One day after a scathing New Jersey State Comptroller’s report skewered Mercer County for spending millions of dollars in penalties on late payments on thirteen consecutive quarterly payroll filings, Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) is seeing an immediate independent forensic audit of finances in Mercer County.
Benson is challenging five-term incumbent Brian Hughes in the Democratic primary.
“There is no excuse for the Hughes administration to manage the county’s finances this carelessly,” said Benson. “ This report shows why Mercer County desperately needs new leadership. The taxpayers of Mercer County deserve an immediate and independent forensic audit of the county government as soon as possible to ensure the county isn’t continuing to waste more taxpayer dollars. This report only leads us to wonder what types of other misuse, fraud, and waste is going on in the Hughes administration.”
Keith Miller, the county’s longtime chief financial officer until his removal last summer, was found to have lacked the necessary license and certification to hold the CFO post. Hughes had hired him in 2003.
“County Executive Hughes once again has abdicated his responsibility to provide oversight of county government,” Benson stated.
Mercer County racked up $5.5 million in penalties and interest charges; that amount that was eventually reduced to $4.48 million.
“We have an opportunity to elect new leadership in Mercer County this year. Our residents cannot afford to wait 11 months to stop the reckless negligence and waste outlined in the Comptroller’s report,” explained Benson. “Mercer County needs accountability as soon as possible to ensure more taxpayer dollars aren’t being misused, and that our taxpayers aren’t further victimized.”