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Former western Iowa city clerk faces theft and other charges

August 23, 2018

KIMBALLTON, Iowa (AP) — The former clerk of a tiny western Iowa city has been charged with theft, fraud and other counts following a state audit that found nearly $90,000 in undeposited collections and improper disbursements.

Former Kimballton City Clerk Tammy Thompson, of Exira, turned herself in Thursday, Audubon County Attorney Sarah Jennings said. She was booked on four counts — ongoing criminal conduct, fraudulent practices, theft and unauthorized use of a credit card — and released on her own recognizance. Her preliminary hearing is Sept. 10.

If convicted of all counts, Thompson faces up to 50 years in prison.

Thompson, 49, didn’t immediately return a phone message left Thursday.

Iowa State Auditor Mary Mosiman said in a release that an investigation found more than $42,400 in improper disbursements, including $24,375 in checks issued to or redeemed for cash that went to Thompson, $12,224 of unauthorized payroll costs and reimbursement checks that also went to Thompson, and $5,577 of improper purchases on the city’s credit card.

The report also found more than $37,000 in undeposited utility collections, nearly $1,400 in improper adjustments to utility collections and nearly $9,000 in unsupported disbursements for various credit card charges and checks issued from the city.

It wasn’t possible to determine if additional amounts were improperly disbursed or if additional collections were not properly deposited because adequate documentation was not available, Mosiman said.

The investigation covered a period from May 2014 through August 2017. The amount involved is surprisingly large, given that Kimballton is a town of only about 350 people. Kimballton lies about 85 miles west of Des Moines.

Jennings said the state auditor’s office worked in conjunction with the Audubon County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation, which was prompted by Kimballton Mayor Millette Shores after he was alerted to possible misappropriation of city funds.

“These crimes represent an egregious abuse of the public’s trust, and I intend to prosecute Ms. Thompson to the fullest extent of the law,” Jennings said.

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