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State Comptroller to Audit Hempstead Town Animal Shelter Finances

Town supervisor's office notified earlier this week.

Several hundred complaints about the Hempstead Town Shelter's financial management in recent months have prompted State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to initiate an audit.

According to a recent statement, fieldwork will begin in the next few weeks.

“Our goal is to ensure the integrity of financial accountability related to the Hempstead Animal Shelter,” DiNapoli said.

District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who is conducting her own investigation, requested the comptroller’s audit.

Susan Trenkle-Pokalsky, the Hempstead Town Press Secretary, called the audit the result of issues "politicized by some disgruntled people."

"We welcome the state comptroller’s audit," she said. "Two state reviews of shelter operations within the past year gave the town top ratings in all categories. We are confident that this state review will affirm the fact that the shelter is well run and government funds are spent for the care and well being of our animals."

Controversy has surrounded the Wantagh-based animal shelter's practices and budget, even prompting several rallies. Additionally, three banned volunteer animal rescue workers have filed a lawsuit against the town.

In March, a disturbing video was released on YouTube, depicting three shelter workers making obscene gestures, handling a kitten and saying "kill the kitty." Pat Horan, the shelter’s acting director seen in the video - which is believed to be filmed more than a decade ago - was later reassigned.

Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Tideline, I'm with you 100%. We need to bring back ethics and integrity, which right now are more important than experience.
Tideline October 29, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Robert, I too am a BIG beleiver in term limits. If you can't fix the problem in two terms, it is time to step aside and give someone else a chance to tackle the problems. I notice the longer people stay in a job, the more prone to the curruption they become. That applies to Democrat, Republican, Ind., or whoever, it is human nature.
terry October 29, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Robert, your last comment make me chuckle. You sit around all day and write "Corrupt Kate", yet Kate has never been convicted, arrested or involved in crime to make such a claim. In another thread, you flate out lied about services being offered to residents in the Town of Hempstead, and I called you out on it. Now you call for integrity, wow. As a fellow practicing attorney, I am amazed at your false posts and borish behavior. No wonder you earned the reputation you have. To think a fellow member of the bar would lie, in public, without clearly doing any research and also name-call elected officials is the reason people hate both attorneys and politics. You don't have to like a candidate, but why name call. Why make false representations about services rendered? Just state what positive things your candidate would do, and that should convince people enough. You should follow the standards you want other too.
Jon L. October 29, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Councilor- You should know better than to measure corruption via indictments and convictions you are a lawyer.... I love how all of you tasseled loafer wearing shysters think that it is something special to be admitted to the bar. Again, I don't think that it was a false representation of Don Clavin, I had to go searching for the option to pay taxes online. These people (TOH Republicans) send fliers home about everything they do. I have never seen Mr. I fail at my job by never sending tax bills on time send one of his informational fliers home about online tax payment, he might have sent it but I stopped paying attention to the TOH RC propaganda a long time ago.
Felix Procacci October 29, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Legally Kate is probably not corrupt. For example she approved the Sanitation District 7 budget year after year even though a Supervisor's compensation exceeded $200,000 per year. The District Attorney said there was nothing illegal about this, but it was morally wrong. She also approved the compensation increases that brought nine shelter employees to over $100k. Once again, this was not illegal, but most people would consider it immoral. Currently, in the 2011 shelter budget, the average salary is $85,000 and there is nothing illegal about that. Although approving budgets with salaries that are out of whack with private industry is not illegal, few people would say that Kate Murray is serving the public good by approving such budgets. The animal shelter budget increased over 100% since Kate Murray became Supervisor in 2003 due primarily to a $2.5 million dollar increase in Administration Costs. Kate Murray and her staff refused to explain why when I asked about it at the Oct 11th budget hearings. Call it what you want, but ask yourself, do you approve of these excessive expenditures and Kate Murray's refusal to explain them to the public?
