The Westchester County Parks Department put in place a series of controls on sales of parking permits after a nearly $200,000 theft came to the attention of authorities a year ago.
The controls, detailed in late September after three former county employees were arraigned at the end of a long investigation, included cameras in parking booths, new point of sale systems, segregations of duties and even a secret shopper service around the county to check for employees witholding receipts and pocketing cash.
But before all that was put in place, the county’s former parking supervisor, according to police and parks officials, had enough control over the parking permit system to sell extra permits and keep the money for himself with no one looking over his shoulder.
“He had hundreds of permits in his possession,” Parks Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor told the Board of Legislators Government Operations Committee Monday in response to a series of questions on how the thefts could have happened. “He was in charge of the inventory, he ordered it, he put it through a regular requisition, he received the permits and then he sold them.”
Not only that, Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth said, he was able to order permits for himself, separate from the county’s requisitions, as a way to evade any inventory systems. At the end of the day he was responsible for reporting his sales.
In addition to convincing customers to make out checks for permits to individuals rather than the county, authorities said, the scheme also involved taking cash for daily parking.
For the original story on the thefts click here.