23 Aug 2014
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Watch: Mayor, Trustee Spar Over Finances

Mayor Conrad Teller said he is reserving his comments.

A move to table five budget transfers prompted debate among Westhampton Beach village trustees on Thursday night, with Mayor Conrad Teller saying the decision is "bologna."

Teller was one of two board members to vote against the tabling of the transfers — Trustee Ralph Urban was the other.

Trustee Patricia DiBenedetto made the move to table the transfers that are related to police overtime and contracts from the 2011-12 fiscal year, with Trustees Hank Tucker and Charles Palmer seconding the motion.

The trio said the transfers are related to an ongoing investigation into village finances by an outside attorney that they hired as well as by the village's outside auditors, whose contract was extended to investigate specific questions the trustees had.

In making the motion to hold over the transfers, DiBenedetto said it is not prudent to approve them until the results of the investigation are revealed and that she doing her job to ensure the village's finances are intact.

However, both Teller and Urban said it's time to move on, pointing to a state finance report in which the state, after examining the village's records, reported that the village's finances are "adequate."

The state did recommend that the village needs to review its bidding thresholds and assess its technology department.

The village's finances came into question after the trustees learned that an earlier accounting error resulted in the overpayments of 40 village employees, including the mayor, a total of $22,000.

The mayor and village clerk Rebecca Molinaro have acknowledged the error and say it has been corrected.

Aside from the $214,000 in transfers tabled on Thursday, 18 other transfers totalling $34,375.74 were approved.

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