2 officials placed on leave during Newburgh audit

Posted March 16, 2010, at 12:15 a.m.

NEWBURGH, Maine — Town Manager Nancy Hatch and Cindy Dunton, deputy treasurer, have been placed on administrative leave while an auditor hired Monday reviews the town’s books, Selectman Leonard “Bud” Belcher said.

“We have put the town manager and deputy treasurer on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the audit,” he said.

Selectmen hired Robert Brown and CPA Solutions LLC of Bangor to conduct the audit, which is expected to take two to three weeks, said Belcher, who is chairman of the board.

In addition to being the town manager, Hatch also is town treasurer and the tax collector.

Potential inaccuracies in the town’s financial records that came to light Friday forced the postponement of most of Saturday’s scheduled annual town meeting.

The town voted on the first two items on its agenda, the election of selectmen and representatives to the town’s planning board, but postponed the rest of the meeting, which dealt with the budget for the coming year.

“In light of the uncertainties concerning the town’s financial position, we do not believe we should act on the proposed budget,” Selectman Stanley Smith said in a prepared statement.

The town has scheduled a meeting for 9 a.m. Saturday, April 10, at the school to take up the rest of the annual town meeting agenda.

On Monday, selectmen re-elected Belcher as chairman, hired CPA Solutions and put the two town officials on administrative leave. Belcher would not say what financial inaccuracies were being investigated.

“We will let the public know when the auditor’s report is done,” he said.

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