Thirty Years Without an Audit
GERALD WHITTINGTON, 67, THE FORMER TREASURER of the Aurora-Colden Fire District in Erie County, New York, was sentenced Monday and taken directly to jail to start serving a 1-to-3 year prison term for embezzling funds from the fire district.
West Falls fire station
Firegeezer first reported on his arrest in an October video report HERE where we told of Whittington’s arrest following an audit by the State Comptroller’s office that disclosed his theft of over $330,000. Much of the money was used to keep his failing firetruck repair business afloat. On November 29 he pleaded guilty to two counts of 2nd-degree grand larceny. Yesterday he recieved his sentence despite his plea for leniency based on his repayment of much of the funds.
Read the details of yesterday’s hearing plus more background details in the Buffalo News HERE.
Whittington had been the fire district’s treasurer for thirty years and had never been audited. At the time of his arrest the State Comptroller strongly admonished the Aurora-Colden Fire District commissioners for failing to ever perform any audits on their accounts, writing “Local officials can’t just hand someone the checkbook and walk away. There have to be checks and balances. Local officials have to watch every taxpayer dime, and $331,813 is a lot of taxpayer dimes.”
Read the full report of the auditor’s findings in the Firegeezer report HERE.