An audit has found a former sheriff in southeast Iowa failed to maintain a secure evidence room. Deputy State Auditor Warren Jenkins says the problems were reported by current Keokuk County Sheriff Jeff Shipley shortly after he was elected to the office. Shipley found several items were missing.
“There were concerns about the adequacy of controls over various items that had been collected as evidence or seized,” Jenkins said. “The new sheriff asked us to come in and take a look.” The auditor’s report says former Keokuk County Sheriff Ron George kept evidence and seized property in unsecure areas.
Jenkins says it’s difficult to determine everything that’s missing because evidence logs weren’t kept up to date. Shipley reported the missing items include a thermal-imaging camera valued at $8,400. The audit says George was seen destroying records before he left office in December.
“Obviously we weren’t there at the time, so we can not independently verify it, but some of the deputies say they did observe (George) destroying documents,” Jenkins said. The report has been delivered to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and the Keokuk County Attorney.