Forensic audit may have legalconsequences
April 25, 2012
As the financial consequences of the forensic audit into the Town of Saugus are still beingdiscovered
Town Manager Scott Crabtree estimated at a Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday nightthat auditing firm Powers and Sullivan would have a report on bidding practices in two weeks andone for operations in four weeks
the legal consequences are already taking shape.
A lot of the enforcement would come through the attorney general
,” said Dan Bertrand, a
spokesman for the Division of Local Services at the Department of Revenue (DOR). He said theprosecution would depend on whether the violations were out of
malign intent or simpleignorance
. Bertrand added that the
ultimate determination would be made by the districtattorney
A spokesperson for the Essex County District Attorney’s office, Carrie Kimball Monahan, saidthat the inspector general’s offic
e would determine the jurisdiction in fraud and abuse cases suchas the violation of municipal finance laws alleged at Saugus
depending on the laws violated,
there could be federal involvement with the United States Attorney’s office.
“I think they’re looking to see if there’s criminal wrongdoing and go from there,” Kimball Monahan
“It would be up to the Inspector General’s Office, the DA’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office totake whatever action they deem appropriate,” Crabtree said.
o Chapter 44, Section 62 of the Massachusetts General Laws, “Any city, town or district
officer who knowingly violates, or authorizes or directs any official or employee to violate anyprovision of this chapter, or any other provision of general law relating to the incurring of liability orexpenditure of public funds on account of any city . . . shall, except as otherwise provided, bepunished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than oneyear, or both; and the mayor, selectmen, prudential committee, or commissioners, shall, and fivetaxpayers may, report such violation to the district attorney who shall investigate and prosecute the
Crabtree said that it would be premature for the Town to consider the legal consequences, because
the audit is not yet complete. “There will be two more reports before the final audit and we would
have some sort of
exit audit interview
with the auditors and then it will be up to the Board ofSelectmen how they want to proceed bas
ed on all the information at that point,” he said.
According to Powers and Sullivan’s report,
the audit was set in motion when several townemployees approached the Temporary Town Manager, Town Counsel John Vasapoli, with theinformation about the violations