Audit report: Chamber of Commerce employee issued over $47,000 in extra payroll checks to herself

Local News
Auditor of State Iowa_1545329922184.jpg.jpg

WEBSTER CITY — A former financial and administrative assistant for the Webster City Chamber of Commerce wrote 139 unauthorized checks to herself, according to a new report from the state auditor’s office.

The report found that Leah Mulholland, hired by the Chamber in October 2013, totaled $239,586.23 in improper disbursements until she was fired in June 2018.

On June 15, 2018, Executive Director Linda Christianson “identified discrepancies” when reviewing a monthly bank statement. Specifically, unauthorized checks has been issued from the Chamber’s bank account to Mulholland.

“On June 18, 2018, the Board President, 2 Board Members, and the Executive Director met with Ms. Mulholland to discuss the concerns. During this meeting, Ms. Mulholland admitted to the misuse of funds and was immediately terminated from her position,” the report reads. “The Executive Director provided a form for Ms. Mulholland to sign admitting to the misuse of Chamber funds, which she signed. According to the Board President, this form was misplaced and could not be located after the meeting.”

Mulholland issued a total of 367 checks to herself: 222 were deemed unsupported, 2 as reimbursements, 4 as bonuses and 139 as payroll.

101 were identified by the auditor’s office as payroll checks that were “for hours in excess of the maximum number authorized”.

Copies of the audit report have been filed with the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Hamilton County Attorney’s Office, and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.