State auditor launches investigation into Scott County election worker payments

    Iowa's state auditor is investigating allegations the Scott County auditor overpaid poll workers for the June 2020 primary. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Iowa’s state auditor will investigate “potential overpayments” to poll workers by the Scott County auditor during an election last year, the office announced Thursday.

    Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz paid poll workers $15 an hour during the June 2020 primary, the Quad-City Times reported, exceeding the $12 per hour maximum that the Scott County Board of Supervisors had agreed to. State Auditor Rob Sand will work alongside the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office to investigate whether the overpayments were a misuse of funds from the federal Help America Vote Act. 

    Roxanna Mortiz is the former Scott County auditor. (Photo courtesy of Roxanna Moritz)

    Moritz, a Democrat, resigned from her position as the county auditor in March. She told the Quad-City Times that the Republican-led Board of Supervisors had not been supportive before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The board scolded Moritz in December for not requesting approval before raising wages. Moritz told the board she believed she had the authority to pay the poll workers more, and she apologized for her mistake.

    Moritz’s 14-year tenure ended April 23. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.

    Katie Akin
    Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.