Meet the candidate: Rob Sand, Democrat for state auditor


Dani Gehr/Iowa State Daily

Rob Sand wants to be Iowa’s next state auditor after seeing issues with identifying public corruption, government efficiency and fiscal responsibility. As state auditor, Sand will be the “taxpayers’ watch dog.”

Tyrus Pavicich

To Democrat Rob Sand, the race for state auditor is about the current administration not doing enough in terms of auditing and dealing with corruption across Iowa.

Sand said his lack of the title “certified public accountant” wouldn’t do much to impede his work in office, and his history as a prosecutor dealing with cases from the State Auditor’s office would lead to him being better at finding and dealing with fraud in the state.

Sand’s perception of auditing

“This office is supposed to be a watchdog for taxpayers in Iowa, and yet even though they do law enforcement investigations, the current State Auditor won’t hire anyone with law enforcement experience,” Sand said. “They also have the ability to make efficiency recommendations to local and county governments with each one of the audits that they conduct, and they don’t, and I think that’s another way they could be basically doing more for taxpayers in Iowa.”

Sand expanded on this, pointing to Mosiman’s official press release which said the office had issued over 1000 audits and several efficiency recommendations. He said the office was allowed to issue efficiency recommendations to counties with every audit in order to help them better allocate their funds, and they should do that alongside each audit.

Sand said Mosiman’s record on auditing had several issues, including her seat on the Iowa Communications Network’s oversight board, whose executive director stole and misspent $380 thousand of the network’s money. Sand said, Mosiman missed more meetings than any other member across the last four years.

Sand’s goals to fight corruption

In addition to auditing, however, Sand said the office should do more to go after corruption, and as a result he wanted to hire professionals that aren’t accountants, especially those with a law enforcement background, to help the office build stronger criminal cases that are stronger when they go to court.

“It’s teambuilding,” Sand said. “Any good team has people with different gifts and different qualifications working together. This office is responsible for audits, but it’s also responsible for public corruption investigations. Those investigations are given to prosecutors, and they’re supposed to be ready to hold up in court beyond a reasonable doubt. But if you don’t have people working on them from day one who have a law enforcement perspective, decisions get made that make those investigations weaker later on down the road.“

As for Mosiman’s statements that an office headed by a non-CPA State Auditor would be legally unable to audit governmental bodies, Sand said the claims were simply untrue.

“She should check with county attorneys and her own former state party chair, because three Republican county attorneys that currently hold office plus state party chair Mike Mahaffey all say that she’s wrong, and she is wrong,” he said. “The accounting chair of the Iowa State accounting department also said she’s wrong.”

Under the law, Sand said, audits on the government can be done by either a private CPA firm or the State Auditor’s office, and as a result his ability to audit would not be limited. Sand also referenced his own prosecution record as evidence no public official would be protected from his scrutiny as a state auditor, specifically mentioning his work prosecuting fellow Democrats in the Iowa Film Office tax credit scandal that broke in 2010.