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A draft of an audit from the State Comptroller's office reveals fiscal mismanagement in the village of Monticello. But was it released to the public too soon? Our Eva McKend reports.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Some argue trustee Carmen Rue jumped the gun by releasing a preliminary state audit on the village of Monticello.
But she says numbers don't lie and the public, who for too long have been kept in the dark, deserve to see those numbers now.
"They are entitled to know what is going on with their money," said Rue.
The draft of the State Comptroller's audit says the village is suffering from cash-flow problems. The state also criticized the lack of financial oversight as tens of thousands of dollars are unaccounted for; it also says there are incomplete accounting records.
"That's why I called the Comptroller's office because I do my job, but I'm only one vote," said Rue.
Trustee Larissa Bennett says she doesn't agree with the early release of the draft audit.
"We were asked not to reveal any information from it and to wait for the finalized report," said Bennett.
But she says, as stated by the state agency in the report, the board does not have a full understanding of the village's current financial position.
"It's important that we all have the same information so that we can collectively make a decision. When you do not agree with the mayor and the way he runs the village as the manager then you do not have access to all of the information," said Bennett.
Sullivan County officials say there is at least one issue in the preliminary audit village officials can address immediately: unpaid taxes.
"Because they haven't foreclosed in so long, people have a habit of only paying people that come after them. The village has been really lax on that and we are helping them rectify that situation," said Nancy Buck, Deputy Treasurer for the County.
Mayor Gordon Jenkins says the draft of the audit should not have been released and maintains there are no financial issues in the village.
Trustees Rochelle Massey and Reverend James Matthews could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, the Comptrollers office acknowledged the preliminary report, but will not comment until a final audit is released to the public.