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Letter: Response to ‘Alleged Theft of Funds From the Village of Port Washington North’

I wish to respond to the article published on the front page of last week’s Port Washington News titled “Alleged Theft of Funds From the Village of Port Washington North.”

First, the residents of the Port Washington North should be assured that the Board of Trustees and I are deeply troubled that this incident occurred and will do everything in our power to seek complete restitution of the alleged funds stolen and pursue criminal and civil actions against the company, Certified Payroll & Tax Services, LLP.

Most, if not all of the information gathered from the article was obtained from attending the village’s August 2 monthly board meeting. There, the board openly socialized the situation that we were only made aware of days before the meeting. We discussed the events leading up to the conclusion that monies removed from our payroll checks by Certified Payroll, intended to be paid on a quarterly basis for taxes, were never received by the IRS. We also were clear that this needed to be investigated further and that some of the facts of the situation were still unclear.

The article failed to mention the amount of the alleged theft. While even a dollar taken from the village is of concern to me and the board of trustees, omitting the amount Certified Payroll was to pay the IRS on behalf of our employees was left up to the reader’s imagination to determine. That amount was $3,977.47.

The article mentions the fact that Certified was not bonded. Upon further review of the situation, we were told in March of 2010, when the board conducted a request for information before making a decision on a payroll company, that Certified Payroll was both insured and bonded. That information, along with their nine years in business and verification of their services from other clients, led us to the decision to hire them. We are still investigating whether Certified is in fact bonded and insured.

Finally, we would like to inform the public that any theft of funds from our village will be handled swiftly and diligently. As such, we have already contacted the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and they have opened a case file on the matter. The village treasurer and village attorney have a meeting scheduled with the D.A.’s office to provide them with any information necessary to return the allegedly stolen funds to the village and to prosecute those individuals responsible.

I hope this adds some clarity to the situation and recommend that anyone needing more information contact me or Village Hall.

Bob Weitzner, Mayor of Port Washington North