A special investigation by the State Auditor finds the former business manager of a central Iowa school district decided to give himself a raise without district approval.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman says a routine annual audit found former Melcher-Dallas business manager Nathan Spiegel used a variety of methods to manipulate the books to his own benefit.
“We did identify a little over $48,000 of improper disbursements to Mr. Nathan Spiegel. Most of this was related to payroll or other payments issued to him. We also identified a little over $3,800 of unsupported disbursements — which was primarily related to petty cash or checks that he had redeemed for cash,” Mosiman says.
Mosiman says they discovered details that showed Spiegel padding his own pay. “He was a contract employee and he should not have been paid anything above the terms of his contract, however he had additional hourly pay that he issued to himself,” Mosiman explains. “He also issued himself payroll advances. The district had a policy in place as well as there’s an Attorney General’s opinion out there prohibiting payroll advances.”
She says Spiegel also gave himself extra benefits he should not have received. Mosiman says his contract provided him with a cash payment instead of enrolling him in the health insurance program, but in September of 2015 he enrolled himself in the health insurance plan without giving back the cash payment.
Mosiman says her office has made recommendations to tighten up controls in the business office. Some procedures already in place were not followed. “The school district has a policy in place that there’ll be dual signatures on checks. The business manager and the school board president were to sign the checks — however the school board president dad a signature stamp that was in possession of the business manager — so the business manager was able to provide those signatures on his own,” Mosiman says.
Speigel resigned after being confronted about the issues raised in the audit. Mosiman says the results of her office’s investigation have been turned over to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Marion County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office.