Cerro Gordo supervisors approve agreement with State Auditor to investigate County Auditor’s office

MASON CITY — After approving a further investigation of the County Auditor’s office by the State Auditor for alleged illegal use of a postage meter for political purposes, the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors this morning unanimously approved a formal agreement to conduct the investigation.

County Auditor Adam Wedmore admits using a postage machine in late January to stamp 1000 pieces of campaign mail. In early February, Wedmore provided a $650 check from his election account to the auditor’s office finance director with a note stating it was for the postage cost, replacement of ink used in the postage machine, as well as any electricity used for the operation of the machine. Wedmore later admitted in an interview with law enforcement that he should not have used the machine but had always intended to reimburse the county.

Supervisor Casey Callanan says the State Auditor’s office could not provide a potential cost of the investigation to the county. “I’ve got an email from the Auditor’s office from the deputy Jim Cunningham. He said he talked to their chief of staff and they don’t put an estimate given all the unknowns. So they weren’t able to do that. Based on that unfortunately they don’t have an estimate. It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation and our county auditor put us in this situation.”

Last week, supervisor Chris Watts voted against the investigation, but today he voted to approve the agreement.

The Iowa Attorney General’s office ruled last week that they would not be seeking to prosecute Wedmore, saying that there was insufficient proof that he intended to permanently deprive the county of the costs.