Well into today’s Asbury Park Press story about an audit of Red Bank’s books is a little bombshell: a likely explanation for former chief financial officer Terence Whalen’s June 12 resignation.

It turns out that the books were a mess. So much so that borough officials are looking at a possible three-cent increase in the property tax levy to cover shortfalls and corrective measures.

Whalen’s departure wasn’t reported by the Press until June 28, two days after retired borough CFO Bruce Loversidge was re-hired on an interim basis. Whalen’s resignation letter cited only “personal reasons,” and borough officials “had no other information about the resignation,” the Press reported at the time.

Now, a 150-page audit of the borough’s books from 2005 has turned up at least two instances of overspending, totaling $232,000. Borough auditor David Kaplan, who prepared the report, told the Borough Council Monday night that he also found numerous erroneous entries in check logs, spending of bond-issue proceeds before the bonds had been issued, and late payments to the state for pension and unemployment insurance obligations, among other shortcomings.

According to the Press, “Kaplan said the audit found no evidence that money had been taken from the borough.”

“We’re advertising for a new CFO,” Mayor Ed McKenna said Monday. “That person has to be held accountable. It’s disappointing to find out a significant portion—two-thirds of the tax rate increase—is due to problems in that department.”

E-mail this story