Deborah Earleywine

Deborah Earleywine

Iowa Auditor of State Rob Sand released a report on Friday, June 28, on a special investigation of the City of Mondamin for the period April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2018.

The special investigation was requested by city officials as a result of concerns regarding certain financial transactions processed by the former City Clerk Deborah Earleywine.

Sand reported the special investigation identified $70,168.37 of improper disbursements, $805.09 of unsupported disbursements, and $19,938.14 of undeposited collections.

The $70,163.37 of improper disbursements identified includes $14,183.86 of unauthorized payroll costs and $285 of other payments issued to Earleywine.

The improper disbursements identified also includes $3,323.16 of personal purchases made with the city’s credit card and $6,696.51 of payments to vendors for personal purchases.

Sand also reported the improper disbursements identified includes $25,214.33 issued to the Mondamin Public Library and $19,922.97 issued to the Mondamin Fire-Rescue Inc. from the City’s funds.

The $805.09 of unsupported disbursements identified includes $249.36 of purchases made with checks issued from the city’s checking account and $555.73 of purchases made with the city’s credit card.

Because the purchases were not supported by sufficient documentation to determine the type and quantity of items purchased, it could not be determined if the purchases were for city operations or personal in nature.

Sand also reported $19,652.07 of the undeposited utility collections was identified by comparing utility collections recorded in the city’s accounting system to amounts deposited to the city’s bank accounts between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2018. The remaining undeposited utility collections identified are composed of $286.07 of unbilled utility collections. Sand also reported it was not possible to determine if additional amounts were improperly disbursed or if additional collections were not properly deposited because adequate documentation was not available.

In addition, Sand reported city officials did not implement policies or procedures to address the recommendations included in an audit report issued by the Office of Auditor of State on July 27, 2016, for the period ended June 30, 2015.

The report included recommendations to segregate duties, reconcile utility billings and collections, and ensure utility rates are charged in accordance with established ordinances. As a result of not implementing recommendations from the report, the city overbilled residents an estimated $83,040 for utility services and did not identify concerns in a timely manner.

Sand recommended city officials implement procedures to ensure the city’s internal controls are strengthened, including segregating duties, reviewing payroll records, performing utility reconciliations, performing independent review of bank statements, and ensuring all disbursements are properly supported, approved, and paid in a timely manner.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Harrison County Attorney’s Office, and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

A copy of the report is available on the Auditor of State’s web site at auditor.iowa.gov/reports/audit-reports.

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