DES MOINES, Iowa -- "When it comes to public funds, every public dollar spent, every asset used, every resource that`s expended does need to have a public purpose," said State Auditor Mary Mosiman.
When the Auditor's Office learns about financial irregularities, it gets involved.
"If that irregularity is when some person or persons are intentionally misusing public funds for personal benefit, then we switch over to investigative mode," said Mosiman.
In one week this month, the Auditor's Office released the findings of three special investigations into fraud.
"We specifically put that caveat, that disclaimer, that it's not an audit of the financial statements of the entity," said Mosiman. "It is an investigation. We are looking at specific things that are outlined in our report."
The investigations looked at the Waukee, Collins-Maxwell and Marshalltown school districts.
"If it's just an error that just needs to be corrected, we`re gonna call that a review," said Mosiman. "If it`s purposefully misusing taxpayer money, which is public funds, for personal benefit, then we turn it into an investigation."
The Auditor's Office gets tips from banks, vendors, law enforcement and others.
"We did find out about Waukee through numerous sources," said Mosiman.
The report on the Waukee Community School District identified improper actions taken by then COO Eric Rose, including:
Solicitations for donations from District vendors using District email, improper use of District equipment, vehicles and facilities, and creation of an environment in which it was common knowledge the COO did not comply with District policies.
"What we put in our report is that there was a culture of, given his role, that if he wasn't gonna follow the policies, that it was acceptable to not follow policies," said Mosiman.