I recently read the report from the New York State Comptroller's Office regarding the allegations of overtime "double dipping". I still believe that it is inappropriate to discuss details of a pending criminal investigation, but there are a few lines of the report that really caught my eye.
The report states:
"Record keeping weaknesses at the City Police Department contributed to the payment of these overlapping hours by the City."
It also states:
"City Police Department officials did not maintain records to document the starting and ending times for shifts worked."
These are 2 troubling statements. Anytime you are dealing with the taxpayers' money, you must be extra careful and maintain a solid paper trail. Whether Matthew is convicted or acquitted, changes need to be made within the department. There must be clear and unambiguous records dealing with payroll and overtime. This is for the protection of the taxpayers and quite frankly for the officers themselves.
I have said from the beginning that I think the Kingston Police Officers do an excellent job. There may turn out to be a bad apple now and again, but the department as a whole is still to be commended. Clearly, however, there needs to be changes in how overtime is managed, reviewed, assigned, and documented. Our next Mayor must make it a priority to review the budgets, rules, regulations, and paperwork for each and every department to make sure our tax money is being properly used and spent, or better yet saved.