DID not perform the reconciliations on the accounting software system which SHOULD have been done on a monthly basis. What's the point of having accounting software if you don't plan on using it? And why would you keep manual bank reconciliations holed away in some closet anyways? It's as simple as this: Ms. Lown was keeping two sets of books...on paper and on the computer and her negligence in doing so cost the town thousands of dollars and ten months to figure out the mess she left behind. And if she did do the bank reconciliations properly, the auditor wouldn't have had to do the reconcilations themselves in order to complete the audit.
4. Aileen Rohr has no clue what she's talking about. Unfortunately the election was between voting for bad and worse and bad won. She might as well admit that she has no interest, knowledge or the capability to run a town of this size. If the rumors are true and she plans to return Ms. Lown to a position within the scope of the town's finances then my case is made for incompetency. Why would you re-employ a person, who in two seperate audits failed to follow proper procedures in bank reconciliations and purchase orders? Ms. Rohr clearly is not a graduate of Carnegie Mellon's school of Business.
5. Sue Serino appears to be BFF's with Ms. Lown and attempted to defend her throughout the meeting. Why? Perhaps is was because Ms. Lown was feeding both her and Mr. Langan information while she was employed as bookkeeper. Wouldn't it be interesting to file a FOIL request on the 2010 emails that Ms. Lown made from her work computer and see exactly what she wrote? Rumor has it that there were a few hundred emails that she sent between herself and Mr. Langan and others releasing confidential information...too bad she failed to realize that her work computer and email address is the property of the town and all the information on there is town property and public information and a FOIL request can be made for those emails. Any readers out there interested in what those e-mails entailed?
*On side note: In attempts to redeem himself John Bickford admitted that he was in the wrong at the last board meeting and apologized for his faux paus. The two smartest men in Hyde Park isn't too smart, eh? At least he has some sense of integrity and will admit to his mistakes, unlike Joanne Lown.