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Audit: Iowa plant official bought gas, tickets

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2013 at 11:27 am •  Published: February 12, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The longtime superintendent of a municipal power plant used its credit cards to buy gas for personal vehicles, tickets to rock concerts and items from companies selling pornography, pet medicine and a supplement for male erectile dysfunction, state auditors said Tuesday.

Superintendent William Edgerly and former secretary Deneen Mangas were able to misspend the plant's money for years because of a lack of oversight by its board of trustees, according to the report by State Auditor David Vaudt.

The report criticized the board for rehiring Edgerly last May with a 23.5 percent annual salary increase. Edgerly had resigned after 22 years on the job in December 2011, shortly after auditors launched a special investigation after finding irregularities during an audit sought by concerned citizens who petitioned for it.

The board was aware that auditors were scrutinizing Edgerly's spending when it rehired him for $65,000 per year, which was far more than what he'd earned months earlier, said deputy state auditor Tami Kusian. The board said the salary was set based on Edgerly's contention that he was previously underpaid compared to municipal plant officials in similar jobs, the report said.

"I'd say it's very unusual," Kusian said of Edgerly's rehiring with a raise during the audit. "In fact, I've never encountered a situation like this."

Coggon Mayor Pro Tem Dan Huber said Edgerly remained on the job as of Tuesday morning, but indicated that might not be for long. He said the city would take "immediate action" related to Edgerly's job and implement the audit's recommendations to improve oversight.

"I believe the whole community is probably troubled by the lack of oversight," Huber said of Coggon, a town of about 750 residents in Linn County, 30 miles north of Cedar Rapids.

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