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Kent County Comptroller in legislative crosshairs

Delaware Public Media

State lawmakers are looking at eliminating the last elected financial overseer in Delaware county government this year.

Rep. Sean Lynn, a Dover Democrat, says Kent County Levy Court unanimously wants to drop the county’s comptroller. Georgette Williams, who’s in her second term, also agreed according to Lynn.

County officials say it’ll save about $100,000 a year and that their finance department is duplicating the work.

Traditionally, the comptroller has signed off on payments made by the county to sniff out any fraud or waste. But Lynn says that the finance department is duplicating that work.

“I believe over the course of time the role of the finance director has expanded and that the role of comptroller has diminished such that now the position is irrelevant,” he said.

Lynn says he initially questioned whether the county would lose a ‘watchman’ to guard against corruption, but that he trusts the finance director to do the job well.

“I think that ultimately where I concluded on that issue was that the finance director has sufficient oversight that I’m not really worried about the loss of the comptroller being basically kind of a hole in the dam that would allow fraud or waste or something along those lines.”

Similar legislation has been introduced in the past, but met with resistance from some Kent County lawmakers.

New Castle and Sussex Counties dropped their comptrollers several years ago.

Lynn says he doesn’t anticipate any trouble as the bill waits for consideration when lawmakers gavel back into session next week.

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