A local agency's executive board is taking corrective action after several instances of misconduct were uncovered by the state. On December 12, the state auditor's office released a reaudit report on the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency, which covered the fiscal year of 2011-12. Deb Watson and Mike Grell were co-directors of the agency at the time; Grell resigned this April and Watson was terminated in September. Included in the findings was a gravel project in which Gypsum Hollow Industries was paid $995,694. According to the report, no formal contract was entered into and no competitive bids were taken. It was found that the owner of Gypsum Hollow Industries was Grell's son. In another instance in April of 2010, the agency sold over 27 acres of land for $5,695, which was less than half of the assessed value. The audit found the sale was done without a vote from the full board. Later in the report, auditors say Watson signed checks by stamp when the signatures of two executive committee members were required. Other issues uncovered in the audit included two transactions on an agency credit card statement that did not support the original receipts. Executive board member Mark Campbell says the agency no longer has credit cards available, they've approved written policies to address prior issues, and is in full compliance with state officials:
Campbell said the agency is awaiting word from the Iowa Attorney General's office for any possible penalties. In an email, Webster County Attorney Cori Coleman confirmed that there is an active criminal investigation into at least one of the former directors. No charges have been filed. In a separate written decision, citing discharge for misconduct, Watson was ruled to be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.