IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa athletics department’s information technology director spent school money on personal items for his home and then submitted false invoices to cover his tracks, according to a state audit released Thursday.
The employee, Patrick Delin, also spent thousands of dollars traveling to a conference in Colorado that wasn’t related to his work and registering for a Miami conference he didn’t attend, the audit showed. Delin gave his wife, who works in the department’s academic center, a free university cellphone for 2 ½ years even though she didn’t need one for her job, the report said.
Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said Thursday that she would review the report to determine whether charges should be filed. Delin, 40, admitted to auditors he made personal purchases, claiming he repeatedly mixed up which credit card he was using on his Amazon account. He paid back some but not all of the questioned spending.
A call to a number listed as Delin’s rang unanswered and he didn’t reply to a Facebook message seeking comment.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Delin resigned in February amid ongoing investigations into his spending and management by the Board of Regents’ internal auditors and State Auditor Mary Mosiman’s office. The board audit in February found a number of weaknesses in Iowa’s handling of IT equipment, warning that televisions, tablets and other electronics weren’t being tracked and were susceptible to theft.
According to the audit report released Thursday by Mosiman’s office, additional purchases might have been for Delin’s personal use but that it was unknown “because sufficient inventory documentation was not maintained” by the school.
The audit found that on 11 occasions between 2004 and 2016, Delin used his school card to buy items for his home such as a $249 thermostat and $275 on wireless dimmer switch light controls. On at least five invoices, he “intentionally submitted” documentation that falsely listed the items as computer equipment, the audit states. At other points, he bought a high-end iPad case, a flight bag and remote controls for personal use. The improper purchases went undetected until the university reorganized how it approved purchases and expenses last year, and a staffer’s concerns prompted the school to request the audits.
Athletic Director Gary Barta said he believes “the process worked” and that the department has started implementing auditors’ recommendations to strengthen oversight.
Auditors faulted Delin for wasting $2,493 traveling to the “Great Ideas” conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last year sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives. Delin only attended part of one day of the three-day conference and left after realizing it wasn’t helpful, the report contends. Delin incorrectly believed the conference was about “technology trends and leadership,” something he should have been able to determine before registering. Delin also spent $249 registering for a 2014 conference in Miami that he didn’t attend without explanation.
Delin also loaned his wife a department cellphone for 32 months – $1,888 in charges – even though “there would be no reason for her to be provided” one, the report states. He’d been the department’s IT director since August 2012.