Monroe County Wastes Millions
October 18, 2012
Around Town By Neal Tepel
Monroe County is overpaying approximately $39 million for public safety services obtained through a local development corporation. The LDC was created by the county to bypass a more open hiring procedure. This according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Auditors found the county favored one company affiliated with a former employee and others with close ties to the county.
On January 1, 2010, the county entered into a 20-year contract with the newly formed Monroe Security and Safety Systems LDC, also known as M3S, to provide public safety and security systems and services. The $212 million contract will cost the county an average of $11.2 million per year. Soon afterwards, M3S reached an agreement to pass the terms of the contract on to Navitech Services Corporation – a firm operated by Monroe County’s former chief financial officer.
“This is a bad deal for Monroe County taxpayers,” said DiNapoli. “Officials claim they were attempting to save money, instead they saddled taxpayers with unnecessary costs for the next two decades. Contrary to comments from County officials, I am not opposed to the proper use of LDCs. What I am opposed to is when officials use an LDC as a mechanism to skirt the oversight of the county legislature and fail to act in the best interest of taxpayers.”
Due to the unfavorable contract terms uncovered in the audit, DiNapoli’s office estimates Monroe County will overspend approximately $39 million for public safety and security.