An investigation by the State Auditor’s office shows a former city clerk in the south-central Iowa town of Grand River was responsible for over $27,000 in mishandled money. Doris Loy’s employment with the town in Decatur County was terminated in March 2012.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the investigation into Loy’s job performance covered a roughly eight-year period and found nearly $11,000 of improper disbursements.
“Those are identified as improper payments to vendors, improper payments to herself, various late fees and penalties that would be tied to her not doing her job correctly, and then improper payroll also paid to herself,” Mosiman says. The amount of money that was misappropriated is especially significant considering the town of Grand River only has three full-time and two part-time employees.
The 2010 Census listed Grand River’s population at 230. “So, this is a sizable amount,” Mosiman says. “When you’re talking mismanagement or fraud of public funds, any dollar amount is of concern.” Loy was hired as the Grand River City Clerk in July 2004. Mosiman says the city council should have been doing a better job of monitoring her performance.
“Oversight and internal controls are the two key words that we like to use,” Mosiman says. “In small cities, we realize staff is small, but if the council members and mayor are aware of the ongoing operations during their regular meetings…that’s where internal controls and oversight can have a positive effect.”
Copies of the State Auditor’s report have been filed with the Iowa DCI, the Decatur County Attorney’s Office and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.