Yorktown Town Board members announced during their meeting on Tuesday, June 21 that they wanted an investigation conducted to uncover who among them leaked the town’s confidential draft of the state comptroller’s office audit results.
Councilman Jim Martorano, an attorney, said that he initiated a probe to see who gave members of the media access to the 32-page document that was not meant to be seen by the public. “There are things in that report that could be harmful to certain people and there are things in there that we are contesting,” Martorano said.
The document describes the results of the auditor’s investigation of Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo’s work activities and computer use as well as the town’s purchasing practices from Jan. 1, 2007 through May 13, 2010.
From December 2007 to January 2010, DiBartolo served as the town’s director of labor operations and was responsible for purchasing environmental conservation, central garage and building maintenance, the parks and recreation and the water and sewer departments.
The initial audit findings found a lack of oversight sight done by the town board, particularly when it came to the director of labor operations as well as the comptroller and town clerk departments. The report also cited several concerns about DiBartolo including: conflicts of interest, questionable practices and having non-work related items on his department computer.
“I agree with my friend Jim,” stated Councilman Nick Bianco. “Having been the subject of accusations that were found untrue, I find it disturbing that someone gave the information to the media. I want this to be investigated,” the former Yonkers detective said.
The rest of the board agreed. No resolution is required to start the investigation because the board is bringing the matter to town’s board of ethics to look into.
The report that was emailed to by the state comptroller’s office to the town board members and several department heads was a first draft and is not yet deemed the official results of the audit. The draft, which was supposed to be kept private, was given to several media outlets including The Northern Westchester Examiner.
Anthony Grasso, a former board of ethics member, condemned the media for running information that they knew to be confidential. “They should not have done it,” he said.
Currently the town has until June 30 to respond to the draft. Typically the comptroller’s office will only accept one response from a municipality. However if an audit report has findings about a separately elected official’s department, such as the town clerk or the highway superintendent, then the elected official that represents that office may also respond on his or her behalf.
A complete findings report, which will include the town’s response to the draft and any subsequent determinations by the comptroller’s office will be released to the public 10 days after the town receives the final draft. Siegel does not expect it to be released until the fall.