DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating allegations of financial misconduct by a woman who had worked as city clerk for neighboring Iowa towns, a county sheriff said Tuesday.
State auditors said in newly released reports that they’ve identified thousands of dollars in improper and unsupported spending by Yale and Bayard when they employed Renee Van Gundy.
Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright confirmed that his deputies and state agents are investigating Van Gundy, whom he said has moved out of Iowa. The investigation hasn’t been completed and a report hasn’t yet been sent to the county attorney for a decision on any charges, he said.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Swensen said he’ll likely recommend charges of theft and felonious conduct in office.
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“She has given us a full confession,” Swensen said, and has been cooperating with investigators.
Her attorney, F. Montgomery Brown, said: “If there are criminal charges we’ll resolve them promptly. I can’t say how she’ll plead — she hasn’t been charged.” He declined to say where she’s moved.
The Yale audit said the improper spending included more than $5,800 paid for Van Gundy’s personal natural gas and electric bills; nearly $4,700 for her personal cellphone bills; and more than $4,000 for personal purchases made with the city’s credit card.
The Bayard audit said the improper spending included more than $26,000 for personal purchases made at grocery stores and other retailers and for meals at various restaurants.
Yale, with a population of around 250, sits 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of Bayard, which has about 470 residents.