Corriverton Town Council suspends treasurer over financial irregularities

first_imgCorriverton MayorWinston RobertsThe Corriverton Town Council wants the Local Government Commission (LGC) to dismiss its Treasurer, whom it alleges has been engaged in gross financial irregularities, causing the Council to be in debt.In a recent statement, Corriverton Mayor Winston Roberts said the Council has written the Commission about the Treasurer’s actions and recommended that she be dismissed after sending her on administrative leave last week.According to Roberts, this decision was taken after it was uncovered that she deliberately misled the Council, kept inaccurate records and could not account for an expenditure of some $3.2 million.“As a direct of result of the municipal Treasurer’s actions, the Council spent money that it never had in 2017/2018, and now finds itself in a deficit of $3.2 million for the year 2019. This will adversely affect the execution of a number of projects and the delivery of services by the Council. Needless to say, the Council has been placed in an embarrassing position,” the Mayor lamented.Roberts explained that the glaring deficit was discovered back in February upon examination of the Council’s records and financial statements prepared by the Treasurer. According to the Mayor, the Council has been requesting a proper explanation from the Treasurer on the matter but she had been giving several different explanations.“One explanation given by the municipal Treasurer is that the sum of $3.2 was utilised to purchase a skid steer in the year 2016. However, the records of the Council that were prepared by the Treasurer shows no expenditure in the year 2016,” Roberts stated.Furthermore, the Mayor went on to claim that before a decision was made, the Treasurer’s personal file was reviewed by the Councillors and it was revealed that due to her “gross incompetence”, the Council lost in excess of $3.6 million in rates and taxes from the Black Bush Rice Milling Company for the period 2007 to 2016, which she claimed was a miscalculation.“For this infraction, the Council had recommended to the Local Government Commission that the [Treasurer] be suspended but no action was taken by the Local Government Commission to date. Taking the above matters into consideration and other infractions, the Council immediately after its ordinary meeting dispatched a letter to the Local Government Commission with its recommendation. Given the serious nature of the issues raised, the Council is expecting swift action from the Local Government Commission. It is hoped that there will be no foot-dragging,” the mayor posited.On the other hand, however, Roberts revealed that despite being sent on leave on May 22, the Treasure turned up to work the following day and declared that she spoke with “her people” at the Local Government Commission and “she is not going anywhere” and that “no one can touch her from the Council.”In light of this, the Corriverton Mayor said the Council has taken the necessary steps to secure all records and the office of the Town Council. He said the Council holds strong of its decision to send the Treasurer on administrative leave pending any investigations or decisions of the LGC since it has “absolutely no confidence” in her, and that her continued presence on the job will undermine any investigation undertaken.Nevertheless, Mayor Roberts pointed out that despite the glaring financial irregularities uncovered involving public funds, the Commission seems “quite comfortable” with the Treasurer remaining on the job pending a decision.Chairman of LGCMortimer Mingolast_img read more

2 plead in MySpace extortion attempt

first_imgDeputy District Attorney Jeffrey A. McGrath of the high-tech-crimes unit said the system could have been used by stalkers trying to locate MySpace users. The men sold access to several codes to computer users, who could then apply it to their own MySpace sites. The codes enabled the users to see how many people had accessed their MySpace site, as well the visitors’ e-mail or IP addresses, McGrath said. Employing that kind of Web site traffic monitoring violates MySpace’s rules. The men boasted they had about 85,000 registered users of their tracking program, but investigators have not determined how many e-mails and other data the users were able to cull, McGrath said. The plea bargain, also agreed to by Paul L. Gabbert, attorney for the young men, severely restricts their access to computers, limits them to one e-mail address each, and requires that they do 160 hours of community service and pay MySpace $13,500 in restitution. Two young New York men who were accused of trying to extort MySpace.com by developing code to track users pleaded no contest Monday in Los Angeles to illegal computer access in a bargain with the prosecution. Two counts of attempted extortion and another illegal-computer-access count were dropped in the deal, which gave the defendants three-year probationary terms. Each had faced up to nearly four years in prison. Shaun Harrison, 19, and Saverio Mondelli, 20, of Suffolk County, N.Y., were accused of demanding $150,000 as a “consulting fee” from MySpace. The pair were offering the code as a service on their own Web site for $29.95 and claimed to be developing an unbreakable version. The popular MySpace social-networking site is supposed to provide anonymity, but Harrison and Mondelli were offering a means to acquire e-mail addresses and Internet Protocol addresses of users, the prosecution said. Superior Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau told the defendants that if they violate their agreement, they could go to prison. She said they will be subject to search of their computer systems at any time, and they may not access MySpace.com directly or indirectly. The defendants stood before the commissioner and acknowledged the terms of the agreement, but neither spoke other than to answer “yes.” Outside court, Gabbert said the agreement came from “the recognition that they are young and made a mistake and to give them a second chance.” He said they set up their business right out of high school and are now going to college. “They will continue to be creative and not transgress the law,” he said. McGrath said the young men, who were extremely proficient in Macromedia Flash technology, were discovered by the operators of MySpace and were sent a “cease and desist” order by e-mail. Macromedia is now part of Adobe Systems Inc. The pair sent a reply saying, “We will neither cease nor desist” and announced on their Web site that they were developing an even more sophisticated system that would soon be for sale, prosecutors said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more