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Ethics Probe Latest Woe for Longtime Johnson County Auditor

An ethics probe is the latest in a rocky several years for the longtime Johnson County auditor.

An ethics probe into claims of using public resources and time to support his re-election bid is the latest blemish for Johnson County Auditor Tom Slockett.

Former deputy auditor Nathan Reckman, who resigned Monday, filed a complaint accusing Slockett, a Democrat, of coordinating campaign activities by work phone and email and during work time, pressuring his office staff to support his re-election bid and changing policies to make it easier for a supporter to get voter information about his opponent for auditor, Democrat Travis Weipert.

An official with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board told the Gazette the investigation should be complete within a couple of weeks, and it is being expedited because of the primary election in June.

The Gazette reports sanctions, if guilty, could include a reprimand and/or a $2,000 fine.

“I was made aware that it made some of my employees uncomfortable, which I wasn’t aware of previously,” Slockett told the Des Moines Register. “If I thought it would make even one uncomfortable, I would never have done it. I regret they felt that way and, because of that, I will never do that again.”

For Slockett, who has been auditor for more than 30 years, the investigation is the latest bump in a series of them in recent years.

Earlier this year, Slockett promised to address poor work morale, and had prominent local Democrats call for him to step aside. He was convicted of drunken driving in 2007 and was accused by people that had worked for him of creating a hostile work environment.

Both the Press-Citizen, back in 2007, and the Gazette editorial boards have called for Slockett to step down.

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