Keene corrects errors found in state audit

The state Comptroller's Office reported accounting problems in its recent audit of the town of Keene, including lax oversight of the town's finances.

The audit determined that town Supervisor Bill Ferebee failed to maintain custody of the town's monies after it found unauthorized signatures on checks from a number of town bank accounts that were opened without his knowledge.

At the time of the audit earlier this spring, auditors found 23 active bank accounts, eight of which it deemed unnecessary. Further, not all of the town's accounts required the supervisor's signature, and three accounts contained signatures from individuals not authorized to sign.

"There is an increased risk that fraud, errors and irregularities could occur and remain undetected," the report concluded.

The audit also found that Ferebee provided the town board with inadequate and occasionally inaccurate monthly financial reports. For instance, auditors noted that in September 2009, revenues for the general and highway funds were underreported by $75,485 and $290,460, respectively.

Auditors said that these errors "hinder the board's ability to exercise its financial oversight.

In an April 26 letter to the state Comptroller's Office, Ferebee said that the town had corrected the deficiencies found in the audit.

"It's now a matter of continuing to follow the new procedures established," Ferebee said.

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