Mayor of Scarville, former city clerk, charged with theftPublished 3:13pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012
By Deb Nicklay, Mason City Globe Gazettebiggest
SCARVILLE, Iowa — The mayor of Scarville and the former city clerk have been charged with first-degree theft after a special audit into city finances.
Mayor Michelle Hermanson, 42, and Jolene Carter, 33, both face up to 20 years of incarceration and up to $25,000 in fines.
Winnebago County Attorney Adam Sauer filed the charges on Monday, July 9, and issued a statement Tuesday.
In addition to the theft charge, a class C felony, they are charged with felonious misconduct in office, a class D felony, and falsifying public documents, also a class D felony.
Hermanson and Carter voluntarily turned themselves in to authorities and each posted a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
Their arrests follow the release of a June 26 report of a special investigation by state Auditor David Vaudt into alleged misconduct.
The audit said Hermanson misused thousands of dollars of grant money meant to renovate the city’s basketball and tennis courts to pay her personal bills.
The report also said Hermanson kept $800 from the sale of a city tractor, wrote other checks to herself and used city money for gas in her personal vehicle.
The report said Carter issued 20 paychecks to herself totaling nearly $8,000 that she did not earn and wrote dozens of other checks to herself that appear to be questionable.
Carter verbally submitted her resignation in August 2010. But she remained with the city until Dec. 31, 2010.