By PETE WALTON
Two weeks into 2021, the Bradley Beach Borough Council has yet to receive a completed audit for 2019.
Chief Financial Officer Sandra Rice told the council at its meeting earlier this week that auditor Gerard Stankiewicz of Samuel Klein and Company gave her a 38-page document containing some but not all of the audit report.
Rice said Stankiewicz provided information which is helping her close out the books for 2019, clearing the way for work on the 2020 audit.
“We’re getting close,” Rice said.
Council President Al Gubitosi reported that the borough has filed a formal complaint with the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy, which handles the licensing of certified public accountants and compliance with state accounting laws.
Gubitosi, a former certified public accountant with a law degree, said the board has acknowledged receipt of the complaint. The councilman said he will follow up on the matter with the state.
The 2019 audit was due on Sept. 30, 2020, a deadline which had already been extended by the state due to the coronavirus response.
The council hired Steven A. Wielkotz of Wielkotz & Company in Pompton Lakes as auditor for 2020. Stankiewicz has been the borough auditor since 2017.
In executive session following the regular meeting, the council was scheduled to discuss four matters including a suit filed against the borough by former borough clerk and administrator Kelly Barrett.
Barrett claimed she was the victim of discrimination by the borough and two council members. Her attorney, Peter C. Lucas of Oakhurst, said in court documents that the borough agreed in June of last year to settle the case for $75,000. Lucas said the settlement agreement was signed by Barrett in September.
The lawyer filed a motion in state Superior Court in Freehold, asking that the council vote to approve the settlement.
Judge Andrea I. Marshall was scheduled to hear arguments in the case last Friday.
After the executive session at this week’s meeting, the council adjourned without taking action on any further matters.
Barrett stepped down early last year from both of her posts. The Ocean resident was hired as administrator in June of 2017. The vote to hire her was 3-2, with council members Randy Bonnell and John Weber voting no. Bonnell and Weber are the two council members named in Barrett’s suit.
Barrett alleged that Bonnell and Weber “sought the appointment of a younger, male candidate, rather than a female in that role.”
Prior to the filing of the suit in August of 2019, the borough hired attorney Nathanya G. Simon of the Scarinci Hollenbeck law firm to look into Barrett’s allegations. Simon found that no discrimination had occurred.
The suit became an issue in the 2019 council election. The two council members who joined former mayor Gary Engelstad in voting to hire Barrett as administrator were defeated while Bonnell and Weber won reelection.