County Hires Outside Firm For Risk Assessment Audit
Because of the circumstances surrounding Herkimer’s departure the county immediately hired a Buffalo-based law firm to conduct a risk assessment audit. The county paid the firm $12,500 and the report was obtained by 13WHAM News through a Freedom Of Information request.
The report (attached) states that no taxpayer or public funds were impacted by Herkimer’s loans. It made a series of recommendations and Sheriff York responded to each in a formal response (attached) that often explained current procedures or policies that already addressed the recommendations of the firm.
There was also a specific addition to the agency’s General Rules of Conduct (last page) that states, “No member of this agency shall enter into a loan agreement with co-workers for any reason.”
Herkimer’s Current Situation
County Administrator Ian Coyle confirmed that Herkimer was earning $81,950 at the time of his retirement and he also receives county-paid health insurance in accordance with the Board of Supervisor’s approved resolution for employees with more than 25 years of experience.
The New York State Comptroller’s Office confirms that Herkimer’s retirement date is listed as January 16, 2011 and with 35 years of service in the system he receives $3,859.80 per month (approx: $46,300 annually) through the state pension system.
"It's a disappointment and a terrible black eye on this agency and everything we believe,” said Sheriff York of Herkimer’s situation. “It broke my heart and it broke the heart of many people in this agency who believed in Marty.”
13WHAM News engaged Herkimer in numerous conversations throughout the month of February regarding this situation. Hours were spent talking in person and even more over the phone. On numerous occasions Herkimer made specific plans to address this situation on camera and on the record. Each time he backed out and declined.
While those conversations remained off the record 13WHAM News can report that at no time did Herkimer offer a detailed and consistent explanation as to why he needed this much money, why he sought loans from so many people, and where all the money went.