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Terry, first of all, I am not an attorney. The problem is that most of the people who make our laws are attorneys, and the laws seem to bemnefit them. Secondly, Murray's record speaks for itself. The fact that she has not been concicted does not mean that she is not ethically challenged, as are most of her compatriots. As for my so called boorish behavior, some people agree with me, so do not. I agree with people, others I do not. That is the purpose of this site, to discuss ideas, to vent, and to share thoughts. I also assure you that my posts are not false. If you think Kate is wonderful, by all means exercise your democratic rights and vote for her. That is what America is all about.
terry October 29, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Jon, first off I never accused you of saying anything false? My post was in response to a direct post by Mr. DeMarco. So why would you respond? Does Mr. DeMarco have two accounts? Mr Demarco said the town did not allow online/telephone payments. This was false, they have been offering it for years. It is on the actual taxbill itself, did you miss it? It is also on the town tax office website, did you miss that too? So for Mr. Demarco to state that Mr. Clavin does not offer credit card/phone payments is....false. Also, they havve an insert in the tax bill that tells you about it as well. But, thank you for responding for Mr. Demarco. The point is, he calls for integrity and honesty. He should be honest with people and stop the name calling. Like I said, If he supports Mr. Port, fine. Give the reasons why to support him and stay above the petty antics fray. BTW, it is special to be in the bar, we have to pay lots of money a year to NYS to stay in it, ;)
terry October 29, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Seriously, read this editorial and see why people hate politics, on both sides http://standardli.com/?p=4395 October 28, 2011 Editorials: MISLEADING CAMPAIGNING
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Hey, Terry, mea culpa that I missed the online payment thing. He talks about his stupid drive thru window more than the online or telephone payment. If the name calling offends you, sue me; that is what you esteemesd member of the bar do.
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Terry, interesting. I watched the debate between Mr. Port and Ms. Murray (no nickname), and thought that Port did very well not only in discussing Murray's shortcomings, but in outlining his ideas. Murray is like a football team defending a lead: run the ball and do nothing controversial. Then I watched the debate between Dennis Dunne and Ethan Irwin, because that is my duistrict. Now, Dunne is no ball of fire. He is essentially a placeholder on the legislature who will vote with the Republicans. He does not write legislation and does very little. However, Mr. Erwin was obviously reading from a script and kept repeating the same mantra over and over. it was embarrassing to watch. Although I would not ordinarily support Dunne, I have a real dilemma here.
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Terry, I just cannot resist one more comment on your post: you are an attorney and are amazed at my so called boorish behavior? The things I have seen attorneys do would make our founding fathers roll over in their graves. You guys are all so sanctimonious, yet you sue over nothing and take amicable situations and turn them into wars. I have had many dealings with attorneys this year at work, and the lack of ethics is appalling. This is the pool from which our political candidates arise.
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Lets have full disclosure, as the legal boys say, on the on line payment issue. If you pay on line via credit card, you incur a 2.5% "convenience fee". That is $75 for a $3,000 payment. If you pay via e-check, you incur a more reasonable $2.00 fee. Now I've got it. Thanks, Terry; the drive through window is actually cheaper, and, as someone on this thread noted, you get a real neat pen with Clavin's name on it, courtesy of the taxpayers.
Jon L. October 29, 2011 at 08:30 PM
I love getting a pen with Don's name on it. Who says there is no publicly financed campaigns in local government?
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Thanks for your support, Jon. Wonder what his deal is.
terry October 29, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Robert, I do real estate. In both North Hempstead and Oyster bay, they charge 2.7 percent on credit cards! Amazing. I do like the drive thru though, so to each their own. I thought the debate between Kate and Gary was very good, both doing well, and both having misteps. As for you legislative choice, hold your nose and pick one, lol And I would never sue you, well maybe, ;)
