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Vet memorial funds questioned

Incoming administration to call for audit of Rotterdam’s finances

Supervisor Frank Del Gallo used his town salary to help pay for the veteran’s memorial, but board members say proper accounting protocol was not followed in the process.

Supervisor Frank Del Gallo used his town salary to help pay for the veteran’s memorial, but board members say proper accounting protocol was not followed in the process. Photo by John Purcell.

— “This has nothing to do with the veterans memorial,” DiLeva said. “The veterans deserve it and it is beautiful, but when the supervisor guarantees the residents and the Town Board that the taxpayers aren’t going to pay a penny … and all of a sudden he is saying it is from his salary but we didn’t know.”

DiLeva asserted if the town paid over $3,000 for materials there need to be written quotes with approvals from the supervisor. She said she asked to see an accounting of the $50,000 worth of donations to the town Del Gallo claimed was used for the monument, but Del Gallo admitted there wasn’t any formal receipt policy followed when receiving donations of materials.

“I am not trying to put a black mark on that memorial, because our veterans are wonderful and the memorial is beautiful, but how about some transparency?” said DiLeva. “Some of these bills are made out to the business of the supervisor.”

Councilman Wayne Calder, selected by incoming supervisor Harry Buffardi to be deputy supervisor, said Del Gallo used money from his salary before he was even paid.

“If you were getting paid every other week like me you’d have a check coming this week, but you don’t because you used it. You paid it before you even earned it,” said Calder. “We’re calling for an audit from the New York State Comptroller’s Office and they are going to come in here and go through every book and piece of paper before this new board … gets its fingerprints on any money at all.”

Calder added he doesn’t believe Del Gallo purposely did anything wrong.

“I do not believe there was any wrongdoing done on purpose if there was wrongdoing done. He’s got a big heart … I hate to see what is happening now, but DiLeva has no choice as a board member to bring this up,” Calder said. “If something was done wrong, it was done I’m sure because Mr. Del Gallo is a private businessman … and he has a certain way of doing things.”

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