The administration of Chris St. Lawrence, Town of Ramapo supervisor, continues to blame its woes on Finance Department administrator Melissa Reimer. An unfavorable financial review from the NY Comptroller’s Office, ranking Ramapo as the second most financially stressed town in New York State, came out Tuesday and the town immediately said it’s based on “incomplete data” that Supervisor of Fiscal Services Reimer “improperly” provided the state. The town complains that Reimer’s information, allegedly provided to state officials without town board review, did not include $3.5 million in anticipated revenue.
Sources say Reimer has been very helpful with the FBI’s recent investigation into the St. Lawrence administration and she apparently has been on the outs with the St. Lawrence in recent years. A source close to the situation said that Reimer resisted St. Lawrence’s funding and bookkeeping methods for the Pomona ballpark and this led to tension between herself and St. Lawrence.
In December 2012, Reimer officially got into hot water with the town, and has been the subject of recent disciplinary hearings over supposed improprieties in handling of overtime paperwork of a police officer she had a “personal relationship” with. The town described the married police officer as Reimer’s “paramour” in a press release Tuesday, and stated that Reimer tried to fudge his vacation records to his advantage. Reimer’s version of events is that she merely was attempting to correct an inaccurate piece of paperwork, something she’d done for many cops in the past when they needed a correction.
The Town of Ramapo’s press release stated that “On Monday afternoon, June 17, 2013, the supervisor received a telephone call from the Office of the New York State Comptroller indicating that the Town of Ramapo was to be included on a list to be released the following day of municipalities currently in significant fiscal distress. When asked what formed the basis of this determination, he was advised that it resulted from a report called an ‘Annual Update Document’ or ‘AUD’ submitted by a town Finance Department employee [whom the RC Times knows to be Reimer] in May suggesting certain fund deficits.”
Ramapo claims that since the AUD was submitted without town board review, it should not be considered valid.
Ramapo town claims, “The report is based on incomplete, unaudited and misleading information provided by a now suspended Finance Department employee facing disciplinary charges for attempting to falsify town records of her paramour. In an apparent attempt to embarrass the town, she failed to disclose to the comptroller over $3.5 million in anticipated revenue. Her conduct was discovered too late to correct the Comptroller’s report.”
St. Lawrence’s administration further stated that they do not expect the report from the Comptroller’s Office to cause a negative effect on their A1 Moody’s rating, because they anticipate that an independent auditor will clear the matter in the town’s favor.
See Town of Ramapo poor fiscal review here: Comptroller’s review