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Friday, March 27, 2015
Sanitary district problems deeper than Sandy
(Page 3 of 5)
Herald File Photo
The Oceanside Sanitary District 7 headquarters on Mott Street in Oceanside.

For example, a number of the district’s workers, the audit said, were working out of title. It found that workers who held civil service titles of “messenger” and “recycling worker” actually worked as an accountant, a secretary and a clerk. The employees were not tested for their positions, but were appointed by Michael Scarlata. The 2008 base salary for the accountant was $93,662; for the secretary, $96,662 and for the clerk, $88,404, which the audit said were much higher than the Nassau County salary range for those positions. In addition, it was found that the accountant did not have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, which is required by law.

The audit also found a lack of internal controls over cash disbursements, poor security over access to the fuel pumps ordinarily used to fuel district vehicles and a lack of competitive bids for goods and services.

Days after a damaging audit of Sanitary District 7 was released from the comptroller’s office, Scarlata, who was featured prominently in the audit as the receiver of an unusually high salary and unfair fringe benefits, was awarded a merit-based raise by the district’s Board of Commissioners.

Weitzman’s audit alleged dirty practices in the sanitary district and unfair treatment of workers, with Scarlata being the biggest recipient of favors. The audit alleged nepotism. Foe example, after the younger Scarlata was hired and replaced his father as supervisor, the elder Scarlata was hired as a consultant. The new supervisor was also granted two $300,000 life insurance policies—paid for by the sanitary district—and post-retirement pay of $25,000 a year for 15 years.

“The district made up its own rules for a small group of employees, while the majority of the laborers in the sanitary district had to play by the rules,” Weitzman said in the audit, adding that the salaries paid to those employees were higher than the typical range for the jobs they were performing.

Comments

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SJBlau

Instead of spending time re-reporting on an audit report from over four years ago, it would be much appreciated if the Herald would cover the countless number of community events that occur every week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 | Report this
SJBlau

As far as the part of your story that is not a mere rehashing of the comptroller's report from 4 years ago, it would be prudent to not rely on "anonymous" sources. If would be great if you could confirm that this source does not stand to gain any economic benefit, whether personal or through a family member, from the comments on the worker's pay. If the person does stand to gain economically, I would imagine that it would be proper protocol to disclose any such personal benefit.

Friday, July 19, 2013 | Report this
lifelongER

How does one read this article and arrive at the conclusion that the problem lies not with a system in which these transgressions have occurred, but in those who pointed out that they occurred? The greed and self-interest of the Sanitation District's leadership has been sufficiently proven. Your accusations against a whistleblower, however, require some kind of validation or evidence in order to be taken seriously or even casually investigated.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | Report this
aschorr

The sanitation responded to Superstorm Sandy in a way that was practical and appropriate. There was no way for anyone to have predicted the destruction this storm would cause the after effects it would have on garbage removal. Oceanside sanitation was absolutely fantastic on my block and went above and beyond what we ever expected. I am shocked whenever I see people reporting about the terrible job they did in the aftermath of the storm. They couldn't collect a half of block's worth of garbage without the trucks filling up. Yes, it took a long time for the collections, but given the circumstances that should have been expected.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Report this
independent1

DA Rice should start an investigation into the corruption. Heads and pensions should roll starting at the top.

Another waste of tax payer money for a special district that does nothing special.

Looks like the commission gave them carte blanche to do whatever they want.

I'm sure nothing has changed in 4 years.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Report this
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