Iowa Treasurers Review Vendor-Funded Scholarship Program

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — County treasurers in Iowa are reviewing whether to continue a college scholarship program funded by two key vendors that benefits their own children and grandchildren.

News of the review comes one day after The Associated Press reported that two treasurers recently vacationed to Florida with the CEO of GovTech Services.

GovTech and another vendor, SRI, Inc., for years have sponsored four $500 scholarships that are open only to the children and grandchildren of treasurers and their office employees.

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board issued an advisory opinion in 2015 finding that the program violated a law that bars public employees from accepting gifts. After that finding, county officials decided to continue the program with minor changes.

Just last week, Union County Treasurer Kelly Busch sent treasurers an announcement from an SRI vice president saying that applications are due April 26 and scholarships will be awarded in May.

But Busch said Thursday it “has not been determined” whether scholarships will be granted this year amid the review.