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One Ulster County employee bought almost 30 percent of county compost

Apr 12, 2022 12:34 pm

William J. Kemble reports in the Daily Freeman that one Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency employee bought nearly 30 percent of the agency's compost in a 28-month period that began in January 2019. Besides working for the county William “Willy” Whittaker runs a private company, Affordable Dump. Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher conducted an audit after receiving complaints about the amounts of compost being taken by Whittaker, who is the brother of agency Operations Director Charlie Whittaker. The complaints alleged that outside customers with no employment or family connections with the agency were unable to purchase compost. Of the 4,875.64 tons of compost sold for $146,875.10 during the 28-month period, 1,418.22 tons for $42,522.60 were put into Whittaker’s vehicle, according to .scale logs. “It’s a percentage (of sales) that … seems overly substantial for somebody who is an employee of the organization,” said Gallagher. But Ulster County did not have a rule about employees purchasing compost. That. changed in August 2021 when the county set daily limits of two loads per day for a maximum of 20 tons purchased per customer. The new rules also state that “no individual, business or customer will be allowed to purchase more than 500 tons of compost within a calendar year” unless approved by the board. Whittaker defended his purchases. “I paid for every single one. I’m a legitimate business. I have a legitimate accounting firm,” he said, then added that Gallagher was hurting his business and that “she can go f*** herself.” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.