Cost to taxpayers questioned in an Iowa county.
The Office of Auditor of State today released a report on a special investigation of the Lyon County Engineer’s Office for the period August 1, 2006 through May 31, 2012. The County Engineer’s Office is responsible for the design and general road maintenance of the secondary roads in Lyon County. In addition, the Board of Health required the County Engineer to perform required septic system inspections. The special investigation was conducted after a resident contacted a member of the Lyon County Board of Health with concerns regarding a payment for a septic system inspection. While investigating the concerns identified, the Sherriff’s Office determined proceeds from the sale of certain County materials by employees of the County Engineer’s Office had not been properly deposited.
The special investigation identified $13,946.91 of undeposited collections and $404,223.67 of costs paid by the County for road resurfacing which should have been billed to certain cities within the County, for a total loss to the County of $418,170.58. Action taken by the Board of Supervisors in 1985 required the County Engineer’s Office to bill cities 25% of the cost of resurfacing County roads within city limits. The remaining 75% was to be paid by the County. However, Jeffrey Williams, the former County Engineer, did not bill several cities for resurfacing performed by the County Engineer’s Office from 1989 through 2012.
The undeposited collections identified include $1,890.00 of septic system inspection fees Mr. Williams diverted and $2,972.60 of septic system inspection fees for which inspections were performed and invoices were prepared but collections could not be identified. The remaining $9,084.31 of undeposited collections includes $8,053.75 of proceeds from the sale of scrap materials, $620.00 from the sale of aluminum signs and $410.56 of refunds of battery core charges. Sufficient records were not available to determine if additional septic system inspection fees or proceeds from the sale of County materials were diverted or not properly collected or deposited.