West Des Moines Principal Resigns, Auditor’s Report Says She Misspent District Funds

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- A special investigation by the State Auditor’s Office has found a West Des Moines elementary school principal used the district’s procurement card to make more than $11,000 in purchases for personal use.

The district called for an investigation into the use of the procurement cards because of concerns over the use of them by Western Hills Elementary Principal Beth Thornton.

Thornton submitted her resignation on April 27th and it was accepted that day. Because of accrued vacation and leave time, Thornton’s last day as a district employee is June 30th.

The special investigation found Thornton used the district procurement card to pay for personal purchases like travel costs, gift cards, and party supplies to the amount of $9,779.37. That included a trip to Florida for a work-related conference which her family accompanied her to.

The report also shows there was $1,745.41 in unsupported disbursements Thornton used the procurement card for.

The Auditor’s Office has filed its report with the Iowa DCI, the Polk County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office.