DANBURY, Iowa (KCAU) — UPDATE (5:30 p.m.): A state investigation has led to an arrest warrant being issued in Woodbury County.
According to the Iowa State Auditor’s Office, more than $177,000 of improper disbursements were made by former Danbury City Clerk Stacy Rockdaschel, between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2022.
Following the release of State Auditor Rob Sand’s investigation, Woodbury County authorities issued an arrest warrant for Rockdaschel on charges of ongoing criminal conduct and first-degree theft.
Rochdaschel resigned her position as city clerk on May 15, 2022.
The auditor’s report outlines hundreds of improper disbursements for clothing and accessories, as well as thousands of dollars in improper charges involving PayPal, social media vendors, Venmo, and Amazon.
Sand also identified $26,500 of estimated undeposited collections. The auditor told KCAU 9 that reform is needed in order to deter people from stealing from local governments.
“These are common cases in Iowa. I used to prosecute quite a few of them when I was assistant attorney general to the lead corruption prosecutor in the state of Iowa,” Sand said. “The fundamental problem is if we want this to stop happening we need to make it so that the large-scale theft of tax-payer funds in Iowa means that you go to prison.”
Right now, there’s no mandatory minimum for officials who embezzle funds from city or county coffers. Additionally, Sand is recommending the city implement procedures to ensure the city’s internal controls are strengthened.
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PREVIOUS: Iowa Auditor Rob Sand released a report on an investigation he was doing into financial transactions made by Danbury’s former city clerk.
The report looked into transactions made by Danbury’s former city clerk, Stacy Rockdaschel, between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2022.
In the report, Sand said that they were able to identify $177,468.44 of improper disbursements, $32,178.44 of unsupported disbursements, and $26,500 of estimated undeposited collections.
Sand’s report continues on to say that the improper disbursements were used for personal purchases that were made with the City’s credit card as well as $776.37 of interest and late fees that were added onto the credit card. There was also $4,106.61 of late fees, penalties, and interest that was charged by the IRS.
The unsupported disbursements included $32,000.34 worth of purchases made with the City’s credit card and $178.10 of reimbursements that were issued to Rockdaschel. Due to a lack of sufficient documentation, it was not possible to determine what the payments were for.
By comparing average cash utility collections deposited while Rockdaschel was working at the city clerk with collections that were deposited before and after she was employed, Sand determined that there was an estimated $26,500 of utility collections that went undeposited.
Sand recommended to the City that “they should implement procedures to ensure the City’s internal controls are strengthened, including segregation of duties, performing an independent review of bank reconciliations, performing utility reconciliations, and ensuring all disbursements are properly supported approved, and paid in a timely manner.”
The full special report can be read here.