Published on 2/25/2009 by the FoxNews.com written by Kristin Lowman
The audit is already underway in Albany, taking a look at the city's parking scandal.
Under scrutiny, how people other than police officers were given bullseye stickers, used to park personal vehicles while on police business. Also, just how many people were given "ghost" tickets. Tickets issued without a $50 fine.
Deputy State Comptroller Steve Hancox says, "we'll be trying to determine how the programs originated and how they were used over the years. Also if they were used for city functions or for something different."
The Comptroller's Office getting involved following a request from the City Common Council. Over the next few months, auditors will interview city workers and pour over hundreds of pages of paperwork. The goal, to give the public more accurate numbers and information on how the parking system may have been abused. The Common Council looking for answers into how much money may have been lost and who was responsible. Common Councilman Dominick Calsolaro says, "they do ask the right questions and I think its a start. They are taking it serious and it confirms this is a big enough issue that they are acting on it."
And quickly, with the Comptroller promising more manpower and a quicker internal review of the information, the public should have their answers in just a few months.
Today the Albany Police Department issued this statement on the Comptrollers announcement. Detective James Miller, Albany Public Safety Spokesman says, "In response to today’s announcement that the State Comptroller’s Office would be conducting an audit of the City’s parking tickets the police department and the administration will fully cooperate in the investigation. The department had stated previously to today’s announcement that it would cooperate with any investigation conducted by the Common Council or outside agency. Any further statements will be reserved until the Comptroller’s report is complete."
FOX23 also spoke with the President of the Albany Police Officers Union, Chris Mesley says, "We are pleased to see the Comptroller's Office wants to get involved with the parking issue. We know they will do a professional audit and look forward to outcome of their investigation."