Buffalo Audit Investigation

May  21, 2013

     Despite some questionable spending, no criminal charges will be filed in connection with a recent audit of the city of Buffalo. That was the announcement today from Scott County Attorney, Mike Walton. An audit earlier this year by the Iowa State Auditor identified $9,400 of what it called "improper and un-supported disbursements" by city employees and members of the city council. But Walton says there's not enough evidence that anyone committed a crime.

     "It mostly appears to be an accounting shortfall, an accounting practices shortfall, as far as record keeping and that sort of thing - more so than fraudulent activity."

     The largest item on the list compiled by the state auditor was $4,300 for "un-supported credit card payments."

     "Most of the credit card charges can't be attributed to any single purchaser or employee. And mostly it's a matter of not sufficient receipts or documentation. But my understanding is they appear to be for the operation of the city."

     Buffalo city council members were supposed to be paid $15 per meeting, but for two years they were paid $25. Walton says the people who signed the checks did not benefit from the over-payments, and council members were not involved in the payroll process. Aldermen have agreed to repay the additional dollars to the city. His investigation found some improper payments to a former assistant city clerk, but evidence does not show intentional fraud.