The Monroe County Executive says she wasn’t aware the County Clerk’s Office was breaking the law when it waived fees for things like passports.
Current Clerk, Adam Bello, said a review by his office found that in previous years, hundreds of fees had been waived for things like passports.
The cases he looked at go back to 2008, and cost taxpayers $35,000.
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo was the previous Clerk. She defended the practice, saying it dated back to previous administrations, and was designed to improve customer service.
Employees waived fees at their own discretion.
Yesterday, the State Department said the practice was against the law.
“I think it goes back to the interpretation of the regulation, was a reasonable one and if that’s the way it was interpreted and that is the way they interpreted it, it was a longstanding practice to allow great customer service in the County of Monroe,” said Dinolfo. ” And that’s the end of it.”
The State Department is looking into whether further action is warranted.
Bello’s office is now trying to collect the previously waived fees.