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Report: former Des Moines city employee overpaid herself by $62,000

DES MOINES - Results of a forensic investigation report involving a former Des Moines city employee have been released on Wednesday, and it shows that administrator overpaid herself by more than $60,000 of city money.

According to a release from the city of Des Moines, Sharon Norris was working as an administrative coordinator for the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Facility. She was hired in 1994. Some of her duties included payroll entry.

In late 2016, it was discovered that Norris was crediting herself with overtime into the city’s timekeeping system that she did not actually work. Des Moines police got involved at that point. Investigators found that Norris also was not debiting sick and vacation time as used. The fraud occurred when Norris changed her time after her supervisor compared her time entered into the system against her time sheet but before the final batch was approved.

This impropriety resulted in overpayments of $62,258.48 over four years. Norris was terminated from employment on December 2, 2016. The City of Des Moines immediately responded to the discovery by working with the WRF to tighten its time-keeping process. Specifically, managers now verify individual time entered at final approval.

An independent accounting review of other WRF employees and an internal audit of other City employees found no other discrepancies.

Norris pleaded guilty to 2nd degree fraudulent practice, a felony, in Polk County District Court.

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