DES MOINES, Iowa - Governor Kim Reynolds denies a claim by the state auditor that she misused government money.
Auditor Rob Sand, who is considering a run for governor next year, said Reynolds broke Iowa law by using federal pandemic relief money on a public service campaign.
Reynolds says Sand overlooked a clause in the law which gives the governor special power and authority during a public health or disaster emergency.
Reynolds spent $500,000 dollars in federal money on a campaign to promote social distancing and mask-wearing during the peak of the pandemic last November.
“I’m proud of the Step Up, Stop the Spread” public service announcement,” said Governor Reynolds in a statement Thursday morning. “I felt it was important for me and other leaders to address Iowans during the height of the pandemic. And the law clearly allows it.”
The law cited by Sand in his report prohibits state elected officials from using taxpayer money on self-promotion.
Her office says Sand failed to ask the governor about her use of the money.
“Auditor Sand didn’t once ask to meet with our team regarding his concern or his investigation. If he had, we would have pointed him to this essential part of the law that he clearly missed,” said Chief of Staff Sara Craig