January 29, 2010

Comptroller Maragos Empowers Outside Audit Advisory Committee

to Aggressively Review County's Financial State

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and the six members of the outside Audit Advisory Committee met for the first time in 2010 and discussed the County’s current fiscal status, the year end independent outside audit plan and the internal audit plans.  The committee is made up of leaders of Nassau County's business, and government communities and advises the Comptroller's office on appropriate audit control and sound accounting practices.

In order to ensure maximum credibility and the independence of the Audit Advisory Committee, Comptroller Maragos reappointed all the members which previously served under the Democratic Administration. All but one accepted to remain on board.

The Audit Advisory Committee is chaired by Robert Wild and members include John Howell, John Schwartzman, Lee Launer, Aline Khatchadourian, and new member Tim Sullivan.

Comptroller Maragos thanked the members for accepting to remain on the advisory Committee and for their past service to the County. Each member was awarded with a proclamation.

"I am delighted to work with the members of the Advisory Committee,” Comptroller Maragos said after the meeting. “I am impressed with the breath of experience and insight they bring as volunteers to the County. They will provide the taxpayers with the reassurance that independent outside experts from the communities are overseeing the County finances.”

Of the six seats on the committee, one is reserved for the Comptroller and one is appointed by the County Executive. Four members are qualified non-governmental residents selected by the Comptroller. The outside members must have no conflicts of interest with county government and hold no position in any political party or local government within the County.

Comptroller Maragos would like to expand the Committee to include other experienced individuals to represent the diversity of our County. Interested individuals are welcomed to contact the Comptroller’s Office at nccomptroller@nassaucountyny.gov.

The six current members of the Nassau County Comptroller's Audit Advisory Committee are:

Audit Advisory Committee Chairman Robert A. Wild: Chairman and Managing Partner of Garfunkel, Wild & Travis, P.C., a law firm specializing in healthcare. Mr. Wild is the Chairman of the Committee and also serves on the Nassau Health Care Corporation Subcommittee.

John Howell: Certified Public Accountant and Retired Tax Partner of Ernst & Young; Mr. Howell was also a Financial Advisor at American Express Financial Advisors (now called Ameriprise Financials).

Lee E. Launer: Retired partner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. Mr. Launer is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries. Mr. Launer serves on the Nassau Health Care Corporation Subcommittee.

John B. Schwartzman: Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance at Hofstra University and President of the Village of Sea Cliff Library Board of Trustees. A former Chief Investment Officer for Citicorp Investment Services, he was a compliance supervisory principal responsible for approving investment products, sales policies, and advertising.

Aline Khatchadourian: Nassau County’s Deputy Comptroller for Audit & Special Projects. Ms. Khatchadourian is the designee of the County Comptroller. A Certified Public Accountant with professional experience in public and private accounting, she is also on the Manhasset School Board and has a position on the school board's Audit Subcommittee.

Timothy P. Sullivan: Deputy County Executive for Finance. Mr. Sullivan has over twenty years of progressive financial analysis and control background with municipalities, large corporations, and "think tank" academic research organizations.  Prior to his current position he was Director of Financial Planning for the Long Island Power Authority, which owns the electric transmission and distribution system on Long Island that delivers power to more than 1.1 million retail customers.

At their first meeting the members reviewed the Committee's Mission Statement; reviewed the organization of the county and the 2010 Field Audit Plan; and discussed the 2009 audit plan by the county's independent auditing firm, Deloitte & Touche.