East Marlborough Township officials discuss protecting the township’s finances
● By Steven Hoffman
The East Marlborough Township supervisors began the new year by being proactive about protecting the township’s finances.
“We are very concerned about what happened in Kennett Township,” said supervisor Robert McKinstry, who was selected as the chairman of the board of supervisors at the Jan. 6 reorganization meeting. He was referring to a months-long investigation into and charges against former Kennett Township Manager Lisa Moore for allegedly embezzling more than $3 million from Kennett Township’s finances.
According to McKinstry, supervisors met in executive session prior to the meeting with the township auditing firm, Barbacane, Thornton & Co. LLP, which is also the independent auditor for Kennett Township.
“We wanted to know what was missed,” McKinstry said, adding that the supervisors asked the auditors for changes they could make to better protect the township from a situation like Kennett’s.
While East Marlborough interim township manager Hannah Christopher was appointed both the secretary and treasurer at the reorganization meeting, that will change once the township hires a full-time manager, according to McKinstry. The two positions will then be performed by separate people.
The township will also carry a $10 million bond against any theft or fraud. In previous years, vice chairman John Sarro said, the supervisors examined the money in the township coffers and set the bond based on that number.
Three of East Marlborough’s supervisors attended a Dec. 17 special meeting by the Kennett Township supervisors at which the latter explained what the investigation into Moore had found and what had been done since.
One of the findings of the investigation was that Moore allegedly allowed no one other than herself to open pieces of mail like the township’s credit card bill, thereby allegedly controlling what the supervisors saw and approved for payment. Sarro pointed out that East Marlborough’s credit card bill is seen by three people before it is approved for payment. McKinstry said that process with the credit cards had been in place since former East Marlborough Manager Jane Laslo had been there.
In other business, Sarro and new supervisors Kathryn Monahan and Eric Matuszak were sworn in to the board.