Challenger claims comptroller could have done more

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Republican Dutchess County Comptroller candidate Ola Nesheiwat Hawatmeh has criticized her opponent, incumbent Comptroller Robin Lois, a Democrat, for the results of the  Comptroller’s recent audit of the Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC).  Lois says her opponent does not understand the position that she is seeking.

The audit, released last week, determined that not all of the contracts for the not-for-profit agency were executed in a timely manner and also uncovered deficiencies in internal controls, lack of board of directors function and oversight, deficient program delivery, and untimely banking and financial recordkeeping. Lois indicated that the untimely contract executions have been a persistent problem at the agency.  Hawatmeh claims that Lois should work with the agency to rectify the issues. “Over the past four years, she hasn’t done anything to help fix the problem – she just points and complains.”  Hawatmeh continued, saying

Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois.

in part “with my extensive business and charitable background, I’ll work diligently to identify issues, but will then go further by actually working with the agencies to find permanent solutions.”

When asked about the criticism, Lois responded, saying “This baseless and desperate political attack by my opponent makes it clear that she does not understand the function or role of the Comptroller.”  Comptroller Lois offered a description of her duties, saying  “The function of the Comptroller is to perform audits and bring transparency to the use of Dutchess County residents’ hard earned tax dollars,” continuing with “The purpose of this, and all audits, is to provide recommendations to help an agency improve operations and better serve the community.”

The two will square off in the November election.