The Woodbury County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office can provide more oversight of its fleet vehicles by collecting data on vehicle conditions to better assess sale and trade-in values, according to recommendations from the state auditor.
The audit, conducted with assistance from the Iowa Department of Transportation, was requested as a result of alleged improprieties regarding the Sheriff’s Office vehicle-related transactions between July 1, 2017 and December 31, 2020. However, auditors found no wrongdoing.
According to the audit report, Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office received $163,746 trade-in value for 36 vehicles traded in during the time period listed above. Those vehicles were then sold by the dealer for a total of $164,133.
Another part of the report found a vehicle traded by the Sheriff’s Office for $100 was sold by one dealer to another dealer within 14 days. The vehicle was then sold to an employee of the Sheriff’s Office for $500, 70 days after the second dealership took title to the vehicle. The state auditor said this transaction was “considered an arm’s length transaction and did not provide a benefit to the employee.”
Based on the complete investigation, the state auditor recommended the Sheriff’s Office develop written policies and procedures for the sale and trade-in of vehicles and other equipment, as well as maintain current records of the condition of the fleet to help determine their value.