An Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent has been assigned to work full-time with Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s office to look into allegations of voter fraud, the Republican election chief’s top cause, state officials confirmed Friday. Schultz’s office said it will spend up to $280,000 in tax dollars over the next two years for the services of Special Agent Daniel Dawson, who has been reassigned from the major crimes unit to work exclusively on voting and election fraud issues. DCI assistant director Charis Paulson said Dawson is already looking into about 2,000 possible voter fraud violations identified through data matching performed by Schultz’s office. The appointment took county auditors, who run elections and work with local investigators on voting-related crimes, by surprise when they were introduced to Dawson during a training meeting Wednesday in Cedar Rapids. They complained they had little information about what Dawson was investigating and how the 2,000 potential violations were identified.
“I don’t know ever of a DCI investigation into county auditors’ business. I’ve been here since 2008, but I don’t think it’s probably ever happened before,” said Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz, who was told Dawson is looking into 180 voters in her county. … Olsen said Dawson’s appointment calls for Schultz’s office to reimburse the Department of Public Safety up to $140,000 per year for his salary, benefits and related expenses. He would not comment on how many cases were under investigation, saying many would likely turn out to be data mistakes, such as people who had similar names.
Paulson said that Dawson’s position in DCI’s Council Bluffs office, where he investigated major crimes such as shootings and deaths, would be left open. She said she believed his work could be absorbed without impacting public safety, and the arrangement with the secretary of state’s office will be reviewed after two years to determine whether it should continue. Paulson said Dawson’s new assignment would involve “a lot of leg work,” given that Iowa has 99 counties, but he is well-suited to the role, with strong communication and leadership skills. She emphasized that DCI would review all available information before making recommendations on whether to file charges to county attorneys, who will continue to have the power to decide whether to prosecute.
Full Article: APNewsBreak: Iowa agent hired to chase voter fraud – SFGate.