Binghamton Economic Development Director Fired
Binghamton economic development director Robert Murphy has been removed from the post after an apparently improper fund transfer.
Mayor Richard David announced the action late Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement released by City Hall, David said he was notified on November 20 of a financial transaction discovered during an audit of the Binghamton Local Development Corporation.
The mayor said as the agency's executive director, Murphy violated policy by issuing a payment without the authorization or knowledge of the board of directors.
According to David, Murphy permitted a wire fund transfer into a BLDC account "to facilitate a transfer of funds from a relative" to a private Binghamton business.
The mayor said no agency funds were involved in the transfer. He said the maneuver was to ensure timely payroll for about 40 employees. Murphy's relative is an investor in the business.
David did not identify the person or the business.
In his statement, the mayor said the "co-mingling of funds was an unacceptable financial practice." He said the move represented a "clear conflict of interest."
David said the Binghamton Local Development Corporation board of directors held a special meeting Monday and removed Murphy as executive director.
The mayor said city officials have notified the state comptroller's office of the improper transaction.
Murphy declined to comment on the matter Wednesday evening. But he said he had "enjoyed working with the city and with Mayor David." He said he expected to make a statement on the issue Friday.
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