The former mayor of the northern Iowa town of Scarville has pleaded guilty to charges connected to a state audit showing inappropriate use of city funds. Michelle Hermanson entered the guilty pleas to first-degree theft and tampering with records in Winnebago County District Court on Tuesday.

She admits to stealing more than $10,000 in city funds while serving as the town’s mayor. The charges followed a special investigation by State Auditor David Vaudt, which found that Hermanson and former city clerk Jolene Carter had taken city money.

The audit said Hermanson misused thousands of dollars of grant money meant to renovate the city’s basketball and tennis courts to pay her personal bills, while Carter issued 20 paychecks to herself totaling nearly $8,000. Hermanson will be sentenced on January 22nd.

Carter last month also pleaded guilty to theft and tampering with records and will be sentenced on December 11th.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City