- Associated Press - Friday, December 20, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal grand jury has indicted a former executive of the organization that collects trash in Des Moines and more than a dozen other communities in central Iowa, the federal prosecutor in Des Moines said Friday.

Jeffrey Dworek, 54, former of Urbandale was the director of operations for Metro Waste Authority when he allegedly diverted more than $1 million to a company he formed. He is charged with 10 counts of mail fraud, U.S. Attorney Mark Krickbaum said.

Court documents show he was arrested in Des Moines by an FBI agent and made an initial court appearance Friday. He was released on bond.

His court-appointed public defender did not immediately respond to a message.

A trial is scheduled for Feb. 3.

The indictment was announced a day after Iowa Auditor Rob Sand announced his office uncovered misuse of at least $1.8 million following reports from the organization’s executive director of unusual financial transactions.

Sand said his staff contacted the FBI and worked with agents on the investigation.

Dworek is accused of setting up a company to provide services to MWA without a bidding process and paid out MWA funds for his own benefit between 2012 and 2017. He’d worked at the agency since 1996.

The use of another $458,000 paid to other vendors was considered improper because Dworek also had connections to them and accepted kickbacks.

Dworek resigned in March 2017.

MWA is run by Polk County and the cities that pay fees for its services.

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