Village at fault

To the editor: The design of a properly functioning system of internal controls is the segregation of recording functions from the custody or safeguarding of assets. Such a segregation of duties does not exist at the Village of Port Henry. The same person is responsible for maintaining the Villages financial records, and has access to cash receipts. She also prepares the monthly bank reconciliations. This quote is a portion of the summary titled Findings as of May 31, 2004 prepared by Port Henrys CPA. The letter in its entirety can be found on page 41 of Village of Port Henry Financial Statements submitted in May 2005 where this strong suggestion to restructure was repeated. Thanks in part to the victim impact statement made by a village trustee at (former village clerk) Barb Tesars sentencing hearing, Barb and her family received a very harsh sentence. (By the time of that hearing, every dollar had been returned.) If only those folks who are without sin were allowed to throw stones, or make victims impact statements, I suspect that no village trustee would have been permitted to say a word at that hearing. According to the quote above, the trustee either knew, or should have known of the CPAs long standing recommendations to change the process. Unfortunately, the repeated recommendations were either ignored or worse yet, not even read. At best the village of Port Henrys elected officials were negligent in their duties. At worse they were complicit in this affair. If the cows get out because the farmer left the barn door wide open, the farmer, if he were a man of character, would shoulder his share of the blame. Bob Thierry Port Henry

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