Latest CIETC fall-out

State Auditor Dave Vaudt has fired Deb Dessert Bargman.  She is the wife of John Bargman, one of the three managers at a central Iowa job training agency where Bargman and two other top managers were paid "lavish" salaries (the word "lavish" having been used by various legislators "outraged" by the scandal at the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium).  Mr. Bargman was fired this spring after the scandal broke.

A few minutes ago Vaudt’s chief of staff told me the auditor told Mrs. Bargman on August 14th that he would fire her if she didn’t resign.  (She worked in human resources in the auditor’s office, as a trainer.) After getting no resignation letter, Vaudt let the ax fall yesterday, August 23. 

Mrs. Bargman’s husband was the chief financial officer at CIETC.  In mid-June, she told the Legislative Oversight Committee that she didn’t think her husband’s pay was out of line.  Mrs. Bargman told lawmakers she found out about her husband’s pay when she saw their tax returns, but didn’t think it was unusual.  Earlier this week, Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal called on Vaudt to fire Mrs. Bargman.  Gronstal said testimony before the Oversight Committee (not from Mrs. Bargman, by the way) had revealed Mrs. Bargman had installed a tracking system when she worked at CIETC that made it nearly impossible to figure out how the bonuses were being paid to her husband and other top managers. Gronstal also said it wasn’t a good idea to let an employee of the auditor’s office "moonlight" for CIETC as a consultant. 

Vaudt is tied up in meetings now.  He’ll be calling the Radio Iowa newsroom in the three o’clock hour, so look for a full story on after that.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.