The Herkimer County Snowmobile Association treasurer falsified documents and redirected money from the association to another snowmobile club, an audit from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said today.
No criminal charges have been filed, and the case was referred to the Herkimer County District Attorney’s Office.
DiNapoli’s auditors alleged that Pat Deyle improperly used his dual authority as association treasurer and president of the Ilion Snowdrifters club to redirect funds from the Long Pond Snow Sled Club to the Snowdrifters. As a result, the records suggested more support for the Long Pond club than it otherwise had, DiNapoli said.
“Association Treasurer Pat Deyle admitted he falsified grooming logs and submitted them in an effort to collect the maximum aid allotted to Herkimer County,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “The Office of Parks and Historic Preservation needs to provide better oversight to make sure these funds go to the proper clubs.”
In 2009-10, Deyle requested and received $5,518 on behalf of Long Pond, but paid only $4,385. A year earlier, he received $6,600 and paid $4,300 to Long Pond, DiNapoli said. So a total of $3,433 improperly went to his club over the two years, the comptroller said in a statement.
The state parks department gets about $5 million a year in aid from snowmobile registration fees and penalties that individuals pay to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, DiNapoli said. The revenue is then disbursed to local municipalities to distribute to local snowmobile clubs to maintain the trails.
The audit also found that eight counties improperly assessed administrative fees on snowmobile clubs, totaling $48,397 for three years as of March 31, 2011. The counties were Tioga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Orleans, Cortland, Madison, Niagara and Otsego counties.
DiNapoli recommended the state parks department have better oversight of the fund.
Here’s the audit: