DES MOINES – Improper disbursements were discovered in a state audit of the Floyd County Sexual Assault Response Team.
Auditor of State Rob Sand recently released a report on a special investigation of the Floyd County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for the period March 1, 2016 through July 31, 2020. SART is a team of partner organizations including the County Attorney’s Office, County Sheriff’s Office, Charles City Police Department, Floyd County Medical Center, and the Crisis Intervention Service. The mission of SART is to bring awareness and education to sexual assault and to financially assist victims with expenses such as those incurred during the prosecution process. The special investigation was requested as a result of concerns regarding certain financial transactions processed by the former Floyd County Attorney’s Office Victim/Witness Coordinator, Janelle Herrmann.
Sand reported the special investigation identified $1,524.40 of improper disbursements, $113.47 of unsupported disbursements, and $313.00 of undeposited collections. The $1,524.40 of improper disbursements identified includes $1,006.05 of cash withdrawals and entertainment expenses, $175.00 of registration fees for 5K race participants, and $140.48 of purchases using a prepaid debit card. The improper disbursements identified also includes $202.87 of disbursements to vendors for unnecessary or personal expenses. Of the $1,524.40 of improper disbursements identified, Ms. Herrmann repaid $640.00. The $113.47 of unsupported disbursements includes vendor purchases which were not supported by sufficient documentation to determine propriety.
Sand also reported the $313.00 of undeposited collections identified includes $288.00 of undeposited proceeds from T-shirt sales and $25.00 deposited into Ms. Herrmann’s personal account. Sand reported it was not possible to determine if additional amounts were improperly disbursed or if additional collections were not properly deposited because adequate documentation was not available.
According to County officials, Ms. Herrmann was terminated from employment at the County Attorney’s Office on May 4, 2020. Following this action, an initial review of SART financial activity by a representative of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office identified possible undeposited collections and personal purchases made with SART funds by Ms. Herrmann. The County Attorney’s Office also discovered Ms. Herrmann established a debit card for the SART bank account at some time during her employment without the County Attorney’s knowledge. In a letter to the County Attorney after her termination, Ms. Herrmann advised she had accidently used the SART debit card instead of her personal debit card and she returned $640.00 to the County Attorney’s Office.
As a result of the concerns identified with the SART account, officials from the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and County Attorney’s Office contacted the Office of Auditor of State.
The report includes recommendations to strengthen SART’s internal controls and overall operations, such as segregation of duties, performing independent review of bank reconciliations, and ensuring all disbursements are properly supported, reviewed, and approved.
Copies of this report have been filed with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Floyd County Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office. At the request of the Floyd County Attorney, a copy of the report has also been filed with the Hancock County Attorney’s Office.