No word yet on findings of state comptroller's audit of Canton town finances
Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 9:30 am

By ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week

CANTON -- There is still no word on completion or release of the findings of the state Comptroller's audit of Canton town finances that the town requested in the fall of 2017.

"When our audit is over, we will draft a report and the municipality will have 30 days to respond. After we review the town's comments and made necessary changes to the report, we will then issue it to the public and only then," said Tania Lopez, Deputy Press Secretary, Office of the State Comptroller, in an email last month.

"Audits generally take about six months to a year to complete. However, as in this case, they can take longer depending on the nature of the audit and if our audit team needs additional time. With that said, we don't comment about the specifics of the audit while it's underway," Lopez said.

"As the comptroller's office indicated, we are waiting for a draft report and will have a timeline to respond. Once the Comptroller's Office issues a final report, it will be public," said Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley.

"Having said that, since January 2018, the town board has been working tirelessly, setting up and adhering to new structures that include stringent financial, policy and human resources audit control systems, written documentation, records management and transparency. We have and will continue to confidently make the necessary changes and administer town business accordingly," the supervisor said.

"I am looking for this chapter in town history to be closed. It's just a matter of when and hope for ongoing integrity of the process," Ashley said.

Following controversy and public criticism over how previous town supervisor David Button handled the bookkeeping of his department, the town board requested the audit in the fall of 2017 to clear up any remaining questions regarding the town's finances.

Button lost the 2017 election to Mary Ann Ashley.

Auditors from the comptroller's office concluded the field work portion of their investigation last year.