Channel 13 has obtained a report that charges improper spending, bookkeeping and paperwork problems in the Iowa Secretary of State's office. The report looks at the years between 2003 and 2008, but focuses on Chet Culver's final three years heading the office. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission requested the report that looked into how the secretary of state's office spent money from the Help America Vote Act, otherwise known as HAVA.
The report criticized a program Culver's office used called “Celebrate Voting”. The events featured, among other things, dancers, refreshments and singer Simon Estes. Investigators found the $118,000 cost was improperly spent because it failed to promote voting as required. The report also said the office failed to properly document nearly $900,000 paid to employees for working on HAVA programs.
In all, the review questions more than $2.55 million in spending. Current Secretary of State Michael Mauro told me, “The audit speaks for itself. We think a lot of the issues can be worked out. But the time frame deals with before we got into office."
Much more on this Tuesday... For now, here's the report if you want to check it out. Grab some coffee. It's a long one...