OF COMPTROLLER FOR SUSSEX COUNTY.
AN ACT creating the Office of Comptroller for Sussex County.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That the Governor shall, within ten days after the approval of this act, appoint a competent person, who shall be a resident freeholder in Sussex County, to the office of County Comptroller, which said office is hereby created. The person so appointed shall hold office from the date of his appointment until and including the Monday next preceding the first Tuesday in the month of January, A. D. 1913, or until his successor be duly qualified. That at the general election in the year A. D. 1912, and at the general election in each and every fourth year thereafter, there shall be voted for and elected by the voters of Sussex County, qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, a person, being a resident freeholder as aforesaid, to fill the office of County Comptroller. The person so elected as aforesaid, shall hold office for the term of four years, commencing on the first Tuesday in January next succeeding his election, or until his successor shall be duly qualified. Any Comptroller appointed or elected under the provisions of this Act shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, give bond to the State of Delaware with one or more sureties, to be approved by the Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware resident in Sussex County, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the said office, and such bond shall have attached thereto a warrant for the confession of judgment thereon. Such bond and warrant shall be forthwith transmitted by the said Judge to the Clerk of the Peace of Sussex County, to be by him recorded and safely kept. It shall be the duty of said Clerk of the Peace whenever, in his judgment the public interest demands, or whenever the County Treasurer or the Levy Court Commissioners, or a majority of them shall so request, to cause judgment to be entered on said bond in the Superior Court in and for Sussex County. In case of the death, resignation, or refusal to act, or inability to give bond, as aforesaid, of any person appointed Comptroller as aforesaid, or whenever a vacancy shall occur in said office from any cause, the Governor shall appoint a competent person to act as County Comptroller during the residue of the term in which such vacancy shall happen, and such person so appointed shall be subject to all the provisions of law respecting said office. Every person who shall be appointed or elected to the office of County Comptroller shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation that he will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Delaware, and that he will perform the duties of his office with fidelity.
Section 2. That it shall be the duty of the County Comptroller to audit all the accounts, whether they be general or special, of the said Levy Court Commissioners, and countersign all warrants, general and special, drawn by order of said Commissioners for the payment of money. No money shall be paid out of the Treasury for County purposes except on warrants drawn by order of the Levy Court Commissioners signed by the President of the Levy Court and countersigned by the Comptroller, as provided hereafter in this section; provided, however, that interest coupons on the bonded debt of the County, and orders drawn by the Clerk of the Peace and the Prothonotary for fees of witnesses and jurors, shall be paid on presentation; and provided further, that orders drawn by the Clerk of the Peace concerning the laying out of roads shall be countersigned by the Comptroller before payment. After the adjournment of the Court of General Sessions and the Superior Court, the Comptroller shall verify the accounts of the Clerk of the Peace and Prothonotary touching witness and juror fees. All orders for the use of the Trustees of the Poor shall be drawn by their chairman and countersigned by the Comptroller. He shall also, at least once in every month inspect the books and accounts of the County Treasurer and audit the same and report the result of such audit to the Levy Court Commissioners. Such audits shall be made at the office of said County Treasurer. He shall also at least once in every month, inspect all books and accounts of the Collectors of Taxes and audit the same and report the result thereof to the said Levy Court Commissioners. It shall be the duty of said Collectors to present themselves to the Comptroller, at his office, with all their books and accounts for his inspection, at such time in each month as said Comptroller may designate. He shall also keep a book or books of accounts, in which shall be entered all items of expenditures; all warrants drawn; to whom made payable, and for what particular work or other cause; all written contracts made by said Levy Court Commissioners shall be deposited in his custody, and he shall enter all such contracts upon his books. And it shall be the duty of said Comptroller before countersigning any warrant, to inquire into and carefully investigate the transaction in relation to which any such warrant shall have been drawn; and to this end he shall have power to issue summons and compel the attendance of witnesses; and the production of books and papers pertinent to the said transaction; to administer oaths and affirmations; and ascertain the truth of the transaction so to be inquired into.
