New Jersey

Only in Jersey: Freeholder Missing Half a Million Dollars, But She’s Being Appointed to a State Job

Independent Auditor Was Unable to Determine What Happened to $33 Million in State & Federal Grants, Said $475,000 in County Funds “Unlocated”

Senator Kristin M. Corrado (R-40) said a new document provided by the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services (OLS) raises questions about financial irregularities that occurred during Acting Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio’s time in local government that will need to be answered at her confirmation hearing on Monday.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to carefully vet gubernatorial nominees to confirm that they’re qualified and fit for the office to which they’ve been appointed,” said Corrado, a member of the committee. “During our routine research into Acting Treasurer Muoio’s time as a Mercer County Freeholder, we were disturbed to learn that the county could not account for the receipt or appropriate use of $33 million of state and federal grants. Further, we were shocked to learn that hundreds of thousands of dollars went missing, which an independent auditor was unable to locate. Given Acting Treasurer Muoio’s indication to the Judiciary Committee that she worked ‘closely’ on budgets during her time in local office, we’d like to know if she can explain these financial discrepancies that occurred on her watch.”

The OLS memo includes a 2003 audit in which an independent auditor noted “an inability of management” at Mercer County at that time to reconcile accounts receivable, including nearly $22 million of grants authorized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and more than $11.4 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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