Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has announced a hiring freeze for "all non-essential personnel" in all county government departments.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)

In a statement released by his office Thursday, Garnar said: "This is the first step in turning the finances of Broome County around."

The county executive said all new hires must be approved by his office. He said his administration "will be closely examining all spending even if it's allocated in the budget."

Garnar said the hiring freeze does not include positions related to public health and safety or essential to government functions.

Speaking with reporters at the County Office Building, Garnar was blunt. According to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, he said the county is "in serious financial trouble."

Garnar also said the office of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has indicated it will audit the county's books. In his first week in office, Garnar followed through on a campaign pledge to request the state audit in an effort to determine whether there were any undisclosed financial issues.

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