New Garden to perform forensic audit on heels of former manager’s resignation09/20/2022 03:08PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
John Granger, a veteran of municipality management whose previous stops were in Aston, Exeter, Radnor, Solesbury and West Vincent townships, was officially appointed as interim township manager and secretary for New Garden Township, as well as its right-to-know officer and recycling coordinator, at the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 19.
His most significant role in his short tenure at the township, however, was his recommendation that the township undergo a forensic audit of its financial records.
Defined, a forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of a firm’s or individual’s financial information for use as evidence in the court of law and can be conducted in order to prosecute a party for fraud, embezzlement or other financial claims.
The timing of the township’s decision to pursue a forensic audit is in clear step with the recent resignation of former township manager Ramsey Reiner, who left the township in late August for reasons that are not being made available to the public. At the board’s Sept. 6 meeting, the township issued a joint statement regarding Reiner’s resignation, which was followed by questions to township Solicitor William Christman, who said that Reiner’s departure was considered a “personnel matter” and not considered “public information.” He said that he had asked the supervisors not to comment on the specifics of Reiner’s resignation.
At Christman’s recommendation, the Chester County Press submitted a right-to-know request form to the township on Sept. 15, asking to obtain the contents of the separation agreement between the township and Reiner, and is currently awaiting a response.
Board Chairman Steve Allaband said that the township’s decision to pursue a forensic audit of the township’s financial records does not have any connection to Reiner or her recent resignation.
“The reason for this is very clearly for transparency,” Allaband told the audience at the Township Building. “We don’t suspect there’s anything wrong. We just want to be able to assure the public that it is okay. We will probably be talking more about that at our next meeting.
“[John Granger] feels that it probably should be done and should have been done in prior years as standard operating procedure, and [is also based on] some of the recommendations made by the township’s Finance Committee to look at different areas. An audit is basically just a confirmation that the transactions are okay, but they don’t look at everything, as I think we have learned from our neighbors to the east of us.”
Allaband was referring to the forensic audit conducted by Kennett Township in the wake of what became a $3.2 million embezzlement of township funds by former township manager Lisa Moore, who was sentenced to a state correctional facility on Oct. 4, 2021 for the crime of theft by deception, as well as dealing in unlawful proceeds, forgery, tampering with public records and access device fraud.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].