Milton looks to outside firm to fix accounting problems

by Michael Short on October 8, 2010

By Michael Short

Milton took another step toward resolving its financial problems at Monday’s town council meeting.

Delaware’s State Auditor has recommended that Milton hire an outside firm from Harrisburg, Pa. to review the town’s finances after numerous “red flags” were found. Those “red flags” didn’t mean anything criminal, but they could be indicative of sloppy or poor accounting practices.

Councilman Norman Lester said at the Monday, Oct. 4 council meeting that the town’s books are “in disarray.” For example,  he said some monthly reports were only for  20 days and not for a full month.

“The statements were not worth the paper they were written on,” he said.

“We will get it corrected and we are working hard,” he said.

Lester said the auditor’s office will work with the town any way it can to help cut the cost. Mayor Cliff Newlands said that Milton will  continue to try to cut the costs involved. He said that the town had already budgeted $25,000 for an audit.

“We have to do this. It’s not just for now, but for the future,” Lester said.

Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner said that Lester had called his office and asked for advice. The advice is to hire the firm to basically bring the accounting up to standard, so that Milton can start with a fresh slate, he said.

The firm is Zelonkofske & Axelrod L.L.C.

Wagner said it is unusual for the auditor’s office to take such an active role in town affairs, but it is not unheard of.

In the September Milton Town Council meeting, Chief Administrative Auditor Kathleen O”Donnell said that she could not say whether the problems were caused by carelessness or something criminal until she had more information.

On Wednesday, Wagner said there are no indications of anything criminal. “We are not anticipating that becoming an issue,” he said.

Comments on this entry are closed.

[CoastalSussex] on Twitter[Coastal Sussex] on Facebook[Our] RSS Feed[Our] Email