Mason City School Board Calls for Special Investigation

The Mason City School Board on Monday night discussed the release of a special investigation by the state auditor showing more than $2.2 million in improper spending over eight years. Board president Jodi Draper says with the report now public, it’s up to the county attorney to decide whether criminal charges should be filed.

Draper says the special investigation shows the business of the school district under the new superintendent is moving in the right direction.

Board member Brent Seaton says some comments made about the school board are out of line and people need to remember it was the school board that asked for the special investigation.

The investigation found funds were not properly disbursed between July of 2009 and August of 2017 while Anita Micich was the district’s superintendent. The special investigation was requested by Draper after an August 2017 report showed the district improperly disbursed just over $109,000 between July 2014 and June 2015. The new report released on December 28th showed that $1.3 million was improperly disbursed as contract salary to 66 employees, which the report says exceeded the authorized salary calculated using the percentage increases approved by the board. The remaining amount was from various improper benefits disbursed. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation at the request of the Cerro Gordo County Attorney’s office to see if any charges should be filed.