3 fired in cronyism scandal at Iowa communications agency
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The executive director of Iowa's state-run broadband network and two subordinates have been fired after state auditors discovered a range of misspending and cronyism during his tenure.
A report by State Auditor Mary Mosiman released Thursday says that Iowa Communications Network executive director Ric Lumbard improperly awarded jobs and contracts to individuals associated with a nonprofit Christian ministry he also leads.
The report says that Lumbard and two associates he hired, Jessica Jensen and T.J. Boulet, were fired earlier this month ahead of the audit's release. A criminal investigation is ongoing.
Mosiman's report says Lumbard repeatedly circumvented rules requiring competitive bidding on government contracts, created unnecessary jobs, hired unqualified individuals and awarded Jensen excessive pay increases. A company associated with Lumbard sold more than $2,000 in state-owned equipment on eBay.