Wednesday, July 29, 2009

RPI Chairman Strawn Calls for Immediate Resignation of Rep. Kerry Burt

Republican Party of Iowa FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
Contact: Jeff Boeyink July 17, 2009

Des Moines, IA– Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn today said that recent revelations that State Representative Kerry Burt repeatedly used a false address to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars to the Malcolm Price Laboratory School calls into question Representative Burt’s fitness for office and called on him to resign immediately.

“Iowans have every right to hold our elected officials to a high standard and to hold them accountable when they fall short,” said Strawn. “As such, I call upon Representative Burt to immediately resign from the Iowa House of Representatives and repay the $37,139 in tuition fees that, through his actions, he attempted to evade.”

The thorough 51-page investigation by the Office of State Auditor indicates a series of contradictory and incriminating statements by Representative Burt when questioned by DCI investigators.

“The facts of the investigation are clear,” said Strawn. “One, multiple witnesses confirm that Representative Burt, or his children, never resided at the address provided to school officials. Two, witnesses describe a deliberate attempt to have U.S. Mail delivered to Representative Burt at the false address. Three, Representative Burt’s claims of having sought open enrollment applications were refuted by both the official records and a representative of the Waterloo School District.

“While Representative Burt was not the only individual found to have “gamed” the system in this manner, he is the only individual involved who serves in the Iowa Legislature and has been entrusted by the voters to act on their behalf at the State Capitol.

“Representative Burt’s blatant effort to mislead school officials and secure benefits to which he was not entitled clearly indicates a lack of respect for the very laws to which he has been elected to provide oversight. Waterloo residents deserve a State Representative who acts with the integrity and respect for the law that we rightfully expect from our elected leaders,” concluded Strawn.

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Facts from Auditor Vaudt’s July 16, 2009 Special Investigation:

1. Representative Burt repeatedly registered his children at an address that was not his or their actual residence.
2. The address at which his children were registered is within the zone for the Malcolm Price Laboratory School (the School).
3. The address at which the children actually reside is located outside of the zone and, thus, attendance at the School would have required significant tuition payments not required for those in the zone.
4. The difference between the fees Rep. Burt should have paid, given the children’s actual residence, and what he did pay is $37,139.

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