Albany County comptroller's audit critical of David Soares' office

Albany County Comptroller Michael Connors has released the findings of an audit on the Albany County District Attorney's Office that states there are several financial discrepancies involving the office's petty cash fund, as well as other bookkeeping errors.

In response, District Attorney David Soares said he emphatically disagree(s) that his office has misused or misappropriated any of its funds.

Connor's office conducted the audit on May 8 on the district attorney's petty cash fund of $5,000, which is managed by Soares' director of administration. The critical audit condemned several areas of financial management by Soares' office and cites a lack of proper paperwork.

"The findings of this audit illustrate that in the case of fiscal management of its petty cash fund, the director of administration of the Office of the District Attorney has routinely ignored attempts to properly and accurately maintain this account," Connors wrote in the audit's conclusion. "The director of administration of the Office of the District Attorney has demonstrated a total disregard for fiscal management, a complete lack of compliance with county guidelines for the use of the petty cash fund and exhibits a sense of entitlement that is dangerous to the fiscal matters of the District Attorney's Office."

Connors is recommending that the Albany County Legislature suspend Soares' petty cash account "until someone capable of administering this account is in place in the Office of District Attorney."

Soares released a statement saying that although he respects the comptroller's work, he disagreed with the audit's findings.

"I have reviewed the audit of the petty cash account done by the county comptroller and agree with some of his findings as they relate to process and accounting issues," Soares said. "Although I respect the comptroller, there are also some conclusions with which I emphatically disagree, particularly those which might lead to the conclusion that funds have been misused or misappropriated in any manner."

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