All bills shall, before allowance by said Levy Court Commissioners, be audited and marked "correct" by the said Comptroller, and no bill shall be passed by the said Levy Court Commissioners without such endorsement. In case the Comptroller shall refuse to allow any item of expenditure, or to countersign any warrant, or to endorse any bill, as aforesaid, he shall forthwith transmit to the Levy Court Commissioners his reasons therefore in writing, which shall thereupon be duly considered, and if this action shall be overruled by a vote of a majority of the Levy Court Commissioners, it shall be the duty of the said Comptroller to allow the expenditure or countersign the warrant or endorse the bill, in conformity with the judgment of the said Commissioners expressed as aforesaid, in which case he shall be exonerated from any responsibility in the premises. The County Treasurer shall not disburse any moneys upon warrants drawn by order of said Levy Court Commissioners except such warrants shall have been duly signed by the President of the Levy Court, and countersigned by the Comptroller.
Section 3. That for all work and labor hereafter required to be done, and all merchandise, tools, implements and machinery to be furnished or had and used by or for account of the County, where the cost in any particular case will probably exceed the sum of five hundred dollars, the Levy Court Commissioners shall publicly invite sealed proposals for the doing of such work, and the furnishing of such merchandise, tools, implements, and machinery, and give the contract to the lowest bidder or bidders; provided that the said Commissioners may require of such bidder or bidders security for the faithful performance of such contract.
Section 4. That a room in the County Courthouse shall be for the use of the County Comptroller, provided for by this act, from and after the date of his appointment. The Levy Court Commissioners shall provide for the County Comptroller the necessary records, books, cases, stationery and seals for the use of his office.
Section 5. Any County Comptroller appointed or elected under the provisions of this act may be removed from office by the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, after trial and conviction upon charges of willful neglect or malfeasance in office.
An vacancy occasioned by removal from office of any County Comptroller under the provisions of this shall be filled by appointment of the Governor for the residue of the unexpired term.
The annual salary of the County Comptroller shall be one thousand dollars, and the said salary shall be paid quarterly.
Section 6. That whenever the County Comptroller shall need clerical assistance in the performance of the duties of his office, he shall apply to the Levy Court Commissioners, and if they deem it necessary they may authorize such employment.
Section 7. That in the month of December in each year it shall be the duty of the Associate Judge of the Superior Court, resident in the County of Sussex, to appoint a committee of three freeholders of Sussex County, who shall inspect the books and accounts of the County Comptroller and make report under oath, to the said Judge, who shall cause the same to be published once each week for three weeks in two of the weekly newspapers of Sussex County at the expense of the County, and the said committee shall receive as compensation for their services the sum of five dollars for each day in which they shall be actually engaged in such duty.
The County Comptroller shall, during the said month, make a general statement, showing the receipts, disbursements and appropriations, together with the bonded indebtedness of Sussex County, which statement shall be verified by his affidavit, and shall be published in two of the weekly newspapers of Sussex County.
Section 8. The County Comptroller of Sussex County shall during the months of January and July in each year audit, inspect and examine the books, accounts, papers, records and dockets of the several County Officers of Sussex County, viz: Clerk of the Peace, Sheriff, Coroner, Prothonotary, Recorder, Register of Wills, Register in Chancery, Clerk of the Orphans' Court and Sealer of Weights and Measures and of Justices of the Peace and other County Officers, and ascertain the amounts due to the County in fees, and he shall during the months aforesaid report in writing to the Levy Court, which shall cause the same to be entered at large upon the minutes and published in pamphlet form for distribution.
The Comptroller shall also examine the books of all public institutions within Sussex County, which are supported wholly or in part by the County, in the months of January and July in each year, and shall report the result of such audit to the Levy Court of Sussex County.
Section 9. All Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Approved March 15, A. D. 1911.