The former Garwin city clerk is behind bars charged with 5 counts of first-degree theft and one count of ongoing criminal conduct after a state audit found she had been using city funds for personal use for more than a decade. State Auditor, Mary Mosiman says her office found more than $555,000 dollars in improper transactions by 51-year-old Anna Lori Leytham.
“A little over $404,000 was either checks or electronic payments on credit cards for the former city clerk,” Mosiman says. Leytham had resigned as city clerk of the Tama County town, and the theft was discovered after the new mayor hired a replacement.
“It was the new city clerk who actually as she was attempting to get the city records in order, she was trying to locate bank statements, couldn’t find them,” Mosiman explains, “So she received copies of the city’s bank statements and that’s where she identified numerous electronic payments to credit cards — which was curious to her — since she knew the city had no credit cards.”
Leytham had started with the city in 1998, and Mosiman says they were only able to find records back to 2001. Mosiman says Leytham had multiple credit cards from Capital One and Bank of America, along with others from Chase, Sears, Home Depot, GE and various others. She says they tracked the payments on the cards and Leytham had paid for numerous personal items.
“Various retail clothing vendors such as: American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, Younkers, Burlington Coat Factory, Shaeffers Bridal etcetera, etcetera. There were also payments to the bookstore and the cashier at Marshalltown Community College, Northwest Iowa Community College and Wartburg College. There were payments to hotels, there were payments to health and beauty vendors, such as: Avon, Regis hair stylist, Top Nails, True Beauty, etcetera,” according to Mosiman.
She says Leytham also paid herself more than she should have. “She issue herself a little over a $145,000 of additional pay to herself, on top of her regular pay,” Mosiman says. Leytham is scheduled to make an initial appearance today at the Tama County Courthouse.
Mosiman says her office has made several recommendations to the City of Garwin. She says Leytham has no oversight of the payments she was making for the credit cards and for her payroll. “We realize — especially in small government entities — it is difficult to have numerous people providing the segregation of duties,” Mosiman says. “But if a bank statement can be sent to even one council member or the mayor, so a second pair of eyes is able to view the bank statement, it is minimal, and it does allow things like his to be avoided.”
Mosiman says lack of having that second pair of eyes to provide oversight is one of the biggest problems her office sees in audits.
Full audit report: City of Garwin PDF