The director of an Oelwein child care center is being investigated for allegedly embezzling $10,000 from the facility.


Little Husky Learning Center Childcare Board Chairperson Josh Ehn, who is also the Oelwein School Superintendent, had discovered an irregularity during a review in October of financial documents for the center.

An investigation was launched, in which financial statements and financial receipts for public and private entities were scrutinized.

After several weeks, the Fayette County Attorney's Office found that Jessica Bratten, the Director of LHLC Childcare, had allegedly embezzled about $10,000 of the center's funds, for her own personal use. The actions occurred over the course of a year.

Bratten, who had been employed at the center from August of 2018 to October 2019, was then fired. The center's board then appointed Shelly Vawter as the new director.
The investigation revealed that there was a failure to fully pay proper payroll taxes.

Those financial obligations are now being handled by the Center, working with accountants, the IRS, and Iowa Department of Management.

Charges against Bratten are expected to be filed shortly. The criminal investigation has been turned over to the Oelwein Police Department.