A report from the state auditor’s office shows more than $119,000 in misappropriated funds by a former city clerk in the western Iowa town of Adair. Linda Nichols resigned from the position last summer. State Auditor David Vaudt says Nichols bought items for herself with city funds and issued improper payroll checks to both herself and her son, Terry Nichols, who worked for the city’s street department on an “on-call basis.”
Vaudt says there were approximately $57,000 of payments to vendors for personal items. The improper payroll checks, combined, totaled over $40,000. Nearly $7,000 in deposited collections paid the Nichols’ utility bills, according to the report. The auditor’s investigation covered the period between January 2007 and July 2010.
Vaudt says, unfortunately, he’s seen this type of situation before. “Once again, there weren’t checks and balances because of the small operation. Ms. Nichols had control over everything,” Vaudt said. “So, our recommendations include segregation of duties and even involving the mayor and city council members to look at supporting documents, reconciliations and so forth to make sure they understand what’s going on.”
Linda Nichols had worked for the City of Adair for more than 30 years. Copies of the auditor’s report have been turned over to the Adair County Attorney’s Office, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, the FBI and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
See the full report here: auditor.iowa.gov/specials/1021-0001-TE00.pdf>