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State Auditor Cites Improper Spending At Sixth Judicial District
By Erin Jordan, Reporter
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A state audit released Friday shows $776,000 in improper spending by the Sixth Judicial District's Department of Correctional Services, which provides community-based corrections in six eastern Iowa counties including Linn and Johnson.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman identified "significant concerns" with the relationship between the district and a corrections non-profit started in 1991 by the long-time district leader Gary Hinzman.
"The lack of appropriate fiduciary oversight and the failure to ensure implementation of adequate controls over budgeted expenditures resulted in the District operating in a deficit position," the audit states.
The audit requested by Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin covered the period of July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2012.
The bulk of the improper disbursements -- $563,000 – were paid on behalf of the Community Corrections Improvement Association. This included $443,900 in payroll costs for some CCIA management and $119,000 in district office space for CCIA, auditors found.
The district also made $170,000 in improper vacation payouts to former employees and $40,000 in vacation paid before it was earned, the report states.
Hinzman started CCIA with the goal of seeking private grants that couldn't be tapped by the state. CCIA started a number of innovative programs, including Children of Promise, which provides mentors for children with a parent in prison, sponsors a foster grandparent program for at-risk kids and runs a youth-leadership program.
Hinzman was district director for 24 years before retiring in May. The state audit had been expected for months.