Audit: Nassau take-home vehicles costing county

Comptroller George Maragos audited the county's 282 take-home cars and found weak management of the vehicles.

Comptroller George Maragos audited the county's 282 take-home cars and found weak management of the vehicles. (11/6/15)

MINEOLA - A free take-home car is a perk for several hundred Nassau County employees, but the county comptroller says there is little oversight of these vehicles.

Comptroller George Maragos audited the county's 282 take-home cars and found weak management of the vehicles.

Maragos says there is no annual review of who should get a vehicle, no monitoring of an employee's valid driver's license, and no system to charge employees for any traffic violations or tickets. The audit discovered 218 outstanding traffic tickets from the take-home cars, totaling more than $20,000. He says employees are ignoring the tickets.

According to Maragos, those unpaid tickets are costing the county big.  "The individual driver has the responsibility to pay the traffic violation, so there should be a process to go find a driver to ensure that we collected," says Maragos.  "Otherwise it should be deducted from his paycheck or some other collection process needs to take place."

The Mangano administration disagrees with the audit, claiming since 2010 it has slashed the number of county take-home vehicles by nearly half.

Maragos says he will revisit the audit in six months to make sure county departments are following his recommendations.

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