Harris, Iowa — The state auditor’s office has completed a special investigation of the City of Harris. City officials requested the audit as a result of alleged misappropriation of City funds and concerns regarding the job performance of the former City Clerk, Robin Baumgarn.
The special investigation identified over $12,000 of improper and unsupported disbursements, according to the state auditor. They say the over $11,000 of improper disbursements identified consists of $2,682 of improper payroll to Baumgarn; $561 of improper reimbursements to Baumgarn; $441 of improper disbursements for the City’s share of FICA and IPERS; $7,345 of improper payroll to the City’s former Water Superintendent, Vic McKenna, while he served as a City Council member; $150 of improper disbursements to the City Treasurer, Dixie McKenna; and $50 of improper disbursements from the Harris Community Builders’ checking account. There were also over $1500 in unsupported disbursements.
The State Auditor’s Office recommends strengthening of the City’s internal controls and overall operations, such as improving segregation of duties, performing bank reconciliations, performing utility reconciliations, prohibiting the signing of blank checks, requiring adequate documentation to properly support disbursements, and performing an independent review of bank statements and financial information presented to the City Council.
They also recommend the City of Harris ensure all disbursements are presented to the City Council for approval, as well as ensuring all City Council meeting minutes are properly signed by the Mayor and City Clerk.
Copies of the report have been filed with the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Osceola County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office. A copy of the report is available for review on the Auditor of State’s website at http://auditor.iowa.gov/specials/1422-0668-BE00.pdf and in the Office of Auditor of State.