Self reported embezzlement by the former city clerk of New Albin in northeast Iowa’s Allamakee County led the State Auditor to find thousands of dollars of misused money. Tami Kusian of the of the state auditor’s office says they discovered nearly $33,000 in improper disbursements.
Kusian says the majority of that money was for personal purposed made by the clerk for household items that included nine digital cameras, four camcorders, computers, jewelry and t-v’s that were all purchased with city funds. Kusian says the former clerk, Stephanie Ahles, admitted in her resignation letter that she had “embezzled” the funds. She says that did leAd to the investigation, as the city council asked for the state audit after receiving the resignation.
Kusian says they don’t often have someone admit the wrong doing before they get to the audit. Kusian says she can remember only one or two instances where that has happened. Another unique aspect of this case involved the failure of the former clerk to file the proper paperwork to collect the city property taxes.
Kusian says the city then asked the residents to donate the money. Kusian says since the paperwork was not filed, the city would not have gotten any property taxes, so they asked the citizens to donate the same amount to the city. The city would have gotten $139,600 in property taxes had the paperwork been filed, and they ended up getting about $140,000 in donations.
Kusian says the information from the audit has been turned over to the Allamakee County Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation, to determine what charges might be filed against Ahles.