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STATE OF NEW YORK

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI STEVEN J. HANCOX


OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER DEPUTY COMPTROLLER
COMPTROLLER 110 STATE STREET DIVISION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12236 AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY
Tel: (518) 474-4037 Fax: (518) 486-6479

February 14, 2011

Mayor James M. Sottile


Members of the Common Council
420 Broadway
Kingston, NY 12401

Report Number: 2011M-015

Dear Mayor Sottile and Members of the Common Council:

One of the Office of the State Comptroller’s primary objectives is to identify areas where local
governments and school districts can improve their operations and provide guidance and services
that will assist local officials in making those improvements. Our goals are to develop and
promote short-term and long-term strategies to enable and encourage local government and
school district officials to reduce costs, improve service delivery and to account for and protect
their entity’s assets.

In accordance with these goals, we conducted a limited review of certain police payroll-related
time sheets at the City of Kingston (City) for the period June 1, 2009, to August 31, 2010.

This report of examination letter contains our finding and recommendations related to our
limited review. We discussed the finding and recommendations with appropriate City officials
and considered their comments in preparing this report. Officials have generally agreed with our
finding and recommendations and indicate that they plan to initiate corrective action.

Background, Scope and Methodology

During our audit of the Kingston City School District (District), we identified potential problems
regarding security services performed at the District by City police officers. Specifically, these
potential problems concerned whether City police officers were performing police services for
the City during hours they were being paid for security services by the District. Therefore, the
purpose of our examination was to determine whether individuals were submitting claims for
hours worked as City police officers that coincided with claims submitted to the District for
security services.

As part of our examination, we interviewed key District personnel regarding security service
timekeeping policies and procedures and reviewed payments for these services. We identified 13
individuals who worked for the District as security officers and for the City as police officers.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, these individuals were paid a total of $185,921 by the
District for security services. We selected four of the highest-paid individuals for further review.
District payments to these four individuals ranged from $12,753 to $58,694 and totaled
$110,367. We obtained supporting cash disbursement vouchers at the District for these four City
police officers documenting the hours they performed security services at the District during the
period July 1, 20091 to August 2010. We then compared the hours worked, as shown on the
District vouchers, to the hours worked, as listed on City payroll overtime records. We performed
this review of City records to determine whether officers were paid by the City and District for
the same hours worked. For the above time period, we also reviewed police overtime records and
such other documents that we found necessary to determine whether these four police officers
were submitting claims for overlapping hours worked at the City and the District.

Explanation

Based on our review of payroll records at the City and our audit work at the District, we
identified 16 instances, totaling 57 hours, in which one police officer2 submitted a claim for
hours worked as a security guard that coincided with the hours he claimed for police overtime
(See Appendix A). In essence, he claimed to be working at two places at the same time. For
example, on September 8, 2009, District records indicate the individual submitted a claim for
working as a security guard from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm, a shift of 15 hours. On the same date, City
records indicate that the individual claimed to work overtime hours from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm as
a police detective. City and District records document that he was working for both entities
simultaneously from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm, a period of 5.5 hours.

We also identified an instance in which the hours claimed at the City and the hours claimed at
the District by this same individual resulted in an unlikely number of hours being worked within
a 24- to 48-hour period. Starting on June 22, 2009, the individual claimed to work from 7:00 am
to 9:30 pm at the District and from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am the following morning at the City. He
then claimed to work from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm on June 23 at the District. Therefore, he
submitted claims for having worked a total of 37 hours during a 38-½ hour period. The number
of hours claimed in this time frame seems highly unusual considering the type of work being
performed (police and security services).

Recordkeeping weaknesses at the City police department contributed to the payment of these
overlapping hours by the City. The identified police officer, by virtue of his supervisory position,
was allowed to authorize his own overtime. Also, City police department officials did not
maintain records to document the starting and ending times for shifts worked.

Recommendations

1. City officials should consider referring this matter to appropriate law enforcement authorities
and take action to recover any inappropriate payments.

1
Payments made in July 2009 related to the period of service of June 2009.
2
This individual was paid approximately $26 an hour by the District and approximately $52 an hour (for overtime)
by the City. He was paid a total of $58,694 by the District for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

2
2. City officials should require that police overtime be authorized and approved by someone
charged with supervising each officer’s work. Starting and ending times should be
documented for all shifts worked. These times should be verified periodically.

The Common Council has the responsibility to initiate corrective action. A written corrective
action plan (CAP) that addresses the findings and recommendations in this report should be
prepared and forwarded to our office within 90 days, pursuant to Section 35 of the General
Municipal Law. For more information on preparing and filing your CAP, please refer to our
brochure, Responding to an OSC Audit Report, which you received with the draft audit report.
We encourage the Common Council to make this plan available for public review in the Clerk’s
office.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Albany Regional Office at (518) 438-0093.

Sincerely,

Steven J. Hancox
Deputy Comptroller
Office of the State Comptroller
Division of Local Government
and School Accountability

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APPENDIX A

Overlapping Hours: June 1, 2009 – August 2010


Number of
District Security City Overtime Overlapping Overlapping
Date Timesheets Hours3 Time Period Hours
6/16/09 7:00 am to 3:30 pm 9:00 am to 12:00 pm 9 am to 12 pm 3.0
6/17/09 7:00 am to 9:30 pm 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm 8 pm to 9:30 pm 1.5
8/12/09 11:00 am to 6:00 pm 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm 4 pm to 6 pm 2.0
9/08/09 6:00 am to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm 4 pm to 9:30 pm 5.5
9/17/09 6:30 am to 9:30 pm 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm 12 pm to 4 pm 4.0
10/29/09 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm 4 pm to 6 pm 2.0
11/04/09 6:30 am to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm 4 pm to 6 pm 2.0
11/20/09 6:30 am to 8:30 pm 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm 4 pm to 8:30 pm 4.5
12/10/09 6:30 am to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm 4 pm to 9 pm 5.0
12/15/09 6:30 am to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm 4 pm to 8 pm 4.0
2/05/10 6:30 am to 9:30 pm 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm 2 pm to 9:30 pm 6.04
5/03/10 6:30 am to 3:30 pm 6:00 am to 8:00 am 6:30 am to 8 am 1.5
5/04/10 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm 7 pm to 9:30 pm 2.5
5/20/10 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm 4 pm to 8 pm 4.0
6/17/10 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm 4 pm to 9:30 pm 5.5
6/18/10 6:30 am to 9:30 pm 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm 4 pm to 8 pm 4.0

Total 57

3
City police department overtime records are maintained in military fashion, i.e. 9:00 am is documented as 0900,
while 9:00 pm is documented as 2100 hours. For purposes of this table, the City overtime hours were converted
from military time.
4
Source document shows six hours claimed, but lists time worked as eight hours (1400 to 2200, or 2 pm to 10 pm).
Overlap calculation restricted to six hours claimed.