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Jun 2, 2009 4:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton budget officer resigns

Jun 2, 2009 4:58 PM

East Hampton Town Budget Officer Ted Hults resigned on Friday, May 29, after more than a year of controversy surrounding his role in the town’s deepening financial crisis.

Town Supervisor Bill McGintee announced Mr. Hults’s decision to members of the Town Board on Wednesday, May 27. He said that he and Mr. Hults had discussed the resignation before Mr. Hults submitted a letter on May 15 detailing his intent to step down.

“I offer this option at this time for two main reasons,” Mr. Hults stated in his letter. “The hiring of a town comptroller in January has given me the opportunity to familiarize her with the tasks performed by me in my current position, which will ease the transition. Also, with the prospect of town-wide layoffs, my stepping down as budget officer may mitigate the layoff of another employee and assist the town financially.”

The four members of the Town Board formally asked Supervisor Bill McGintee to fire Mr. Hults last June, after they had difficulty getting access to the town’s financial documents related to town revenues and expenditures, its use of Community Preservation Fund money and a breakdown of capital project expenses through Mr. Hults’s office. Mr. McGintee refused at the time, stating that Mr. Hults served at the pleasure of the supervisor. Both the supervisor and a majority of the board would have had to agree to fire Mr. Hults.

At the time, Mr. McGintee defended Mr. Hults’ office by stating that the town was installing new financial software and could not produce monthly budget reports until that process was completed. He echoed his defense of Mr. Hults’s work this week.

“Everybody needs a scapegoat, but there was a lot of blame to pass around,” Mr. McGintee said. “He’s been working short-staffed for two years. There were mistakes made, and we’ll fix them. From a personal perspective, I give him credit for staying on.”

“My only comment is, just move foreward,” said Councilwoman Julia Prince, who has been a nearly constant critic of the town’s financial practices since she was elected in 2007. “Our financial mess is coming into order.”

Mr. Hults’s annual salary is about $88,000. New Town Comptroller Janet Verneuille, who, unlike Mr. Hults is a certified public accountant, will be paid $130,000 this year. The town this month also hired a part-time accountant, Neide Valeria, who now works with Ms. Verneuille in the budget office three days a week at a salary of $35 per hour.

A Suffolk County district attorney’s investigation into the town’s finances seems to target Mr. Hults’s work. Last week the town clerk’s office received subpoenas for Mr. McGintee’s financial disclosure documents as part of a grand jury investigation into the town’s finances. But Mr. McGintee said that one of Mr. Hults’s primary concerns in deciding to retire was the talk of townwide layoffs to make up for a deficit that could easily grow to $19 million by the end of this year. With the budget office now fully staffed, the supervisor said Mr. Hults wanted to leave town office knowing that, by not paying his salary, the town may be able to protect the jobs of other employees.

“I think it was a noble thing to do,” said Mr. McGintee.

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Run Ted, run. Don't think the DA will not find you though.
By Neighbor (10), East Hampton on May 28, 09 4:12 PM
Ted Hults is one of the most honest, hard working people I know. It is a shame that the people in the Town have tried to ruin his integrity. I worked with Ted many years ago, and know first hand that he is honest. There have been so many inaccuracies written about him in the local rag magazine, The Independent. His father was a long-time judge who served East Hampton for many years. His mother was a librarrian. Ted was raised to serve this town and he did so with honor and integrity. There ...more
By Amahalo (20), East Hampton on May 28, 09 4:22 PM
Send him to Southampton. 4 of the 5 town board members will find a $100,000 a year job for him and give him tenure and job security.
By Terry (380), Southampton on May 28, 09 4:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your defense of Ted is that his parents are good people and that he has not committed a crime. I will not argue with the reputation of his parents but I think the DA will have the last word on if a crime has been committed. Do you really think that he resigned to save other Town employees jobs?? Now that is spin!!! Ted stayed for over 1 year after the Town attorney and entire Town Board minus Bill asked for his resignation. There is no integrity and honor in collecting a salary where you are not ...more
By Neighbor (10), East Hampton on May 28, 09 5:21 PM
SOUNDS LIKE MORE SMOKE AND MIRRORS THAT WE SEE EVERYDAY
By sjd (420), Westhampton Beach on May 28, 09 10:39 PM
My defense is not that of his parents. I KNOW TED HULTS. You obviously don't. I WORKED WITH Ted Hults. You didn't. You don't know him. You only know what you have read about him. There's a big difference there. If you Knew Ted Hults, you would clearly understand that Ted would not have committed any crime. The fact that the DA is investigating is not a suprise, nor is it an indication of a crime. Obviously you are not clear on the situation at hand. They MUST investigate when requested, ...more
By Amahalo (20), East Hampton on May 29, 09 10:42 AM
Okay, now I know you don't know what you are talking about. A) He wasn't fired from Springs School; and B) there was no "hanky panky." You really are ignorant and just throwing around rumors that are hurtful and lies. You are aweful and now I have to believe in karma.
By Amahalo (20), East Hampton on May 29, 09 2:08 PM
Now if only McGintee would resign!
By Rich Morey (372), Brooklyn on May 29, 09 5:29 PM
Mark, such accusations (if that is your real name). Dominic Annacone and Adele Myers were in together to destroy the fine school that Springs was. Annacone was "interim" and broke laws, Adele Myers was the most unpopular school board president in the school's history who brought the school down, and, Reg Cornelia, who you sound very much like, were right there by her side. The web of tales spun by the three of you to discredit honest people continues, as I see. Yes, I know Ted Hults. He didn't ...more
By Amahalo (20), East Hampton on May 29, 09 8:10 PM
50 years, huh? That would put him in his 80's. A crook, no, dishonest and unlawful, yes. You are part of that pack that wanted to wreck the school. That much is obvious, so this conversation is useless.
By Amahalo (20), East Hampton on Jun 1, 09 11:44 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
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