McCALLSBURG, Iowa (AP) – The Story County Sheriff’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into questionable spending of public money in the small town of McCallsburg, central Iowa, after a state audit identified tens of thousands of dollars spent or not collected.
The audit released Thursday shows that investigators identified more than $ 47,510 in utility bills that were unduly reduced or not collected for dozens of about 400 city residents, including the mayor’s house accounts. Chris Erickson and City Councilor LeAnne Hazen.
Auditors found that Erickson had made no utility payments for his house for almost two years, from 2017 to 2019, and that Hazen had made no payments for 18 months. Erickson and Hazen are both eligible for re-election on Tuesday.
Neither Erickson nor Hazen returned phone messages left by The Associated Press on Thursday seeking comment.
The audit also identified over $ 32,000 in inappropriate disbursements, including over $ 25,000 to former city clerk Jennifer Heithoff, over $ 4,500 in salary increases to city officials who failed to attend. complied with state law and nearly $ 800 in improper charges to a Staples Office Supply Account charge.
Heithoff resigned in July 2019, and the state auditor’s office performed an audit of the city’s finances covering his tenure at the request of city officials. In total, the audit found that the small town mismanaged or mistakenly spent nearly $ 90,000 from 2014 to 2019.
A public phone number for Heitoff could not be found on Thursday.