Criminal investigation launched into Iowa Town spending | Iowa News


McCALLSBURG, Iowa (AP) — The Story County Sheriff’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into the questionable spending of public money in the small central Iowa town of McCallsburg after an audit of the state has identified tens of thousands of dollars spent or not collected.

The audit released Thursday says investigators identified more than $47,510 in utility bills that were improperly reduced or not collected for dozens of about 400 city residents, including mayor’s house accounts. Chris Erickson and Councilor LeAnne Hazen.

Auditors found that Erickson made no payments for his home’s utilities for nearly two years, from 2017 to 2019, and Hazen made no payments for 18 months. Both Erickson and Hazen are re-elected on Tuesday.

Neither Erickson nor Hazen responded to phone messages left Thursday by The Associated Press seeking comment.

The audit also identified more than $32,000 in irregular disbursements, including more than $25,000 for former city clerk Jennifer Heithoff, more than $4,500 in pay raises for city officials who failed to failed to comply with state law and nearly $800 in abusive charges for a load of Staples office supplies. Account.

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Heithoff resigned in July 2019, and the state auditor’s office conducted an audit of city finances covering his tenure at the request of city officials. In total, the audit found the small town mismanaged or wrongly spent nearly $90,000 from 2014 to 2019.

A public phone number for Heitoff could not be found Thursday.

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