Determining if a crime was committed and if so, where would be the best jurisdiction to prosecute, are some of the moving parts in a complicated situation recently brought to light in the state audit of Centerville-based Chariton Valley Planning & Development released July 2.

The state audit of CVP&D for the period July 1, 2007-Aug. 31, 2010 found more than $100,000 in government grant money was improperly spent by Tracy Daugherty, who was the executive director at the time. Daugherty resigned Aug. 25, 2010.

Appanoose County attorney Richard Scott Thursday morning said he has read the audit of CVP&D, but because they cover a four-county area, he would only be able to prosecute what happened in Appanoose County.

Scott said he would rather see the federal government have the first chance to prosecute given the nature of the allegations if there is a prosecutable offense. Scott said he talked to an official with the United States attorney's office and was told they are aware of the CVP&D audit.

"I defer to them," Scott said. "They would have better resources, more resources to prosecute and investigate."

Scott said the individual he spoke with in the U.S. attorney's office did not indicate what they plan to do, if anything.

When asked what he would do if the federal government doesn't file charges, Scott's reply was he doesn't want to speculate "because I don't know what the federal government is going to do. I don't know what their investigation shows. We'll have to see what happens down the road."

Scott said he has yet to make a decision to prosecute Daugherty and she has not been charged with any crime.

"So I'm not accusing her of anything," Scott said. "Obviously, the audit stands on its own."

Scott had no comment when asked if he found criminal charges evident in the state audit of CVP&D.

"I don't want to comment on that," Scott said. "It's an ongoing pending matter. I don't want to comment on that."

One thing that makes this a difficult situation, Scott said, is trying to determine if Daugherty's actions constitute criminal intent, something he believes the federal government is looking at right now.

"I'm just speaking in general," Scott said. "There are things that are improper but not necessarily illegal. Something can be wrong morally, but not necessarily criminally wrong."

Scott called the situation surrounding CVP&D and Daugherty "complicated" with "a lot of moving parts."

"And whether or not it's criminal, like I said, well, down the road, we'll determine that," Scott said. "But my office is aware of it and we'll proceed accordingly."

Scott said he's not ignoring the issue but a process is involved and is ongoing.

"And again, I'm not accusing Ms. Daugherty of a crime," Scott said. "It is something that is being looked into. And we'll just have to let the system work."

Copies of the audit can be found at

http://auditor.iowa.gov/specials/1160-2690-BC00.pdf.

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