Special audit finds thousands in improper disbursements

No criminal charges were filed relating to the special audit by press time.

Richland, Iowa- A special audit report released on March 23 appears to show thousands of “improper and unsupported disbursements” over a nine-year period, starting in August 2007, in the City of Richland. The report was requested by city officials over concerns regarding credit card purchases of former City Clerk Chris Thomann.

The report released by State Auditor Mary Moisman identified $57,990.34 of improper and unsupported disbursements and estimated un-deposited collections. Nearly $7,500 of that total was improper disbursements on the City’s credit cards, which the report says were in Thomann’s possession.

“The improper purchases were made at vendors who sell home decorations, groceries, clothing, and vehicle parts,” the report says.

The report also outlines an estimated $44,000 of un-deposited collections, which were cash collections for utility billings. The report further states that “it was not possible to determine if additional amounts were improperly disbursed or if additional utility billings were not properly deposited because adequate documentation was not available.”

According to the report, Chris Thomann was employed with the City as City Clerk beginning August 2007. Her duties included reconciling monthly bank statements, preparing and making bank deposits, receiving and collecting monthly utility billings, and calculating and preparing monthly payroll, among other duties. Thomann had two VISA credit cards issued to her on behalf of the city; one through US Bank, and one through Walmart.

For more on this story, catch the April 4 edition of the News-Review.