A special investigation by the state auditor finds the former director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) at Iowa State University took funds that should have gone to the center for his personal business.
Auditor Mary Mosiman says the university requested the investigation over concerns about the actions of CALT director Roger McEowen. Mosiman says the investigation found McEowen did not make it clear that his consulting firm was doing the same thing as the work he did at the center.
She says university policies require that employees disclose business interests and conflict of interest form. “Mr. McEowen did file these forms annually, however these disclosures were not specific enough for university officials to be able determine that the services provided by McEown PLC were virtually the same as service provided by CALT,” according to Mosiman. Mosiman says McEowen sent funds generated from CALT to his consulting firm.
“Our report identified diverted collections totaling over 280-thousand dollars. This dollar amount was deposited to Mr. McEowen’s personal or business bank account instead of being deposited to CALT,” Mosiman says. The investigation report details the various events where Mosiman says McEowen was supposed to be working for CALT, but took the benefits for himself.
“Two-hundred and 78-thousand was for speaking at seminars without reporting vacation time from CALT — but using CALT materials and offering his university or CALT contact information. A little over $1,600 was for speaking at CALT seminars and 290 was from sales of his textbook to students who were attending his ISU class. And again these dollars were deposited to his personal or business account instead of the CALT account,” Mosiman says. Mosiman says university policy required McEowen to not use university materials for speaking at seminars outside the state. She says the investigation also identified $43,000 in other benefits that McEowen improperly claimed from his position at CALT.
“Including excess vacation costs and an improper vacation payout, as well as improper travel reimbursements,” Mosiman say. “And lastly, our report identified a little over one thousand dollars of improper disbursements.” McEowen was employed by ISU from August 15th, 2004 until his resignation on January 5th, 2016.
Mosiman says the report has been filed with the ISU Department of Public Safety, the Board of Regents’ Office of Internal Audit, the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Story County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office.