FALCONER – The state comptroller’s office has released its report on the Town of Ellicott Court and the town’s inability to provide proper oversight with court finances.
According to the office of Tom DiNapoli, the comptroller’s audit found that the court finances were short by more than $34,000 during the time period between 2011 and 2015. The report also said the shortage occurred because the town justices did not establish appropriate internal controls over the Court’s financial processes, and neither the Justices nor the Town Board provided proper oversight.
As a result, the audit found that the town’s former court clerk, Jennifer Piazza, was in a position to allegedly embezzle $34,443 in court funds. Piazza was in control of all phases of the court’s cash collection, recording and reporting process. She was fired from her position earlier this year once the initial findings by the Comptroller’s office were passed to the Ellicott Town officials.
In August, Piazza was indicted by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury and pleaded not guilty the following month to third-degree grand larceny. According to the Jamestown Post-Journal, Jury selection for her trial begins Feb. 9.