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#1519729 --- 09/23/18 04:13 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: all seeing eye]
scwoodchuck Offline
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Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
Would you please learn how to read !!!!!
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#1519730 --- 09/23/18 04:21 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: Gdog]
scwoodchuck Offline
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Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
Originally Posted By: Gdog
So if they find some official misconduct, Since he is resigned now. What is the end game? To cost the taxpayers more in a trail?
I don't think there was any misconduct but what good would come from a trial, you going to fire him ? You don't seem to understand this whole thing is nothing but politics.
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#1519731 --- 09/23/18 04:50 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: scwoodchuck]
BShatley1952 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Finger Lakes, NY
Politics huh? Politics are the only reason this fiasco was allowed to continue for so long. Politics are why the county is out over $100k. Luckily, a large majority of the Republicans (8 out of 12) finally voted to do the right thing (setting politics to the side) by deciding to investigate those two for the county and its taxpayers.

As far as end game goes, I would hope that if any misconduct is found, criminal charges will be filed. That would be the standard protocol. I have to laugh that some of you are concerned about this costing taxpayer dollars. What the heck do you think those two cost the taxpayers already? It could be half a million dollars or more if the county gets sued by those that were wronged by these two and their shenanigans. How much more will it cost for law enforcement and prosecutors to do the job they're already paid to do? The county has attorney's on retainer and insurance for things such as this. If there will be a cost, it is minimal compared to costs related to the negligence of the former Finance Director. Why would anyone try to block this investigation? Why would anyone want to allow government misconduct? Makes you wonder if they also have something to hide.

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#1519732 --- 09/23/18 07:07 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: BShatley1952]
scwoodchuck Offline
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Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
When the dust settles you may find that you have it backwards.
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#1519746 --- 09/24/18 07:19 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: scwoodchuck]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Seneca Lake

HUH, what are you talking about?

Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
When the dust settles you may find that you have it backwards.
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#1519747 --- 09/24/18 08:00 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: John Q Public]
Gdog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 329
There will be special prosecutor for something like this. And yes it will be an embarrassment to the county government. If officials were aware and turned a blind eye to this. They should be charged too.

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#1519748 --- 09/24/18 08:05 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: John Q Public]
NoConflictPlease Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Seneca County
It's amazing how those who know so little about the truth attest to knowing so much.

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#1519750 --- 09/24/18 08:14 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: NoConflictPlease]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Seneca Lake
Wait, what did I do?????

Originally Posted By: NoConflictPlease
If there was ever a blind eye, it is "All Seeing Eye"
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#1519779 --- 09/25/18 09:30 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: all seeing eye]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Seneca Lake
Supervisors likely will form special committee to decide process of investigation into Sheppard, Deeds

Published: 09/25/2018 @ 09:42 pm

Link to FL1 Article

In all likelihood, the Seneca County Board of Supervisors will be forming a special committee to investigate the actions of two former officials who resigned over the summer.

Former Finance Director Brandi Deeds and Former County Manager John Sheppard are at the center of an investigation, which is beginning to take shape.

On Tuesday, the supervisors took another step toward an official investigation. The Ways & Means Committee voted unanimously to create a special committee – aimed at deciding between four options, on how best to proceed into the investigative process.

The goal: To determine whether there was malfeasance on the parts of either Deeds or Sheppard in their roles.

The investigation will go back to the hiring of Deeds, who started with Seneca County in 2016 prior to the forming of a Finance Department. While many supervisors raised concerns about the finance department throughout its development – then-County Manager Sheppard assured the board-at-large that things were moving in the right direction.

That proved to not be the case.

Seneca County is in the midst of an audit being performed by the Bonadio Group. The firm is tasked with performing regular audits of financials for Seneca County, but in this case, was tasked with ‘righting the ship’ after the County’s finances were mishandled for two years.

“The auditors have made it clear that there wasn’t any money stolen, but as for the accounting – a lot of items were placed in the wrong columns,” explained Covert Town Supervisor Michael Reynolds. He chairs the Ways & Means Committee, and agreed that it was time to make things right – whatever the cost.

That audit has already cost the County’s taxpayers $68,000 over initial costs paid up-front. According to the supervisors, who debated the topic and crunched numbers in real-time as the gravity of the situation set in – it will cost upwards of $140,000 to complete the current audit.

And that doesn’t include additional costs for making right the 2018 books, and setting up the appropriate policies and procedures to avoid this situation in the future.

“The finance department staff is concerned about having the right tools to move ahead,” added Fayette Town Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti. “It’s going to cost the County, but we can’t cut corners here.”

Lodi Town Supervisor Lee Davidson reaffirmed that point, and added that putting additional stress on existing finance department staff was a concern. “The department was led by the wrong person, but I’m worried about those folks who have to dig us out of this situation,” he added.

