State report shows $76K in improper Eldridge spending


An Iowa state audit investigation found more than $76,000 in improper purchases, including over $42,000 in personal purchases by fired Eldridge city clerk Denise Benson.

Scott County sheriff Lt. Dan Furlong said the audit released Thursday, May 25,  helped focus the county's criminal investigation.

"The time frame of the alleged offense is from January 1st 2017 though October 31st 2022," Furlong said in his May 235 statement.

Here is state auditor Rob Sand's statement on the Eldridge audit:

Iowa state auditor Rob Sand's office today released a report on a special investigation of the City of Eldridge, revealing more than $76,000 in improper financial disbursements. The investigation was requested by the city over concerns regarding financial transactions processed by former city clerk Denise Benson.

The report identified $76,171.90 of improper disbursements and $8,718.18 of unsupported disbursements. The improper disbursements include $42,384.74 of personal purchases made with the city credit card, $1,138.89 of unauthorized payroll issued to Benson and related payroll costs, $16,515.15 of payment to Benson's Capital One credit card bill, and $16,133.12 of payments to other vendors via check or online payment. 

The $8,718.18 of unsupported disbursements includes $6,325.76 on the city's credit card and $2,292.42 from the city's checking account. Sand's report said it was not possible to determine the propriety of these payments because of a lack of adequate documentation. The report was unable to determine if the charges were business or personal in nature.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Scott County Sheriff's Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Scott County Attorney's Office and the Iowa Attorney General's office. 

A copy of the 162-page report is attached to this story. 

Rob Sand, Denise Benson