Whitehall Reacts to Town Clerk Scandal

Vernon Scribner says it is up to the board to make sure it does not happen again. The New York State Comptroller’s report found key deficiencies in monitoring the town clerk’s office, allowing former clerk Janet Jillson to divert over $92,000 in town funds…

Vernon Scribner said that it is up to the board to make sure it does not happen again.

Scribner reacted to the Aug. 7 New York State Comptroller’s report, which found key deficiencies in monitoring the town clerk’s office, allowing former clerk Janet Jillson to divert over $92,000 in town funds from 2003-2007.

“It comes down to, we have got to do more to keep a handle on funds coming in and going out of the town clerk’s office,” said Scribner. “We’ve got a policy that was set in place before the findings came out and we now get a full report of where the money is coming from and where it is going. She knows what she needs to do from now on.”

Scribner said that he was aware that there was a total of $92,848 that was diverted by the town clerk’s office over the five year period, but that he was originally only notified about the shortfall of $28,048 at the time the discrepancy was reported.

“The $28,000 was what was actually missing,” said Scribner. “At no time was there $92,000 missing at any time. She kept paying back to the funds she took from and I guess the amount finally got too large. The $92,000 or so is what she had, I guess you can call it, played with over the years.”

Scribner said that he felt the main lesson to be learned is that the town has to oversee every office and department despite personal relationships or feelings.

“I guess it comes down to the point that you cannot get too trustworthy when you shouldn’t be,” he said. “But I’d also hate to go through life never trusting anyone. But this is business and you have to look after it.”

Scribner said that while the town admits it was lacking in controls, there was personal responsibility on the part of Jillson.

“Still, regardless of everything, she did do wrong and everyone realizes that,” he said. “When this is all said and done, though, the way it looks is that this will not cost the taxpayers because it was taken care of by the money the family paid.”

 

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