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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Police News  >  A Good Time to Audit Union Books


A Good Time to Audit
Our Own Union Books

Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, March 5, 2007 12:20 a.m.

Could your union survive an external audit where every expense and expenditure were put under a microscope?

Well, now might be a good time to conduct your own internal audit.


A volunteer fire department in Bergen County is in some hot water after it was learned that some of the members took a trip to Mexico using solicited contributions.


Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Thursday that he is considering a countywide probe of how volunteer fire departments raise and spend donated funds.

The announcement of the possible grand jury presentment came a day after Fairview police began investigating allegations that several firefighters used solicited contributions to take a trip to Cancun, Mexico.

"This is a matter that has to be broadened in terms of scope; it's not just about Fairview,'' Molinelli said. "This has come up before about the solicitation of money by volunteer fire companies and how it is spent. Without regard to whether it's criminal or not, a greater issue is the public awareness of how [money] is spent."

Most unions are not going to have such an obvious infraction, but what about the lesser ones?  It's easy to become complacent when spending money.

A good suggestion would be to hire and accountant to audit your union's books once a year.  Explain that you want the books checked for anything that could be considered a spending violation for a non-profit organization.

Also, incidents like the one in Bergen County tend to blossom into state-wide flavor of the month.  Your own audit just might save some embarrassment and headache in the event that some other group audits you.


Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, March 5, 2007 12:20 a.m.

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