Ex-college dean charged with using funds for wedding, travel

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa community college dean has been arrested after an audit found she spent thousands of dollars in public funds for her wedding, personal travel and other purchases.

Police in Creston arrested Beth Kulow, the former dean of students at Southwestern Community College, on Monday on three counts of second-degree theft and falsifying public records. She allegedly embezzled $15,000 between 2015 and 2018 and submitted an altered email to cover her tracks when questioned.

The misspending included nine travel-related expenses that weren’t related to college business and dozens more for personal items, including expenses related to her 2017 wedding.

The college hired outside auditors to Kulow’s spending after learning that she claimed to have attended a training in Ohio that never occurred. College President Barb Crittenden told board members last month that Kulow admitted two trips and several purchases were personal in nature and she reimbursed the college.

Kulow, 35, has been released from jail pending a court appearance next week.

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