Now that Brockport, Sweden, and Clarkson have a fire district, it might be a good idea to pay attention to news about fires districts, because the rules have changed. The old checks and balances were tossed out with the bath water when the Brockport Fire Department was dissolved, and now the residents of Brockport, Sweden, and Clarkson have to rely on New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s officer to audit the finances of the fire district.
Leroy has a fire district, and the news about the New York State Comptroller’s audits of the Leroy Fire Department and the Le Roy Fireman’s Benevolent Association should open the eyes of every resident of Brockport, Sweden, and Clarkson.
According to a statement issued last Tuesday by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the former treasurer of the Le Roy Fire Department and the Le Roy Fireman’s Benevolent Association, Dennis Snow, was sentenced for stealing nearly $46,000 in public funds to pay for gambling at local casinos.
Snow was sentenced on Tuesday in Genesee County Court to 5 years’ probation, and 30 days in jail He was also ordered to make a $16,200 restitution payment to the Le Roy Fire Department and the Firemen’s Benevolent Association. Last year Snow pled guilty to grand larceny in the fourth degree and forgery in the second degree. Snow had forged the signatures of the officers of the Fire Department and Firemen’s Benevolent Association on the checks that he had written to himself. The thefts took place over an extended period of time from 2007 to 2013.
Comptroller DiNapoli said, “Too much money was moved with too little scrutiny while Mr. Snow gambled on the public’s dime. The solution is often the same: oversight, oversight, oversight.”
“The solution is often the same: oversight, oversight, oversight.”
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli,
The Comptroller’s audits found that Snow had used funds from department and association accounts to pay his credit card bills, his cell phone bills, and his gambling debts.
The Comptroller audits recommended the officials of Leroy Fire Department (District) and the Le Roy Fireman’s Benevolent Association improve their fiscal reviews, including approving disbursements and transfers prior to payment, as well as comparing monthly bank statements and canceled check images with the treasurer’s records and paid invoices.
The Comptroller audit of the Sweden Town Court found the same kinds of problems in the Town of Sweden government. So maybe the residents of Brockport, Sweden, and Clarkson should pay closer attention to the management of the new fire district. Nobody is saying there’s theft going on. But it would be prudent to keep a close eye on the finances. That used to be the Village Board’s responsibility, but not anymore.