A state audit has uncovered some questionable actions by a northeast Iowa mayor and members of his family. The investigation was initially requested by a local citizen in the wake of the May 25th tornado that caused damage in Hazelton.
State Auditor David Vaudt says one complaint involved Hazelton Mayor Roger Carson’s collection of scrap metal from city property damaged in the storm. The audit shows Carson and a relative received $240 for the scrap metal from a salvage yard, but not all of that money was deposited into the city’s bank account.
Vaudt says Carson and Joe Steggall did the cleanup, but Steggall kept at least $165 when all of the money should have been given to the city. "We’re not talking about a lot of dollars, but there’s no question those proceeds belonged to the city," Vaudt said. The audit also uncovered a problem with cash donations to the city that were meant to help tornado victims.
Vaudt says the cash went into an envelope, was not documented or deposited into a city account. Carson, during a city council meeting, reported his wife bought nine $50 gift cards with the donations.
"There were several gift cards that were purchased and the mayor handed those out to people that had been affected by the disaster, however we could confirmed that all of those (cards) were actually given to individuals…and the mayor and his wife could not tell us where the other ones went," Vaudt said.
A copy of the auditor’s report has been filed with the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office. You can see the full report here .