A special investigation by the State Auditor’s office has concluded a clerk embezzled more than $42,000 from a small eastern Iowa town.

The Scott County Attorney has charged Riki Harrington, the former deputy city clerk in Buffalo, with first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct.

City officials first noticed discrepancies in bank deposits in mid-2018 and Harrington resigned a few days later. State Auditor Rob Sand says in one instance Harrington used checks Mediacom sent to pay city franchise fees to cover up some of the cash payments she pocketed.

“So if a bigger check would come in that wouldn’t necessarily be as easily noticed if it was missing, she’d use the proceeds of that check, apply it to utility accounts, and then take the cash that came in that was actually for those utility accounts and misappropriate it,” Sand says.

Auditors reviewed more than two-and-a-half years of city records. They also found there was no documentation to indicate a few purchases Harrington made at Amazon and HyVee were for city business.