Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 8, 2014

Credit card investigation wrapped up

Lawyer reports officials did not know about specific expenses

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

The Youth and Recreation director was given the OK to use a city credit card to pay expenses for a golf tournament fundraiser, but certain specific expenses were not authorized, said the lawyer hired to investigate the matter.

Now its up to Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey to decide if disciplinary charges should be brought against Youth and Recreation Director Melissa Junke. McCaffrey will also have the power to appoint a hearing officer if Junke is disciplined and decides she wants a hearing.

Brian Doyle, the Hamburg attorney hired to investigate the questionable credit card use, told the Common Council on Tuesday Junke would be entitled to a hearing if discipline was the route McCaffrey wanted to go. 

The city has 18 months from the date of the alleged misuse of the card to decide whether charges could be brought. Doyle, who could serve as the attorney that brings the charges, said no overt criminal activity was found in his investigation.

City Attorney John J. Ottaviano said he believed the idea of using a golf tournament to raise money for the Youth and Recreation Department budget was improper.

“Municipalities are not allowed to fund raise. That includes golf outings,” Ottaviano said. “The golf tournament in general appears to have been an improper event.”

According to 42 pages of credit card receipts and purchase orders, the card was used to make $9,080.77 in purchases related to the golf tournament, held on June 3 of last year. The receipts and orders were obtained by the Union-Sun & Journal through a Freedom of Information Law request.

The expenses included $4,820 in round-trip air fares to bring six people to the event, five of whom flew in from Florida while the other flew in from Boston. Two of the travelers brought female companions. Three of the six were former NFL players and another was a golfer.

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