A special investigation by the state auditor’s office has concluded a deputy sheriff in Carroll County and a staffer in the sheriff’s office improperly split at least $128,000 worth of fees for gun safety classes.
Starting January 1st of 2011, Iowans who proved they had completed a gun-handling course and met all other legal requirements automatically got a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The man who was Carroll County’s sheriff at the time asked Deputy Tom Fransen to start teaching the gun safety classes — but State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the fees for the classes “belong to the county.”
The classes were taught in the courthouse in Carroll, county equipment was used, plus the sheriff’s office phone number was listed as the primary point of contact on the materials advertising the classes. Fransen and Shanna Balukoff — a clerk in the Carroll County sheriff’s office — split the fees that were collected over a five-and-a-half year period. The auditors’ review says the two may have pocketed more than $128,000 in fees because not all receipts in the sheriff’s office were properly recorded.
The auditors’ report has been forwarded to state and Carroll County prosecutors as well as the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.