Hear from MWA Regarding the Iowa Auditor of State Report

We can confirm the Iowa Auditor of State recently completed its investigation into a case of suspected fraud at Metro Waste Authority (MWA) and validated the findings of financial irregularities originally discovered by MWA Executive Director Michael McCoy.With the full support of the Board Executive Committee, McCoy investigated the irregularities and directed a forensic audit by an outsie firm, which also determined the employee's actions were unethical, unauthorized and illegal. The 13-month investigation confirmed that $2.28 million in improper or unsupported disembursements was paid to three different vendors over a five-year period.

We want to thank the Iowa Auditor of State's office for its hard work and thorough investigation of this matter. 

"This was a deliberate and elaborate scheme designed and carried out by a trusted, former employee to misapporpriate funds from the organization," said McCoy. "Based on the results of the state auditor's investigation, we believe he acted alone internally. However, their findings show that employees of a trusted vendor were also involved and benefitted from this scheme."

Based on MWA's own findings and those of the Iowa Auditor of State, it does not appear any misappropriation occured before or after the 2013 to 2017 time period in question. In addition, the amount of money identified as improper or unsupported represented less than 1% of the organization's total budget during that same timeframe, and none of it was taxpayer money.

"We are disappointed and angered that a long-time, trusted leader within the organization would create a separate company and approve questionable invoices. However, thanks to Michael McCoy's initial investigation and additional work by other entities, we are confident we have fully identified the extent of the issue and taken all the necessary steps to ensure this does not occur again," said Mark Holm, MWA's board chair. 

Law enforcement is fully aware of the issue, but the timing and scope of any criminal investigation is up to them. However, we are hopeful some type of criminal charges will eventually be filed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation.

"The investigation was much more complicated and time-consuming than we ever expected. All of the expenditures in question met spending authority guidelines set by MWA, which made them more difficult to identify and recognize as suspicious," said McCoy. "However, it was determined we followed all appropriate accounting procedures as an organization, and changes have already been implemented internally to guard against something like this from happening again."

About Metro Waste Authority

Metro Waste Authority provides answers for safe and smart waste disposal and recycling. Whether it is garbage, recyclables, yard waste, hazardous waste or special waste, we know where it should go and have the resources to help. Serving Central Iowa, Metro Waste Authority manages Metro Park East Landfill, Metro Park West Landfill, Metro Hazardous Waste Drop-Off, Metro Compost Center, Metro Central Transfer Station and Metro Northwest Transfer Station. We also provide recycling programs such as Curb It! and Compost It! for our member communities. A government agency, Metro Waste Authority is self-funded through fees charged to those who use the landfill and its other services; we do not receive tax dollars. www.WhereItShouldGo.com