The Ottumwa Courier

May 1, 2014

Audit: Clerk in tiny Iowa town admitted to theft


Ottumwa Courier

---- — KINROSS, Iowa (AP) — The former part-time clerk in the tiny southeastern Iowa town of Kinross is facing a criminal investigation after admitting to police that she embezzled $15,000 or more, according to a report released Thursday.

The State Auditor's Office report concluded that former city clerk Toni Miller was responsible for roughly $20,000 in improper spending in the town of 70 residents from 2008 to 2013.

Miller resigned in October after she was confronted about a $1,000 check she made out to herself from the city's bank account. She gave a written statement to the Keokuk County Sheriff's Department later that day admitting that she took $15,000 to $20,000 during her 8-year tenure "to help pay my bills and cover expenses."

The report says Miller wrote herself dozens of improper checks for excessive pay, claims for mileage that were not authorized and other personal expenses that should not have been covered by the city. Miller was supposed to earn a $600 annual salary in the part-time job, where she did most of her work from home.

Miller said in her statement to the sheriff's department that she also kept at least two contributions that were supposed to be deposited in the city's account. The audit found that she paid back the city $2,400 in 2009, but that nearly $18,000 more remained in question.

The sheriff's department is continuing to investigate Miller, whose phone rang unanswered Thursday.

Keokuk County Attorney John Schroeder said he would consider whether to file charges after receiving the final report from a deputy who is assigned to the investigation.