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ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE ISSUES REPORT ON TOWN COURT
Release Date: August 05, 2004

The Administrative Judge for the Ninth Judicial District, Francis Nicolai, has issued a report regarding plans to correct the financial control weaknesses in the Greenburgh Town Court. Judge Nicolai said that “most of the internal controls to properly collect, record and deposit monies were implemented prior to the (Office of Internal Affairs Audit Unit) audit report’s issuance.” The Judge is satisfied that “procedures are in place or planned that will correct the financial control weaknesses that previously existed in the Greenburgh Town Court.”

Judge Nicolai indicated in his report that a serious lack of communication exists between the two Greenburgh Town Judges, Doris Friedman and Sandra Forster. “It has been difficult to achieve a consensus on most matters affecting court administration.” The Judge reported that “Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner directed that the town comptroller review the Justice Court’s financial controls. Town Internal Auditor, Richard Santorsola was assigned to the court and he has instituted numerous procedures to correct the court’s deficiencies…Mr. Santorsola supervised the installation of two new computer software programs which now provide the necessary financial controls. Mr. Santorsola has made an important contribution to correcting the financial control deficiencies. The town has hired additional staff including a senior bookkeeper whose duties will include daily reconciliation of cash receipts and deposits.”

Judge Nicolai is recommending that Chief Clerk Cecile Sia be placed on probation until December 1, 2005. This will provide the 3rd Judge with an extensive period of time to evaluation the performance of the Chief Clerk. Judge Nicolai indicates that Mr. Santorsola should monitor the Chief Clerk’s performance on a regular, if not daily basis.”

TRAFFIC TICKET BACKLOG

There currently exists an enormous backlog of Vehicle and Traffic cases in the Greenburgh Town Court. Judge Nicolai states that “it is my understanding that Judge Friedman, to her credit, has held additional or extended court sessions to dispose of traffic tickets.” The Judge states that “it may be necessary for me to issue an administrative order directing the town judges to take necessary action to reduce the V&T backlog. If the number of court sessions being held does not meet the requirements of the court’s caseload, the judges must schedule additional court sessions to resolve the case backlog problem.”

Judge Nicolai indicated in his report that Judge Forster arrived at a meeting he had scheduled for her and Judge Dickerson with her private attorney to discuss court administration.  Judge Forster refused to participate in the meeting without her attorney.

CONCLUSION: Judge Nicolai concludes that the Greenburgh Town Courtnow has the necessary procedures in place to ensure accurate financial control and record keeping. A spot check audit will confirm this conclusion.8

Copies of the report are available at Supervisor Feiner’s office. Email Paul Feiner pfeiner@greenburgh.com your name, address and we will provide you with the complete report.

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