Audit finds Gov. Reynolds improperly used $450,000 in COVID-19 funds for salaries

Gov. Kim Reynolds. [courtesy Radio Iowa]

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds improperly used federal coronavirus relief funds to pay her staff for three months and covered it up by spending the money via the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, according to an audit released Monday.

State auditor Rob Sand found that Reynolds used nearly $450,000 in federal aid to pay salaries despite her office being warned repeatedly by Sand that the arrangement was unlikely to get federal approval.

When pressed for documentation to justify the spending, the Republican governor said the 21 staff members were employees working on the state’s COVID response—but she provided no proof to back it up.