Statement in response to TCAT news

The following is a joint statement from Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Lane, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and Cornell University Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina regarding the alleged embezzlement by a Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit employee:

This is obviously very disturbing news.

The County, City, and Cornell have for years found in TCAT a solid partner in area transportation. We believe in its mission and have worked hard to make sure TCAT has the resources necessary to operate a high quality transit system.

It is deeply disappointing to learn that a steward of these resources allegedly put her personal interests ahead of the taxpayers, funding partners, and riders who support and rely on TCAT every day.

We demand the recovery to TCAT of all available assets identified by the work of the Ithaca Police Department and District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson. We are confident the TCAT Board will take swift action to review and improve the agency's system of internal controls to make sure this can't happen again.

We are pleased that the Board will immediately commission an independent forensic audit by an outside accounting firm to assure TCAT's funders and stakeholders that this was an isolated incident and that the full extent of the loss has been identified.

We also know that if the Board finds that lapses in oversight and control enabled this activity to occur over the course of several years, it will hold appropriate individuals accountable.