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October 10, 2012

Essex clerk finally files reports

ESSEX — Pay that was withheld from Essex Town Clerk Catherine DeWolff was released Friday after she submitted two months’ worth of delayed town financial reports.

Essex Town Supervisor Sharon Boisen had enacted the measure, under state law, after the reports were not presented to the Town Council.

DeWolff met with representatives of the State Comptroller’s Office in late September for guidance on preparing the reports, which she said had been delayed because of cumulative errors in some accounts.

“She turned in the reports late Thursday afternoon,” Boisen said. “My deputy supervisor (Councilor Mark Wrisley) and I reviewed them Friday morning, and she was paid Friday.”

Boisen said the procedure was to simply verify the math in the statements.

“There was no audit. What we did was to check the figures to make sure everything added up correctly. It did, and she was paid.

“I hope the situation has been resolved, and future reports will be timely.”

‘DID NOT ADD UP’

DeWolff said Tuesday she believes the problem has been corrected.

“For all intents and purposes, we are back to normal. As far as I’m concerned, everything is OK now.”

The clerk’s pay for two pay periods had been withheld, so she received nothing on Sept. 14 and 28. Her salary is $21,150 a year.

DeWolff first missed submitting a July financial report at the August Town Council meeting, then did not have one for August either.

She said she did not want to file a report with errors, since some amounts did not add up, and she was trying to determine what had happened.

DeWolff took office for her first term as Essex town clerk on Jan. 1, and subsequently received state-approved training for the position.

Before the crisis began, she had filed monthly financial statements the first six months of the year.

Email Lohr McKinstry at: lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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