Questions Lead to Town Audit in Newburgh 

Two town officials in Newburgh have been put on paid administrative leave, and Monday morning, an independent audit began on the town’s finances.This, after some residents raised concerns about the accuracy of the town’s records.For several months, Chris Yountz, Michael Burns and a handful of other Newburgh residents have been going over the town’s financial documents.”The sheet over here had a balance, this sheet had a balance, that one had a balance and all three were different. So we questioned, why is there a difference? It just didn’t add up,” Yountz says.They tell us they’ve seen isues in town records ranging from math errors to potentially missing funds.”I mean, is it incompetence? I don’t know. Is it fraud? I don’t know. Like I said, the numbers just didn’t jive,” Yountz says.Saturday, the town meeting was put on hold, pending the results of an independent audit. First Selectman Bud Belcher declined to comment on camera, but says the potential inaccuracies were brought to their attention Friday.Monday morning, the town manager and the deputy treasurer were both put on paid leave until the audit’s completed. “Citizens of this town need to realize what is going on at that office. Now hopefully they’ll be informed,” Burns says.How the town handles its affairs had been a recent topic of conversation locally, especially after the announcement the Newburgh school would close.”Some like it, some don’t. Some think there’s a lot of secrets, a lot of things being kept from us,” says Newburgh resident Alisha Durrell.To start, the audit will review records from 2009.”We’ll take it from there and see what the audit brings out. And if everything comes out really good, then fine. But obviously, they needed to do something,” Burns says.Officials plan to reconvene their town meeting, with the results of the audit, on April 10th.