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Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA)
IOWA CITY - The University of Iowa fired an athletics department accountant after auditors projected $66,000 is missing from ticket sales for a popular train that takes fans to the football stadium, a school spokesman said Wednesday.
The university fired 31-year employee Kathleen Willier from her $54,000-a-year job on Nov. 6 for failing to follow the school's cash handling procedures and unsatisfactory job performance, spokesman Tom Moore said.
The firing came after internal auditors found that the university failed to make deposits to university bank accounts after two 2011 football games for ticket sales to the Hawkeye Express, which transports fans from nearby Coralville to Kinnick Stadium. A roundtrip ticket costs adults $12 and more than 4,200 fans ride the train every game, a tradition since 2004.
An audit report dated Dec. 19 said revenue from ticket sales for the 2011 season unexpectedly dropped by an estimated $66,000 even though ridership slightly increased. The audit said deposits were made after only five of seven games, but were "not always made timely and were not identifiable by game."
Willier's husband, Charlie Willier, said his wife disputes any cash was missing and said she has been made a scapegoat for a deeply flawed ticket operation.