Auditors report reveals thousands in improper use of city funds in Boyden, IA
An audit of the City of Boyden, Iowa, revealed improper spending of city funds between July 2013 and April 2015.
BOYDEN, Iowa (KTIV) -
A state auditors report revealed thousands of city dollars, in Boyden, Iowa, were improperly spent by a former city clerk.
The auditors report claims the former clerk spent the money on things like airfare, home store purchases and, even, paying herself. The report cites just over $36,000 improperly spent between July 1, 2013 and April, 30 2015.
Some residents in Boyden had mixed reactions to the report. "That's a lot of money for a town like this," said Lee Jiskoot, a Boyden resident.
The investigation alleges, Sipma paid, or reimbursed, herself with $30,735.42 of city funds. As city clerk, she was in charge of the city's payroll. "As a former councilman, yeah this does upset me because I know what it takes to make a city make ends meet," Jiskoot added.
Other things in the report included $3,059.82 of purchases with the city's credit cards. It says Sipma bought plane tickets from Minneapolis to Scotland., paid off a personal cell phone bill and bought household items from IKEA.
In April of 2015, the city's bank had some "red flags" when it saw Sipma received more than one electronic paycheck during several months. City officials then requested the special investigation.
Sipma resigned from the position, which she took control of in 2013, when questions about spending surfaced. In the 32-page report, the auditor says in April of 2015, Boyden's mayor asked Sipma about the spending. The mayor said Sipma told him she had done a "terrible thing."
Auditors also added suggestions in the report on how to avoid a situation as such in the future. They suggested city clerk financial duties be assigned to the mayor, or city council. It went further to say that bank statements should go to a city employee not associated with collecting or spending city funds.
Some of the improper funds included late fees and interest on the credit cards for late payments.
Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says no charges have been filed in this case, but litigation could come.
KTIV attempted to reach Sipma, at her home, for this story. We were asked to leave.