The audit will remain a separate entity from the investigation into Deeds and Sheppard.

As discussion about options for the investigation unfolded, Seneca Falls Town Supervisor Greg Lazzaro made the suggestion that a special committee be formed. He suggested that Davidson and Lorenzetti be members of that committee – since they serve as majority and minority leaders on the board. He also suggested that Waterloo Supervisor Lisa Hochadel and Board Chairman Bob Shipley round out the committee roster. “Given her background in accounting – I think Supervisor Hochadel would be a good fit for what needs to be looked at and observed here,” he added after making the recommendations.

While Ways & Means was quick to approve the creation of a special committee – Chairman Shipley ultimately can fill the roster how he sees fit. Under the Board’s rules of order – the Board of Supervisors have authority to create a special committee via full-board vote and resolution. However, those rosters are solely defined by whoever is serving as board chair.

Supervisor Lorenzetti looked to County Manager Mitch Rowe, who began serving as interim manager in early-September for guidance.

Rowe made a series of recommendations on how to proceed with the investigation. However, those options will be weighed by the committee, which will allow the board to begin moving forward.

The options for handling the investigation are as follows:

– Hire Bonadio’s forensic group, who handles these types of investigations;
– Allow Seneca County Sheriff Tim Luce to handle the investigation with his department;
– Form an Office of Public Integrity to handle the investigation; or
– Seek outside legal counsel to lead the investigation.

The supervisors will meet in Ovid at the Papa Bear building, located within the Three Bears Complex in October for a special session. At that meeting, the supervisors will vote on the special committee; and likely receive another update from Bonadio on the progress of their audit.
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#1519780 --- 09/25/18 09:48 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: John Q Public]
Gdog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 329
Spending $$$$ like its tap.

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#1519802 --- 09/28/18 07:41 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: all seeing eye]
scwoodchuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
To my knowledge "righting of the ship" was what Sheppard was trying to do and that the county never had the right " tools" in the first place. The outcome will be the same and you can bet the board is not going to like it, but that will never come to light.
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#1519826 --- 09/29/18 10:30 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: scwoodchuck]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Seneca Lake
Seems to me, as soon as Bonadio discovered that the "ship" was sinking, Captain Sheppherd abandoned the ship.


Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
To my knowledge "righting of the ship" was what Sheppard was trying to do and that the county never had the right " tools" in the first place. The outcome will be the same and you can bet the board is not going to like it, but that will never come to light.
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#1519841 --- 09/30/18 04:12 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: John Q Public]
Gdog Offline
Member

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 329
I'm kinda shocked his buddy Priem is staying.

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#1519981 --- 10/11/18 05:36 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: all seeing eye]
Hello_Governer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/03/11
Posts: 1635
Loc: New York, Seneca
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Seems to me, as soon as Bonadio discovered that the "ship" was sinking, Captain Sheppherd abandoned the ship.


Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
To my knowledge "righting of the ship" was what Sheppard was trying to do and that the county never had the right " tools" in the first place. The outcome will be the same and you can bet the board is not going to like it, but that will never come to light.

A question I have wanted to ask for a long time is, If Sheppherd did mess things up, the process of going back and doing what was done before Shepphard would seem very easy. Why is it that Bonadio has to train county employees how to do things correctly ? The story seems a little bias in my opinion and it sounds like the county never did things right in the first place !
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#1519991 --- 10/11/18 10:36 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: Hello_Governer]
all seeing eye Offline
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Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Seneca Lake
I understand that most, if not all, of the employees in the "Finance Department" were new and had little or no municipal accounting experience....like the Director. They did what they were told. Now they need to learn the right way.
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#1520057 --- 10/14/18 05:49 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: all seeing eye]
scwoodchuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
I understand that most, if not all, of the employees in the "Finance Department" were new and had little or no municipal accounting experience....like the Director. They did what they were told. Now they need to learn the right way.
it's my understanding that nobody knew how to use the software that the state requires to be used. EVER !
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#1520059 --- 10/14/18 10:45 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: scwoodchuck]
BShatley1952 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Finger Lakes, NY
Woodchuck, you mean to tell me that the County can pay Brandi Deeds $85k and John Sheppard $100k+ to do a job and we're not going to hold them accountable to do that job simply because they don't know how to use NYS's financial system?! Here's an idea, ask for help! Every other county in NYS has to use the same system!

Department Heads voiced their concerns to John Sheppard, but he shut them down quickly. Why would he allow Deeds to ignore her job duties for so long? Why wouldn't he listen to Department Heads when they told him the Finance Dept. was a mess?

Unfortunately there is so much more to this than not knowing and not asking for help. It turns out the two of them were dating over the past year. And because of this, Sheppard made sure he got rid of anyone that voiced their concerns about his girlfriend too loudly (EMS Director Melissa Taylor, Fiscal Manager Wendy Coleman).

