Auditor takes West Franklin to court
A West Franklin auditor has filed a lawsuit seeking to have an independent firm review the township's financial records for the last three years.
Auditor Darryl Alwine said he filed the suit in Armstrong County Court of Common Pleas after years of trying to review the books himself and confronting hurdles like being required to file Right-to-Know requests along the way.
“My job as an elected auditor is to go in and see if they're actually spending money on what they claim to be spending it on,” Alwine said. “I'm being blocked from doing my job, and these people won't work with me. I have to fill out requests and can't just go in and see what they're doing. I have no other recourse than to go to the courts.”
But Kevin Duttry, chairman of West Franklin's supervisors, said auditors are only responsible for setting wages for borough workers and no longer review financial records, a job contracted out to Gerald Micsky, a certified public accountant from Kittanning.
“We're a small township and everybody knows everybody, so we hired an accountant to keep any personal politics out of our finances,” Duttry said. “The other supervisors and auditors are all satisfied with sending things to Mr. Micsky. Alwine wants to have his hands in everything and is just a disgruntled township resident and auditor.”
According to the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code, townships have the authority to determine what jobs auditors are required to do.
Holly Fishel, director of research and policy at the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, said it is common for townships to use a certified public accountant in place of elected auditors.
“It's completely authorized and their option, which sometimes leaves auditors without too much to do,” Fishel said. “And if one auditor is acting on his own to see financial records, which are public information, it's up to the township to determine if they need to file a Right-to-Know request.”
Alwine was elected to serve a second term in November, along with Tim Smith. The township supervisors appointed Thomas Burke to serve a six-year term as an auditor after Melissa Crawford, who earned a spot during the November election, resigned after moving out of the township in January.
Since the township auditors are no longer reviewing its financial records, Duttry said Alwine, and the other auditors, must fill out Right-to-Know requests, just like everyone else, to see financial records of the borough.
“Every detail is open to the public,” Duttry said. “Anyone, including Mr. Alwine, can see any record we have by filing a request. It might take a couple days to process, since we don't have a big office, but information is always provided within five days.”
The case goes before Armstrong County President Judge Kenneth Valasek on May 20 at 2 p.m.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Christmas train is an annual Armstrong holiday tradition
- Kittanning News carries latest books by Boarts and Creel
- Stanley’s Bar & Grill in Ford City offers free Thanksgiving dinner
- Ford City executive sessions called into question
- Armstrong softball team sends off 41 Operation Christmas Child boxes
- Thanksgiving meal offers Ford City students a chance to learn
- Ford City water plant project a step closer to fruition
- Robbery nets stint in prison for Marion Center man
- Armstrong children can visit Santa in a quiet, calm atmosphere
- Kittanning Salvation Army kicks off holiday shoe drive
- Ford City church, Lenape Technical School team up to provide happy Thanksgiving