A state audit has uncovered part of the financial trail a former county park ranger in western Iowa left behind.
Alan Disburg had been the park ranger at Yellow Smoke Park near Denison for 15 years when he retired in 2005. After his retirement, county officials noticed a "significant increase" in the amount of camping fees that were deposited in the park’s accounts.
A state audit reviewed the records for the last three and a half years Disberg oversaw the Crawford County park. That review found over $32,000 in camping fees had not been deposited.
State Auditor Dave Vaudt says it appears if a camper wrote out a check, it was deposited, but cash may have gone into Disberg’s pocket. The audit has been turned over to state and local officials who may charge Disberg with theft.
"In operations like this where there are a limited number of people involved, I always tell people ‘trust but verify’ and in this case, having two people involving in taking those collections of both checks and cash and having them do dual accounts and having them sign off would have been the right thing," Vaudt says. "That’s what we’ve recommended to the county and they’ve already started implementing some of those changes."
Yellow Smoke Park has 61 sites with electric hook-ups in its campground and it allows tents to set up camp, too. Camping fees are $15 a night for the "modern" sites and $5 a night for the "primitive" sites.