- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state audit released Tuesday shows an Iowa correctional district linked to improper spending has misused nearly $1.2 million in additional money.

State Auditor Mary Mosiman said the bulk of improper disbursements from the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services came from payroll costs, The Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/1gAvmdf ). More than $170,000 was spent on excess vacation and sick leave for some employees.

“These disbursements had a significant financial impact on the district over several years,” Mosiman said in the report.

Fred Scaletta, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, said he was still reviewing the report and would have a comment at a later time.

The report said district officials did not believe they were state employees so their accrual rates were different. Mosiman said district employees participated in a sick leave insurance program that required participation from state employees.



An audit in early July said three correctional districts had been providing additional vacation and sick leave compared to what other state employees were receiving, the newspaper reported.

The new report was an addendum to an audit released at the beginning of 2014 that found nearly $776,000 in improper spending. It cited vacation payouts to former employees and vacation paid before it was earned.

The district is one eight for the state corrections department that oversees probation, parole and work release programs, among others. Two judicial districts in the system face layoffs amid deficit spending. Danny Homan, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, criticized the details of the latest audit.

“Not one penny should be spent on these improper perks … especially when layoffs are occurring,” he said in a written statement.

The report recommended that the Legislature clarify whether the employees work for the state or not.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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