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Grand Island

Loose controls in the town’s fuel purchasing policies have been tightened but not before a former employee managed to steal $6,219 worth of gas using a town credit card, according to a report from the state comptroller’s office.

An audit of the town’s internal controls by the Office of the New York State Comptroller states the “unauthorized fueling activity went undetected because town officials did not review fuel transactions or ensure that user IDs for terminated employees were removed from the credit card vendor’s active list immediately.”

Fuel transactions were regularly reviewed by several employees, according to Town Supervisor Mary Cooke, but no one noticed the former part-time recreation employee Peter Pitts was stealing gas for his personal vehicle because the accounting clerk who checked the invoices against employee names didn’t know Pitts no longer worked for the town.

The Town has since implemented new gas purchasing policies, with a regular inventory of lockbox keys and identification numbers, tighter fuel monitoring and requirements that anyone authorized to purchase gas for town vehicles use their own photo identification along with a unique user ID number.

“I’m very confident that with the new and enhanced controls in place, nothing like this will ever happen again,” Cooke said.

The board is also seeking restitution from Pitts, who has been charged with several crimes and whose case is currently making its way through the courts.

Also this week:

• The southbound South Grand Island Bridge will close Friday, at 11 p.m. until Sunday at 9 a.m. Traffic will be diverted to a single lane over the northbound South Grand Island Bridge. Construction to apply a polyester concrete overlay on the bridge deck was postponed last weekend due to the weather and rescheduled for this weekend.

• The town’s Community Education fall programming catalog and registration is now available online at www.k12.ginet.org. For more information, email jenepherbanker@k12.ginet.org or call 773-8864.

• An organizational meeting for the Grand Island Memorial Library’s book club for adults will be held Monday at 7 p.m. in the library’s meeting room, 1715 Bedell Road. It’s free and open to the public. Call 773-7124.

• The School Board will meet Monday for a workshop in executive session at 6:30 p.m. and for a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in room 110 of the high school, 1100 Ransom Road.

• The Town Board will meet Monday for its regular meeting at 8 p.m. and for a workshop meeting at 6:30 p.m. It will also meet for a workshop Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. All meetings take place in Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road.