BUFFALO, NY - Outgoing Erie County Comptroller David Shenk says an audit of the Erie County Water Authority, the first since of the authority done since 2000, should by the end of next week when he leaves office.
Last month, as part of a continuing series of stories on the Water Authority, 2 On Your Side reported that a number of top patronage jobs at the Water Authority pay tens of thousands of dollars a year more than similar jobs in county government, even though county government is twenty times the size of the Water Authority.
Shenk says his audit will focus in part on the Authority's hiring practices and how it purchases equipment.
Scott Brown: "Will the audit look at salaries and political connections for people who are hired?"
Comptroller David Shenk: "The type of review that Channel 2 has done may be getting into some things that we might not be able to quite look at because we're looking at the compliance, did they follow the proper procedures that's what we'll be looking at. I don't expect we'll be naming names, who's related to who and whose brother is who, that's not the point our compliance audit."
Those running the Water Authority like to compare its rates with local city, town and village water systems, saying they're second lowest in Western New York, but because of differences in size, that is not really an apples-to-apples comparison.
Scott Brown: "Will you look at the size of the budget, the rates they're charging, things of that nature?"
Comptroller David Shenk: "Yes, as a matter of fact that is one section of the audit we're doing. We're doing a comparison of them against their peers, and we're looking at some of those things- the rate they're charging per water customer, the budget, number of employees, that type of thing."