Storm Lake, Iowa – Winther, Stave & Co., LLP today released a report dated April 4, 2012 on a special investigation of the City of Storm Lake for the period January 1, 2007 through November 30, 2011. The special investigation was requested by City officials as a result of concerns regarding undeposited collections by the former Public Safety/Police Department Office Manager, Lee Martin. Ms. Martin was placed on unpaid administrative leave on December 6, 2011 and was subsequently terminated from employment on December 21, 2011.
The special investigation identified $66,192.45 of undeposited collections consisting of variances between collections recorded in the Public Safety/Police Department’s receipt records and items delivered to the City’s Finance Department for deposit into a bank account. These variances represent collections for fines and fees received at the Public Safety/Police Department which were either not forwarded to the City Finance Department to be recorded in the City’s receipt management program or were forwarded for less than the amount actually received and, therefore, were not properly deposited.
The findings included in the report are based on a sample of Public Safety/Police Department receipts. It is likely additional findings may have been identified if time and cost restraints had not prohibited examination of all Public Safety/Police Department receipts and the related documentation. It is also not possible to determine if additional collections were unrecorded, recorded at an incorrect amount, and/or undeposited because sufficient records for any collections for which receipts were not issued were not readily available.
The report includes recommendations to strengthen the City’s internal controls and overall operations, such as improving segregation of duties, independent reconciling of Public Safety/Police Department collections with amounts verified as delivered to the Finance Department, and implementation of procedures to collect unpaid citations.
Copies of the report have been filed with the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office, the Storm Lake City Attorney, and the Iowa Auditor of State. A copy of the report is available for review on the Auditor of State’s website at http://auditor.iowa.gov/specials/index.html.