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Local News

February 5, 2014

City to look at alleged credit card misuse

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Lockport Common Council is expected to hire an independent investigator at its meeting tonight to determine if a city credit card was misused by an employee.

In a written statement released Monday afternoon, Council President Anne McCaffrey said the investigation would determine if there was misuse of a city credit card related to a local golf tournament. The results of the investigation will then be reported to the Common Council and Mayor Michael W. Tucker.

“The Common Council takes its fiduciary and ethical obligations seriously and will await the outcome of the investigation,” McCaffrey said in the statement.

Wednesday’s meeting is slated for 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 1 Locks Plaza.

McCaffrey declined to provide additional information, saying the matter is a personnel issue. Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano confirmed the investigation concerns a city employee, but said the employee is entitled to the same right to privacy as other city workers.

If the investigation finds something was done wrong and discipline is needed, the matter becomes public record, Ottaviano said.

Tucker said the city is making sure credit cards and finances are handled correctly, adding he does not believe anything criminal took place.

“We’re making sure it’s done right,” Tucker said.

City officials pledged to keep a closer eye on city finances, after Lockport was cited for lax accounting and budgeting practices in an audit report released by the state Comptroller’s Office late last year.

Tucker said questions about the expenses were raised internally, not by auditors from the State Comptroller’s Office.

The city has only two credit cards, one held by Tucker and one by City Treasurer Michael White. An employee needs permission to use either card, according to city policy.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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