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County employee violated assistance program rules

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Carroll County’s long-time general assistance director — who was in charge of doling out money to people who are desperate to pay rent, utilities and other vital needs — resigned under the threat of termination for violating the rules of that program, according to county officials.

Rosemarie Stotts, 64, of Carroll, had been on paid administrative leave since mid-April after county leaders received an anonymous tip about her alleged misconduct and launched an investigation, Supervisor Rich Ruggles said.

Ruggles declined to elaborate on the specifics of that misconduct but said the county threatened to fire her for “non-compliance with the general assistance program.”

Instead, Stotts resigned effective May 13. She could not be reached to comment for this article.

Iowa law requires public officials to reveal the “reasons and rationale” for such resignations of public employees, but it does not say how specific the information must be.

Stotts oversaw the disbursement of about $25,000 annually to “poor” and “needy” people for rent, utilities, transportation, prescription medications and others.

The money is intended for “people that run into really tough times,” Ruggles told the Times Herald.

Stotts will not be charged with a crime for her misconduct, he said.

Stotts had been the county’s general assistance director for more than 13 years. She earned an annual salary of about $21,500.

It’s unclear whether the county will hire someone to replace Stotts or transfer her former responsibilities to another county department. The county auditor’s office will handle some of the duties in the interim.

“I don’t want to have someone fall through the cracks here,” Supervisor Gene Meiners said during a meeting this morning.

The supervisors voted unanimously to accept Stotts' resignation.

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