The Commonwealth Court concluded this week that standing to challenge an audit of records created during a treasurer’s time in office does not expire with his or her term. The court reversed an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County, which held a former treasurer lacked standing to appeal the Township’s annual audit/financial report, and concluded that an officer whose performance and records are reviewed by an auditor has standing under § 909 of the Second Class Township Code.
The treasurer in question served the Township in 2012, but left the position in January 2013. Her records were audited and the annual audit/financial report were filed in August 2013. In October 2013 the former treasurer, who at that time was not a supervisor, resident, or taxpayer of the Township, filed a statutory appeal under the Second Class Township Code § 909. She asserted the Township had not provided all records to the auditors, certain amounts were incorrectly reported, and certain items were paid in error. This, she alleged, resulted in losses that should be surcharged to the responsible Township supervisors. The Township and its auditor motioned to quash, asserting lack of standing to appeal the sums reported and paid, or to demand a surcharge. The trial court interpreted § 909 to not permit standing for a “former officer” and quashed the appeal.
The Commonwealth Court reversed, stating that the Township’s argument that township treasurers lose standing to challenge an audit of the records created during their term of office is patently unreasonable. The Court held that regardless of when a treasurer’s term expires, the officer whose performance and records are reviewed by the auditors has a vested interest in the outcome of that audit and therefore has standing under § 909 of the Code.