- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) - A former executive director of the South Iowa Crime Commission who faces child sex abuse charges was cited in a state audit report Wednesday about improper personal purchases with a commission credit card.

The report said the commission asked for the audit because of concerns about purchases by former executive director Matt Murphy. Auditors said they identified nearly $13,200 in personal or otherwise improper charges by Murphy from April 2015 through March 2016. The commissioners were aware that Murphy would use the card for personal purchases and pay back the charges, the auditors said, but interest and late fees piled up because he did not consistently provide a timely check and didn’t always turn in receipts.

Murphy resigned March 18, soon after board members questioned his purchases.

Murphy, who lives in Packwood, didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press. His attorney in the two child sex abuse cases, Blake Lubinus, declined to comment, saying he’d been retained to represent Murphy only in those cases.

Murphy’s pleaded not guilty to two counts of child sexual abuse that were filed last May in Jefferson County. The cases have been separated for two trials. The first is scheduled to begin April 4 and the second on July 25.

The crime commission is a group of 15 counties that help provide training to sheriff’s departments and transportation services for juveniles to the South Iowa Area Detention Service Agency in Montrose. The commission is based in the Jefferson County seat of Fairfield.

The Jefferson County attorney, Timothy Dille, said Wednesday that he had received a copy of the audit report and that his staff will review it before deciding whether to charge Murphy over the audit allegations.

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