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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gracedale Overstates Revenue By $700,000

An independent audit of Northampton County's 2012 finances reveals that Gracedale overstated revenue at the nursing home by $700,000. Those are one of the findings of outside auditor, CliftonLarsenAllen, the outside auditor who annually reviews the books. They were reported at yesterday's monthly meeting of Council's Finance Committee.

This news infuriated Council member Peg Ferraro. Though Republican, she was a strong advocate of keeping the nursing home in County hands.

"It almost looks like someone was trying to make the bottom line look better," she charged. Director of Human Services Ross Marcus insisted that Premier, Gracedale's administrator, was following the same standards it uses at other homes. It was recognizing revenue before the cash was actually received, and has corrected its mistake.

"Someone who understands numbers should have been picking this up," complained the usually conciliatory Ferraro.

Would this be Controller Steve Barron? In a word, No. This error had nothing to do with him or his office, informed sources tell me.

Here are some other interesting points raised in the audit.

1. The County's unassigned fund balance, contrary to what Lamont McClure likes to claim, "is on the low side." 18% of the fund balance is unassigned. McClure, of course, was absent.

2. The County needs centralized grant oversight.

3. In some departments, the same persons who hire county vendors are paying them. These duties should be segregated to deter an avaricious staffer from "hiring" a nonexistent vendor and then pocketing the payments.

Despite these concerns, managing partner Nancy Gunza gave the County an "unmodified opinion," which she calls the "best tyoe of auditing statement you can get."


Anonymous said...

Actually you focus on Gracedale and left the meat of the audit out. It clearly painted a poor picture of the "overall" fiscal controls and accountability in the Human Services Department. I guess the bullshit will remain in force.

I hope Callahan can county on this level of loyalty from you when he is elected.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Due to a telephone call I missed part of the hearing. About 10 minutes. During my time there I saw Nothing that implicated Ross Marcus in any way. I suspect you have an agenda. It is clear to me that the error discovered was caused by the management firm at Gracedale. It was a simple accounting error. It was corrected.

Anonymous said...

What about the parts connected to the fiscal affairs of the other area's?

By the way, no agenda just some truth. You on the other hand have always had an agenda when reporting on the operation of this Admisntration. Your one great weak point in an otherwise good blog.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Honestly I heard nothing concerning human services other than what was described with reference to Gracedale. It could very well be that some of the deficiencies noted are in human services. But nobody identified the departments where the deficiencies exist. I believe CYF Was mentioned at one point. I am certainly in no position to condemn human services on the basis of what I heard at that hearing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are right. There is some talk going around about some strong deficiencies in fiscal operations overall. Will it be discussed at tomorrows c.c. meeting?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no doubt that someone with an agenda will bring it up.

Anonymous said...

That seems to be a really big miss and it resembles neither horseshoe or hand grenade.

Anonymous said...

Another slide job.