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'Irregularities' found in audit of regional water authority

By Sasha Goldstein

Publication: The Day

Published January 18. 2013 4:00AM

Waterford - The Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority's annual audit has been delayed after an independent auditor found "irregularities" in the accounts receivable section of the 2012 fiscal year budget.

Former Authority Chairman James Fogarty, who stepped down and was replaced by Michael O'Connor during a meeting Thursday at the Waterford Public Library, said in his 12 years involved with the organization, the audit had always been completed by December and available for the January meeting.

This year, he said, auditors found irregularities in the numbers and asked for more time. As CohnReznick, the auditing firm, kept digging, Fogarty said, the auditors found more irregularities. The company started its audit in August.

As part of discussion of new business during the meeting, the authority's representative advisory board members voted overwhelmingly to go into executive session and discuss "financial information and the audit and/or pending litigation related to that."

After the closed session, Gregory Leonard, SCWA's general manager, said there is no indication of how much money is unaccounted for. Leonard said he has a meeting with the auditors set up for next week and hopes to know more details by the end of the month.

It's unclear if the irregularities are an accounting error or something more serious, he said.

The authority, run by a staff and overseen by a seven-member board and a representative advisory board for its 21 municipality and borough members, ran on a $1.37 million budget last fiscal year. This year, the group has a $1.47 million budget, about a 7 percent increase over the 2012 fiscal year.

The representative advisory board meets quarterly while the authority's board of directors meets every third Monday.

s.goldstein@theday.com

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