The office of the State Comptroller recently met with the members of the Town Board & me. The office presented each of us with a draft opinion concerning the WESTHELP partnership. On each page of the draft opinion there was a request that the draft not be released to the public. The Comptroller's office advised each of us that the report, once final, will be released to the public. However...the draft is not a public document because there could be inaccuracies in the draft. The members of the Town Board and I have until January 3, 2007 to write a response --and to advise them of inaccuracies.
Today, I received a call from a reporter from the Journal News. The draft unapproved report, to my dismay, was leaked - in violation of the request. I believe that it was wrong and unethical to provide a reporter with a draft report that contains some inaccurate information -- before the inaccuracies could be corrected. People who read the article in the paper will not read accurate information -- because the report hasn't been approved by the Comptroller's office. It's only a draft.
I have been working on the response. My response will highlight some of the inaccuracies. I'm grateful to the comptroller's office for agreeing to review the response before the final report is released to the public. However - I'm very disappointed that the public will be reading inaccurate information about the partnership in the paper.
I want to emphasize that the comptroller's office should be issuing a final report in early 2007. This report will be public and should be.