The treasurer of a second class township has standing to file a statutory appeal of an annual audit after she leaves office, the Commonwealth Court held in In re Appeal of 2012 Financial Audit for Greene Township, __ A.3d __ (No. 1203 CD 2014, filed April 1, 2015). Ellen Gnandt served as the treasurer of Greene Township, Pike County, until January 14, 2013. On October 8, 2013, Gnandt filed a statutory appeal of the Township’s audit for the 2012 fiscal year pursuant to Section 909 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. §65909. The Township and its auditor filed a motion to quash Gnandt’s appeal for lack of standing. The Township argued that only current supervisors, electors, taxpayers or officers may appeal an audit, and Gnandt fit none of those categories. The trial court granted the motion and quashed Gnandt’s appeal.
On appeal, the Commonwealth Court reversed in a unanimous opinion authored by Judge McCullough. The Court focused on the language of Section 909 conferring standing to appeal on “any officer whose account is settled or audited by the board of auditors.” The Court agreed with Gnandt’s argument that she was the officer whose account was audited, and she did not lose her right of appeal simply because she was no longer in office when the audit was finalized. The Court also considered a treasurer’s duties under the Second Class Township Code, noting that the deadlines are not aligned with those imposed on the board of auditors. In light of the larger statutory scheme, the Court concluded 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 standing under section 909 of the Code.”