The state comptroller has announced that it will conduct a procedural audit of the town of Cicero.
Supervisor Chet Dudzinski pointed out that the audit was, in fact, a procedural audit, not a financial audit.
“Basically they’re looking at the way we do things and making sure we’re doing them properly,” Dudzinski said.
He said this isn’t the first time the town has been the subject of such an audit.
“They were here a few years ago,” he said. “And, to give you an example, one thing they said was that I should be physically signing checks instead of using a stamp. So they’re evaluating our processes here at the office level at Town Hall to make sure we’re doing everything the right way, the way we’re supposed to be.”
Town Democrats, who have repeatedly criticized the town’s Republican government, rejoiced at the news of the audit.
“I welcome the audit,” said Jessica Zambrano, former town councilor and chair of the Cicero Democratic Committee. “I think it should have been done before. I hope the state auditor looks at all expenditures to ascertain that they are equitable and justified.”
In particular, Zambrano said she hoped the auditor looked at the town’s legal costs.
“Of course, my biggest concern is the amount of legal fees the town is playing for economic development, grant writing, union negotiations, lawsuits, etc.,” she said. “I think the taxpayers would really like to know how much money the town has paid in legal fees and expenses.”
But Dudzinski said Zambrano is likely to be disappointed.
“The critics have it wrong,” the supervisor said. “This isn’t a financial audit. They’re not looking at our books, they’re looking at the day-to-day operations at Town Hall to make sure we’re doing things right. It’s not like they’re going to come in and find some huge amount of money.”
Representatives from the state comptroller could not be reached for comment at press time.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.