Report shows improper disbursements resulted in IVH Commandant firing

Contributed Photo - Former IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri was relieved of duty in May.

Improper disbursements after a change in the State payroll system resulted in the firing of former Iowa Veterans Home Commandant Timon Oujiri.

The State Auditor released a report Thursday indicating Oujiri was responsible for more than $100,000 in improper disbursements. He was removed from his position in May by Gov. Kim Reynolds, who had not given a reason or answered any questions as to why he was removed prior to the report.

The report reveals the special investigation was based on the period of May 4, 2017 through May 5, 2021. A total of $105,412.85 of improper disbursements, including $90,027.20 of gross wages, were paid to Oujiri with $15,385,84 in related payroll costs.

The report states, “the excess pay and benefits were a result of Mr. Oujiri’s timesheets showing 112 hours instead of 80 hours in the State’s payroll system.”

Oujiri was entitled to receive $11,625.60 for unused vacation time, but state officials retained the funds as partial repayment for excess payroll costs.

The report also states IVH officials had not filed a wage adjustment with the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) for unauthorized wages issued to Oujiri as of July 26, 2021.

“At the suggestion of the Office of Auditor of State, IVH officials are seeking to recover the employer’s and employee’s shares of IPERS contributions for the $90,027.20 of unauthorized gross wages paid to Mr. Oujiri. If successful, IVH will receive a credit of approximately $14,161 from IPERS for the contributions associated with the improper wages,” the report states.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Marshall County Attorney’s Office, the Polk County Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office. Findings will also be shared with federal officials, as IVH salary costs are included in a cost allocation process determining federal participation levels in costs.

Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.


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