The State Auditor has forwarded a report to the Crawford County Attorney that says thousands of dollars of funds in the control of the former Schleswig city clerk never made it into the city’s bank account. Vaudt says the audit covered a four-year period from 2003 to 2004.
Vaudt says the mayor had raised some questions about utility collections prior to the audit, and the audit found about $67,000 of questioned costs, with $53,000 related to undeposited utility payments from residents. Ron Clausen was the city clerk in charge of the funds before resigning in 2006.
Vaudt says around $14,000s of the money could be traced to payments made to two businesses Clausen owned — Schleswig Motor Supply and Schleswig’s Schnapps Haus. Vaudt says they don’t know where the rest of the money went. Vaudt says this case is like many others where there’s not a track of where the money was spent, other than the money that was traced to Clausen’s businesses. He says much of it could have been cash utility payments that were spent.
Vaudt says misuse of funds often happens in smaller cities when one person has control of the funds. Vaudt says segregations of duties is "pretty much impossible" because of the small number of city employees, so he encourages they mayor and city councilmembers to get involved in reviewing the bank statements and payments. "The real key is not that you don’t trust your employees, you trust, but verify also," Vaudt says. Clausen had been the Schleswig city clerk for 31 years.