Knox files last of overdue reports

Knox Town Hall

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Knox Town Hall

KNOX — Although it missed the deadline by about three months, the town of Knox has submitted its 2018 financial report to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, the final one of three overdue reports.

Tania Lopez, deputy press secretary for the comptroller’s office, said on Friday, Aug. 9, that the 2018 report was filed on Aug. 6 of this year.

The report was due by March, but an extension brought the deadline to May 1. The 2017 report had been filed this past April, and the 2016 report was filed in February; the town had filed for an extension for both these reports as well, said Lopez, filing after the extension date each time.

Knox Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis declined to comment on the submission of the 2018 report.

This past December, Lefkaditis announced that the town would be undergoing an audit by the state comptroller’s office which he initially said was random. But the comptroller’s office confirmed that the audit was being conducted at least partly due to lack of the 2016 and 2017 financial reports.

In April, the town board voted unanimously to censure the supervisor because he had said at a meeting that the 2016 report had been on file when it would in fact not be filed for almost another year.

Lefkaditis voted with the board to censure himself, saying he was not afraid to apologize, though he dismissed the resolution as “campaigning” by Democratic Councilman Earl Barcomb. Lefkaditis and the two most recently elected councilmen ran together on the Republican line.

Lefkaditis later told The Enterprise that he had been referring to an extension for the 2016 report when he said he filed in 2017.

The Knox audit will not begin until “audit staff finish current assignments,” Lopez said in an email to The Enterprise. Audits typically take between six months and a year to complete, but can last longer.

If a town does not submit a report on time, she said, town leaders are sent a letter, and, if they do not comply, the town’s legal counsel will be contacted.

“The more delinquent they are, the higher risk for an audit,” Lopez wrote. Referring to the town’s chief financial officer — in this case Supervisor Lefkaditis — Lopez said, “Although we can fine the CFO of a municipality up to $5/day, we have never done so.”

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