loader image

Village Trustee makes public statement at board meeting, calls for outside forensic audit

An internal issue among Northport Village officials surfaced at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, highlighting a culture of mistrust and a call for transparency.

“This is my platform and this is why the residents of Northport elected me to be in this seat,” said Trustee Dave Weber before reading a letter addressed to Mayor Damon McMullen aloud to the room, during the time usually allotted to his routine commissioner’s report. Both the mayor and Village Attorney Stu Besen stopped Weber from reading the letter – which relayed events that occurred during an executive session on September 21 – in its entirety, stating that any details related to that private meeting could not be disclosed to the public.

With that in mind, Trustee Weber stuck to the “meat and potatoes” of the issue, explaining that his concerns pertain to exactly that – a breach of confidentiality during an executive session and a need for a forensic audit performed by an outside firm.

In September, Village Deputy Treasurer Laura Kaplan resigned after a discrepancy of $600 was discovered by the payroll clerk. The Village did not take legal action against the former employee and the terms of her release will not be made public until after they are finalized in an executive session. This comes on the heels of former Village Administrator Tim Brojer pleading guilty to official misconduct in 2020 after he was caught stealing Village property and using public funds to purchase construction materials for his personal use. Brojer had a previous record of misconduct after being fired from his position as Village Administrator for Mastic Beach, which the Northport Village Board was aware of upon his hiring but never discussed publicly. And before that, in 2009, former Village Treasurer Mary Claire Krumholz paid herself $115,900 in overtime, on top of her $60,000 base salary, which was discovered by former Village Clerk Donna Koch.

In response to the latest discrepancy, Trustee Weber is calling for a full forensic audit, or financial review, by an independent company that has no ties to Village officials or anyone within the Treasury Department. In his letter to the Mayor, he notes that proposals from two well-qualified firms were set to take place in private meetings this week, but they were cancelled by the Mayor the day before. Mayor McMullen then sent a memo to the board, Village attorneys, and other Village officials including Treasurer Len Marchese, Payroll Clerk Siobhan Costello, and Police Chief Chris Hughes, all who were not privy to the information discussed at the executive session and should not, under Village code, be given this kind of private information, said Weber.

Share this post


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *