A state audit released today shows a former city clerk in northwest Iowa failed to file reports on time, costing the city tens of thousands of dollars. State Auditor David Vaudt says city officials in Blencoe requested the investigation in September of last year.

“Probably the biggest finding related to property taxes that were not levied against property owners because forms were not filed on time, so they lost out on over $70,000 worth of property taxes for the city,” Vaudt said. Former city clerk Kym Harris resigned shortly after officials learned the financial reports had not been filed on time.

Vaudt’s office found other, less costly actions. “We found a few unsupported disbursements – about $2,400 where there was no documentation to support the disbursements that were made – and about $340 worth of improper disbursements where the former city clerk used those for things such as a digital camera and a lot of finance charges on late payments of bills,” Vaudt said.

Harris, who had served as Blencoe City Clerk since January 2008, told the Omaha World Herald earlier this year that she was going through cancer treatments at the time the problems arose.) “We were just called in to take a look at the facts and circumstances,” Vaudt said.

“Obviously, if she has some explanations for why she wasn’t able to properly carry out her duties – we were not able to take a look at that side,” Vaudt said. Blencoe has a population of roughly 225. The State Auditor’s report has been filed with the Monona County Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation.