NYS Comptroller: Monroe Co. public safety deal cost taxpayers millions extra
Posted at: 10/12/2012 2:38 PM | Updated at: 10/12/2012 3:01 PM
According to an audit released Friday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Monroe County is overpaying nearly $39-million for public safety services obtained through a LDC (local development corporation) created by the County.
The audit says Monroe County used a flawed process to secure those services and favored one company affiliated with a former employee and others with ties to the County.
DiNapoli said, “This is a bad deal for Monroe County taxpayers. Officials claim they were attempting to save money, instead they saddled taxpayers with unnecessary costs for the next two decades. Contrary to comments from County officials, I am not opposed to the proper use of LDCs. What I am opposed to is when officials use an LDC as a mechanism to skirt the oversight of the county legislature and fail to act in the best interest of taxpayers."
According to DiNapoli’s officer, in January 2010, Monroe County entered into a 20-year contract with Monroe Security and Safety Systems (M3S) LDC to provide public safety and security systems and services. Shortly after that contract was reached, M3S passed the terms of the contract onto Navitech which was run by the County’s former chief financial officer.
DiNapoli says the contract terms uncovered in the audit means the County will overspend by approximately $39-million for public safety and security. Auditors say the process was not competitive and favored Navitech.
Monroe County officials disagreed with the audit's findings. When a draft of this audit was released in September, County Executive Maggie Brooks said, "We've had three scathing audits done by the New York State Comptroller and it's very obvious to me that he doesn't like local development corporations."
In response to the audit, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "This final State Comptroller audit confirms everything we've been saying about Maggie Brooks' corruption. When you rig a bid so a campaign contributor can score a contract worth hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, that's a scandal. Taxpayers can't afford Maggie Brooks' embarrassing record of corruption any longer."