County officials vacationed at vendor’s Florida beach condo

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa county treasurers recently vacationed with a businessman they have supported for lucrative contracts, staying at his Florida beach property for free in an apparent violation of state ethics law.

Dubuque County Treasurer Eric Stierman and Winneshiek County Treasurer Wayne Walter flew to Florida last November. There they met Marc Carr, founder and CEO of GovTech Services, which hosts the website used by most Iowa counties to collect property and motor vehicle taxes.

The trio stayed at a Florida home with Stierman’s brother-in-law and later at Carr’s condo in the resort town of St. Pete Beach. Stierman and Walter denied that they had done anything wrong, describing Carr as a friend with whom they had previously vacationed.

Iowa law bars public employees from accepting anything worth more than $3 from vendors.

Carr’s company has collected more than $3 million since 2011 under its contract with Iowa county treasurers.

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