The State Auditor has issued a report that concludes the former managers of a Hardin County landfill misspent thousands of dollars and investigators believe part of the money was spent buying the makings for meth. Jim Meade was executive director of the Rural Iowa Waste Management Association for Hardin, Butler, Wright and Hamilton Counties, and Alan Clapp was the landfill’s operations manager. The audit found that over the past five years the two men made over 85-thousand dollars worth of “improper” disbursements and another 70-thousand dollars worth of spending the audit deemed “questionable.” State Auditor Dave Vaught says they uncovered receipts for things like a rotisserie and a bicycle, as well as the makings for meth. “In taking a look at the types of things they were purchasing, sometimes the actual purchases themselves didn’t raise a question, but once you started looking at quantities, it didn’t make any sense,” Vaudt says. Vaudt says a member of the board that oversaw the landfill’s operations sniffed out the problems. “Rumors were circulating,” Vaudt says, and those rumors made their way to the ears of one of the board members, who hired a law firm to review the landfill’s book. Those lawyers then called for a state audit. The audit shows the duo apparently bought nearly 16-thousand dollars worth of auto parts and other supplies for vehicles that weren’t owned by the landfill. The weirdest part of the audit found the pair bought 32-thousand dollars worth of “excess” fuel. The two men, who resigned after the local law firm issued its own report of the excesses, have repaid the landfill six-hundred-73-dollars-and-20 cents. That law firm found the two hired relatives and friends, and employed people with criminal records, including drug and felony charges. For example, it was the law firm that dug up the receipt for four 13-inch “Super Ride” tires and other items purchased for a Kia Sportage and a Dodge Dakota pick-up. The two men are likely to face criminal charges soon. The State Auditor says this case shows how important it is for local boards that oversee local units of government, even landfills, to ask lots of questions. “It’s so important that the oversight responsibilities at the board level by exercises and take control of the operation,” Vaudt says.
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