Cayuga County Real Property Tax Services Director Alan Kozlowski may have told his employee to falsify payroll documents in an effort to hide the cash-payment data entry scheme that has resulted in misdemeanor charges for both, according to legal documents.
Weeks after Tammy Schramm received cash payment for entering into the county’s computer system assessment data for towns of Cato and Locke assessor Lawrence Fitts, Kozlowski allegedly instructed Schramm to alter her work calendar to suggest that she had used comp time while working for Fitts and to lie to county officials investigating the incident, according to an affidavit signed by Schramm and filed with the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office.
The Citizen obtained a copy of the document Wednesday.
Neither Schramm, a supervising real property tax specialist, nor Kozlowski are being charged with falsifying records. Schramm’s statements about altering payroll documents are not supported in the affidavits signed by other office employees and Fitts.
But the county will further investigate the allegations when determining disciplinary measures against Schramm and Kozlowski, County Administrator Thomas Squires said Wednesday.
“We will absolutely consider those allegations,” Squires said.
The county will also investigate allegations made in Schramm’s affidavit that Kozlowski asked her and Eva Taylor-Sholes, the office employee who alerted county officials to the agreement with Fitts, to visit the home of a friend of Kozlowski’s to offer advice for selling the property last summer.
Auburn City Court Judge Michael McKeon has withheld Schramm’s affidavit and Wednesday released a sealing order that states the court believes its release could endanger Schramm’s and Kozlowski’s right to trial by a fair and impartial jury.
Both face two counts of receiving unlawful gratuities, which is the charge for both facilitating and accepting payment. Kozlowski allegedly arranged for Fitts, who was behind on data entry, to pay Schramm $20 an hour for assistance. Schramm is said to have received a total of $120.
Schramm’s affidavit corroborates that sequence of events. But it adds to the story allegations that when Kozlowski became aware that the county’s civil services commission was looking into the matter, he told Schramm to alter her schedule to show comp time gained before the days she worked for Fitts, April 8 and 27, and reflect its use on those days.
Schramm’s affidavit states that she told Kozlowski she was worried about falsifying records. She said she reiterated her concern when the county requested Schramm’s calendar and brought her in for questioning. Schramm alleges that Kozlowski told her “it wasn’t a big deal.”
“I tried to stick to Al’s story but I was shaking and I knew they didn’t believe me,” Schramm wrote of her interview with county officials. “I went back to the office after that first meeting and told Al that I didn’t think they believed me. He said, ’Sure they did, it will be fine.’”
Kozlowski’s scheduled appearance in Auburn City Court Wednesday has been delayed until Tuesday, Aug. 3. Schramm will also appear in city court that day.
Staff writer Sarah Gantz can be reached at 282-2237 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenGantz.