State-auditor-signA special investigation by the state auditor’s office has concluded a University of Northern Iowa secretary mishandled cash from campus book sales and student fees.

“What she was doing was essentially taking cash collections and, in some cases, she was then writing a check on either her personal account or her business account that would be deposited in lieu of the cash,” says Deputy State Auditor Warren Jenkins.

Lori Shannon, a secretary in the College of Education who was the focus of the investigation, has been working at the university since November of 1992. Auditors reviewed recent records, covering 2012, 2013 and most of 2014.

“We found about $3,100 of cash had not been deposited, but about $2,300 had been covered by her own checks,” Jenkins says. “So there was a net loss of not quite $800.”

Auditors were asked to review the secretary’s deposits after a co-worker discovered she had written a personal check when making a deposit that should have been a cash deposit. The deputy state auditor says that’s not normal business procedure.

“It’s not good business practice to basically use the university as a personal bank,” Jenkins says.

The results of this special investigation have been handed over to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation as well as local and state prosecutors. Shannon is still employed by the university.

A University spokesman told The Waterloo Courier an internal investigation is being conducted on campus.