Blairsville may take action to seek missing records
BLAIRSVILLE — Blairsville Borough may take legal action against former tax collector Carol Tarasovich to compel her to turn over certain records.
According to borough manager Tim Evans, the ongoing audit of Tarasovich’s office came to a temporary halt last week after auditors found that 32 ledger sheets were missing from documents she has so far provided. The ledger sheets detail who made tax payments and when, and the auditors need them to compare against bank deposits.
The auditors, from Johnstown firm Wessel & Co., were commissioned to review Tarasovich’s 2013 tax records on account of numerous complaints from borough residents and mortgage companies that payments weren’t being deposited in a timely manner, if at all. Officials from the borough and Blairsville-Saltsburg School District also have complained that tax receipts were significantly off from previous years.
A preliminary review by the auditing firm found that Tarasovich’s records were inaccurate and incomplete and that she had been sitting on $268,000 in undeposited payments. Tarasovich resigned from office soon after their findings were released.
Since then, the borough, the county and Blairsville-Saltsburg have been trying to deal with the mess that was left behind. Because the records are incomplete, if not wrong, officials aren’t sure who has yet to pay their property taxes and who already has. Evans said the auditors have been continuing to work on the audit and had been calling and emailing Tarasovich last week to ask her to provide to the missing records. But the attempts to reach her were unsuccessful, he said. So at a special meeting held Saturday morning, council authorized solicitor Bob Bell to pursue whatever legal action he deemed necessary to obtain the records.
The Gazette was able to reach Tarasovich by phone on Saturday, and she said she doesn’t have any more records to turn over.
“The auditors have everything,” she said. “They have everything that they’ve requested.”
She also denied having been out of touch with the auditing firm.
“I just corresponded with one of them (Friday),” she said.