The Iowa Finance Authority will spend up to $35,000 on an independent financial review of the agency’s accounting procedures and spending despite a similar inquiry by the State Auditor’s Office.
The Finance Authority’s board hired Eide Bailly, CPA firm with an office in Des Moines, to do a “forensic accounting and internal control examination.” That follows the March 24 firing of director David Jamison, who was accused of sexual harassment by two female employees.
The agency announced the investigation Wednesday, saying Eide Bailly will have a full report by mid-August.
“IFA chose to have a forensic audit done on our financials after various allegations were made,” Finance Authority spokeswoman Ashley Jared said.
A former executive told the Des Moines Register in April she had been forced to resign in 2016 after raising questions about mismanagement and improper accounting procedures.
Those allegations also spurred the State Auditor’s Office to announce May 2 it would do a “limited review” of financial operations at the Finance Authority.
It’s unclear how the Eide Bailly probe, which will cost up to $35,000, differs from the state audit.
The Finance Authority said the private CPA will examine for the period of 2016 through 2018 expense reports, credit card expenditures, use of PayPal, Jamison’s discretionary spending and a policy and procedures manual.
Bernardo Granwehr, chief of staff for State Auditor Mary Mosiman, said Wednesday he couldn’t comment on possible overlap between the Eide Bailly review and the state audit, but it’s rare to have simultaneous financial probes.
“I’ve never seen it,” said Granwehr, who has worked in the office for 13 years. “But it’s possible it’s happened before.”
The $35,000 Eide Bailly bill won’t be the only one coming from the Finance Authority allegations.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, who fired Jamison, asked attorney Mark Weinhardt to lead an investigation of the Finance Authority work environment that led to Jamison’s firing. Weinhardt and his team, who are to be paid from $150 to $350 an hour, are investigating Jamison’s conduct and the “degree to which inappropriate conduct of Mr. Jamison was known in the Authority or elsewhere in state government and the response or lack thereof,” according to a state agreement with Weinhardt’s firm.
Weinhardt will report to the Finance Authority board, Reynolds and the Attorney General Tom Miller, Jared said Wednesday.
The Finance Authority Board on Wednesday requested Interim Executive Director Carolann Jensen have an external review completed on the financial cost of rehabilitating the agency’s office or leasing a new site at 1963 Bell Ave. in Des Moines.
Jensen tried to terminate the new $17 million lease on Bell Avenue after Jamison was fired, the Register reported.
Jamison never told the executive council, which approved the lease, it would cost $6 million less for the agency to stay put.