EMA director has issues with audit

Seely feels his department unfairly singled out, says expenses cited were legitimate

The local attention given to the recent Iowa State Auditor’s report on Chickasaw County -- which was released in November -- was a lot like those old fast-food commercials.

At first glance, it looked like there was a great big cheeseburger on your tray, but when you opened the bun for a closer look, there was hardly any meat there at all.

At least that’s the opinion of Austen Seely, the county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director.

The state auditors combed through over two years of expenditures for Chickasaw County, and although there were some clear procedural discrepancies in some departments that need to be addressed, the auditors found just over $1,500 of questionable expenses in a budget that’s in the tens of millions of dollars. 

Essentially, there’s not much beef there at all, and many county employees, taxpayers and department heads have been left wondering why the re-audit was suggested in the first place.

Seely believes his department was unfairly singled out in the audit, and doesn’t appreciate the negative publicity EMA has received.

“The details in the audit made us look bad, when those expenditures are taken out of context,” Seely said. “It’s already making an impact on the people who work for us.”

Several county department heads have conducted investigations within their own departments. Seely, for example, prepared a 17-page report in December and presented it to the supervisors, the county attorney, and to other county officials and the public. 

 

For more of this article, see Tuesday's Tribune.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111
Email: tribune@nhtrib.com

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