Audit: Town of Virgil should pursue unpaid traffic tickets

VIRGIL, N.Y. – An audit released by the New York State Comptroller's Office on Tuesday found that the town of Virgil is failing to collect money on more than a dozen unpaid traffic tickets.

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The audit examined court reports and records between January 2013 and January 2015 and found 17 unpaid traffic tickets that could represent $2,900 in uncollected fines and fees.

State officials recommended the town justice direct the town clerk to refer unpaid tickets to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

"While the justice has adequate controls for fines and fees collected by the court and all moneys collected are properly accounted for, the justice does not ensure the clerk is pursuing collections of unpaid traffic tickets," officials said.

The audit follows a report released by the state comptroller's office in June, which found that the town lacked proper oversight of its finances.

Related: Audit finds Virgil lacking oversight of town finances

The audit recommended the town justice 1) ensure unpaid traffic tickets are pursued in a timely manner, 2) ensure the clerk maintains a list of unpaid traffic tickets and 3) enhance its annual audit of the justice's records and reports to ensure bail disbursements are proper and traffic tickets are pursued in a timely manner.

In their response to the state's report, town officials noted that submitting tickets for license suspension does not guarantee that the fines will be paid.

"If there has not been a conviction, and sentence imposed, no estimate of possible revenue should be made," Virgil Town Judge Scott Elston wrote in his response.

Elston also argued that "the purpose of the court is not to generate revenue."

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