Critics: Nonprofits could conceal government corruption

The formation of hundreds of nonprofit groups that run or support police, ambulance or fire services across Iowa has invoked deep questions about lack of oversight that some say could leave the state vulnerable to corruption.

The concern hinges on accountability: Their nonprofit status could shelter such groups from state audits, allow for secret meetings and prohibit the public's ability to inspect detailed spending information, according to a review by The Des Moines Register of such groups' status.

"This may be legal, but it certainly doesn't pass the sniff test," said Bill Monroe, Gov. Terry Branstad's government transparency adviser and a member of the Iowa Public Information Board. Continue>>>