State Auditor Mary Mosiman released a report today on a special investigation of theft by the former city clerk of Vining in Tama County. Mosiman says this investigation was a little different as it was spurred by the confession the former clerk Nanci Parizek. “She turned herself into the Tama County Sheriff’s office and basically made a statement, though she intended to pay the city back, the situation spiraled out of control,” Mosiman says.
She says her office’s investigation documented the theft. “The total amount is a little over $32,000. Most of that amount — over $23,000 — was improper payments directly to herself,” Mosiman says. “There was also some improper payroll, some cash withdrawal and some improper payments to her husband.” Parizek’s husband David is a former city council member.
She resigned as city clerk on May 23rd, 2014. Mosiman says the theft of the funds happened between May of 2008 and May of 2014. “It is a very small city, population of approximately 50 people. So, this was a very sad situation given the amount of money that was involved over a series of years,” according to Mosiman.
Mosiman says this case is like many others, where a person starts small and the theft grows. “That is definitely one of the things that we have seen, is that they do it once, they maybe intend to pay it back, maybe intend to do it again,” Mosiman says. “But the fact is, one can never control the circumstances, and one can never control the justification that one makes, but one can control the opportunity for fraud. Which is why our recommendations include the strengthening of internal controls within the city. And even though this is a very small city, segregation of duties is critical.”
Copies of the report have been filed with the Tama County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Tama County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office. See a copy of the report here: