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Audit of Oneida County Board of Elections complete; County Executive demands change

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - An independent audit of the Oneida County Board of Elections for the years 2010 and 2011 is complete and from County Executive Anthony Picente's vantage point, the report offered more confirmation than new information.

"I think the question really is, are they capable of running that department, giving all the issues we've had for the last two years? It clearly raises the question of whether they are or not," says Picente.

Picente refers to Election Commissioners Pamela Mandryck and Carolann Cardone. The commissioners declined to be interviewed on camera regarding the audit by Bonadio & Co., LLP. They said they would submit a response via email and have not yet done so.

Among Picente's specific concerns as a result of the report: the mis-classification of some workers as independent contractors instead of county employees; the payment to certain workers before the County Board of Legislators approved their position or pay rate and the failure of the BOE to follow county purchasing rules and procedures.

"You just can't call up on the phone and order things because the money's in the budget. There are set rules and regulations and this board of elections has been treating this as an independent authority and they're not," says Picente.

Picente has asked the election commissioners to respond in writing with a plan of corrective action to the Board of Legislators by Monday, April 9.

Tuesday morning, just before Noon, the election commissioners said they were going to issue a statement on the matter, but as of this writing, that statement has not been received.

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