And Deeds couldn't get her work done because she was rarely at work. Her boyfriend gave her loads of time off. She was out of the office for months and had thousands of unopened emails (including ones telling her that she had missed important deadlines). She neglected her job duties while making $85k from the citizens of Seneca County and Sheppard allowed it. Funny thing is, you only get 2 weeks of vacation time when you've been at the County for the length of time Deeds was there. I wonder how she was able to take so much time off without falsifying her timesheet?! I guess there's another thing for the investigators to look at. As a taxpayer I'm not pleased with allowing someone to take months of vacation time that they don't have (especially making what she was making and the fact that she didn't do her job). And since we're on this topic, Sheppard's Confidential Secretary was also gone all the time. It's difficult to take 2 weeks off to go to Disney World when you only have 4 days of vacation time. And Sheppard signed that timesheet - another charge of falsifying a timesheet). His office was full of corruption! Good riddance! I welcome Mitch Rowe to the county. Hopefully we can keep him for a few years to straighten out the mess Sheppard left us.

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#1520060 --- 10/14/18 11:28 AM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: scwoodchuck]
all seeing eye Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Seneca Lake
Seems to me, if the software is required to be used, that a good first step would be to learn how to use it. If the county hired people with Municipal financial experience, they would have arrived with the knowledge.

Sounds like another BS excuse.

Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
I understand that most, if not all, of the employees in the "Finance Department" were new and had little or no municipal accounting experience....like the Director. They did what they were told. Now they need to learn the right way.

it's my understanding that nobody knew how to use the software that the state requires to be used. EVER !
_________________________
Only fools are positive.
Moe Howard

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#1520069 --- 10/14/18 08:33 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: BShatley1952]
scwoodchuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
Originally Posted By: BShatley1952
Woodchuck, you mean to tell me that the County can pay Brandi Deeds $85k and John Sheppard $100k+ to do a job and we're not going to hold them accountable to do that job simply because they don't know how to use NYS's financial system?! Here's an idea, ask for help! Every other county in NYS has to use the same system!

Department Heads voiced their concerns to John Sheppard, but he shut them down quickly. Why would he allow Deeds to ignore her job duties for so long? Why wouldn't he listen to Department Heads when they told him the Finance Dept. was a mess?

Unfortunately there is so much more to this than not knowing and not asking for help. It turns out the two of them were dating over the past year. And because of this, Sheppard made sure he got rid of anyone that voiced their concerns about his girlfriend too loudly (EMS Director Melissa Taylor, Fiscal Manager Wendy Coleman).

And Deeds couldn't get her work done because she was rarely at work. Her boyfriend gave her loads of time off. She was out of the office for months and had thousands of unopened emails (including ones telling her that she had missed important deadlines). She neglected her job duties while making $85k from the citizens of Seneca County and Sheppard allowed it. Funny thing is, you only get 2 weeks of vacation time when you've been at the County for the length of time Deeds was there. I wonder how she was able to take so much time off without falsifying her timesheet?! I guess there's another thing for the investigators to look at. As a taxpayer I'm not pleased with allowing someone to take months of vacation time that they don't have (especially making what she was making and the fact that she didn't do her job). And since we're on this topic, Sheppard's Confidential Secretary was also gone all the time. It's difficult to take 2 weeks off to go to Disney World when you only have 4 days of vacation time. And Sheppard signed that timesheet - another charge of falsifying a timesheet). His office was full of corruption! Good riddance! I welcome Mitch Rowe to the county. Hopefully we can keep him for a few years to straighten out the mess Sheppard left us.



REMOTE ACCESSS, ever heard of it ? Please tell me why anyone with experience would come to work for Seneca County when people come here to get experience then they leave. crazy


Edited by scwoodchuck (10/14/18 08:34 PM)
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#1520070 --- 10/14/18 08:42 PM Re: Seneca County to investigate its former manager, finance director [Re: all seeing eye]
scwoodchuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/14
Posts: 1955
Loc: LOST IN SPACE
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
Seems to me, if the software is required to be used, that a good first step would be to learn how to use it. If the county hired people with Municipal financial experience, they would have arrived with the knowledge.

Sounds like another BS excuse.

Originally Posted By: scwoodchuck
Originally Posted By: all seeing eye
I understand that most, if not all, of the employees in the "Finance Department" were new and had little or no municipal accounting experience....like the Director. They did what they were told. Now they need to learn the right way.

it's my understanding that nobody knew how to use the software that the state requires to be used. EVER !
So you admit that the "Finance Department didn't know how to use the state's system and wasn't doing things right before Sheppard. OR did they just forget.

But that's a great idea, FIRE EVERYONE who can't operate the system and then hire people who can.
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