Commissioner-elect David Moskowitz filed a complaint with Delaware Department of Justice Sept. 18 alleging Dewey Beach officials violated the Freedom of Information Act.
Moskowitz said he spoke with Dewey’s independent auditor Roy Geiser of TGM Group Sept. 17, and Geiser told him there was an audit committee meeting Sept. 18.
When Moskowitz did not see the meeting scheduled on the town website, he emailed Town Manager Scott Koenig to ask about it.
Koenig said there was no audit committee meeting.
“I, as the town manager and chief administrative officer, met with Roy Geiser, employees of Luff & Associates, and Larry Silver yesterday to discuss administrative tasks,” he said.
However, Moskowitz said in speaking with Geiser, he learned topics to be discussed should be presented to the entire audit committee and require a 7-day notice of a public meeting.
Moskowitz said Geiser told him participants planned to finalize the annual audit communications letter, which needs to be approved by Oct. 3. Audit committee members first reviewed the draft letter at an Aug. 17 public meeting.
“Roy thought he was meeting with the audit committee,” Moskowitz said. “He is an external independent auditor and should be reporting to the audit committee. He should not be invited to participate in a meeting without the full audit committee present. His independence is questioned if so.”
Moskowitz said two hours after he filed his complaint, the Department of Justice sent a letter to town attorney Fred Townsend, requesting the town respond to allegations by Sept. 21.
Koenig said Townsend will file a formal response to the complaint.
After receiving the response, Moskowitz may reply within three business days; the Justice Department will then decide if further action will be taken.
Moskowitz said based on a previous FOIA he filed, he saw that Geiser sent Silver, Koenig and Mayor T.J. Redefer the agreed-upon procedures report before sending to the audit committee.
“As someone with a CPA, I found that quite objectionable,” he said. “Circumventing the audit committee helped cause the resignation of an audit committee member.”
The audit committee has no future meetings scheduled.
Updated 4:20 p.m., Sept. 24: The Town of Dewey Beach posted a notice of the next Audit Committee meeting after The Cape Gazette’s print deadline. The next Audit Committee meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1505 Coastal Highway in Dewey, between Read and Rodney avenues, bayside.