Mayfield financial issue being probed

MAYFIELD — The New York State Police and the New York state Comptroller’s Office are investigating a “financial discrepancy” in Mayfield town government.

Troop G Spokesman Mark Cepiel said the Comptroller’s office asked the state police to get involved in the probe.

“No entity is necessarily in the lead at this point,” Cepiel said of the joint investigation.

Town Supervisor Rick Argotsinger would not comment on the investigation.

“I have no comment because it is an active investigation,” Argotsinger said, and referred all questions to Town Attorney Carmel Greco.

Some change occurred recently among town officials. Greco confirmed longtime town clerk Dorothy Hart has indicated she intends to resign. Greco said that Hart’s resignation has to go through the New York Department of State because she is an elected official.

Greco said that Lita Hillier had served as the town’s bookkeeper, but she was not reappointed by town Supervisor Rick Argotsinger at the Town Board’s Jan. 5 organizational meeting.

Appointed as town bookkeeper for 2017 was Alicia Collins, who is earning $9,677 per year. She is also the town budget officer, paid $4,092 per year.

Hillier, who is also the bookkeeper for the towns of Caroga and Ephratah, was cited as being responsible for accounting discrepancies in both towns, attributed to a long-running medical emergency in her family. Hillier’s husband, Sheriff’s Captain Garth Hillier, died July 8, 2014 after battling cancer.

Village of Mayfield Mayor Jamie Ward said he has become aware of the state police and Comptroller’s office probe of the town, but his village government is not involved. He said the village recently completed a successful Comptroller’s Office audit without any problems.

By Chad Fleck

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