terry October 29, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Lala, we also have to go to school and get and pass a big test! Sorry if you couldn't cut it yourself. As for the payment, the State started charging it only a few years ago as another way to suck residents dry. But maybe you can pay to join other jobs, like dues some have to pay annual to associations that represent them, maybe like a Union? And LaLA, your quote was "Now go back to sucking on the TOH teat, okay, sugar?" Nice manners, very becoming
Catherine Mary October 29, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Actually Robert, all manner of people sue. Members of the bar represent those who are suing. And the name calling is really beneath you. You have much more to offer than that.
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 09:42 PM
See you in court, Counselor.
Robert Demarco October 29, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Just having some fun on a rainy Saturday, Cathy.
Tideline October 29, 2011 at 11:14 PM
I did not read where Lala took the big test and could not cut it. Lala, did you go to school ? Plenty of incompetent Attorneys out there. The Bar Assoc' even manages to Disbar a few, every now and again.
Tideline October 29, 2011 at 11:20 PM
Lala, let's not leave off our list Denise Ford, who voted for a plan that would have increased our County debt by $400M, that would have lead to a 4% property tax hike. Another Politician we Can't trust. Source L.I. Herald 5/31/11
Tideline October 29, 2011 at 11:22 PM
Jon, love the typo, Counselor. Bar Association is like a Trade Assoication, for shysters. LOL
terry October 29, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Lala, the only "hack" there seems to be is you. But you take your super degree "sweetie" and apply it all you want. You have hurled around various insults and talked down to anyone who says anything to the contrary, some ethics. And "sweetie", you would not have cut in law school, trust me. You don't have the ethics or the ability to stand in a courtroom with an attorney. You too, have a lovely evening.
terry October 29, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Tideline, they also suspend the licenses of unethical attorney as well. There was a County Legislator who had this very problem, do you know him?
Tideline October 29, 2011 at 11:49 PM
Terry, enlighten me. Who was the Legislator ? I try to stay away from Attorneys and I don't think much of the NC Legislature, reminds me of a den of thieves. As for the Bar Assoication, I don't think they take enough or often enough punitive action against their members, when appropriate to do so. #1 cause of Disbarment, answer, Misapropriation of Escrow funds.
terry October 30, 2011 at 12:14 AM
It happened to Dave Deneberg a few years ago. Long IslandNassau Dem's law license suspended Appellate Court says legislator’s admission over petition flap warrants three-month penalty BY CELESTE HADRICK Newsday Staff Writer August 21, 2006, 8:05 PM EDT Nassau Legis. David Denenberg's law license has been suspended for three months by a state appellate court because of his admission that he falsely claimed to have witnessed signatures on election petitions. A hearing panel recommended censure rather than suspension because the Merrick Democrat has a history of public service. And former Nassau District Attorney Denis Dillon had asked that Denenberg be allowed to continue to practice law. But the Appellate Division panel ordered his license suspended for 90 days, starting Sept. 18. While Denenberg's "misconduct may be the result of carelessness, it remains that he was convicted of violating Election Law ... , for which suspension is the appropriate sanction," the five-member panel of the 1st Judicial Department decided unanimously last week.
terry October 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Lola, you don't even know me and you call me scummy, which iss how you have treating people with all you posts. But look, we can always differ, but you should try and be nicer. Now ride home safely on that broom tonight, its icy out there, ;)
Robert Demarco October 30, 2011 at 01:17 PM
After all the back and forth yesterday, I have decided that Terry and Cathy are right regarding the name calling. I will refrain from that in the future. Anyone who is honest and objective can look at the track records of our incumbents and come to one conclusion, unless they are a beneficiary of the system (a job, a contract, etc). If you want things to change, vote for the challengers; you have a better chance of change with them. If you think things are good the way they are, then support your candidate.
Yankee1996 November 01, 2011 at 03:49 PM
The conversation on this thread is great! I hope you all join me in voting for Gary Port on November 8. No more Kate Murray!
Robert Demarco November 01, 2011 at 04:23 PM
I am a Mets fan but I agree with you on this one. A vote for Kate Murray validates the patronage and wasteful spending and lack of transparency that exists in the TOH administration.

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