The State Auditor released a report today detailing several thousand dollars in theft from the City of Muscatine. Deputy State Auditor Tami Kusian says the audit covers a period from July of 2008 until March of last year.
“Our report identified over $18,000 of undeposited collections, with the majority of those coming from the public housing program,” Kusian says. “What really happened here was they had an employee that had the access and the ability to alter the electronic accounts as well as manual ledgers and receipts.”
Diane Fry, who had worked as a senior accounting clerk with the city was accused of altering the accounts. “What she would do, is for those individuals who would pay cash, she would take that,” Kusian says.
The housing program, as Kusian mentioned, made up the largest source of the cash, but it was also taken from a variety of sources like yard waste bag fees and tattoo parlor inspection fees. Kusian says their report identified problems that helped lead to the theft.
“We made several internal control recommendations, we’ve recommended that they perform some independent comparisons of the deposit reports to the deposit slips. Also an independent review of their accounts receivable billings, and also to account for the numerical sequence of permit numbers,” according to Kusian. “And the city has already made some improvements in the areas that we recommended.”
Fry was arrested and charged with theft in the first degree and felony misconduct in office on July 31, 2012. She pled guilty on February 22, 2013.