Park Service report outlines problems, solutions after Effigy Mo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Park Service report outlines problems, solutions after Effigy Mounds scandals

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After two high profile scandals rocked Effigy Mounds National Monument in Clayton County, the National Park Service has released a 50 page report outlining what went wrong, and how they can prevent future incidents.

The first scandal mentioned deals with a superintendent who oversaw more than $3.3 million in illegal construction projects over an 11 year span.

The second surrounds a superintendent who stole the museum's collection of human remains in 1990, and hid them in his garage for more than 20 years.

In the report, a team of specialists comprised of NPS staff not from the Midwest Region, say they were "astonished that the incidents at Effigy Mounds National Monument could have happened over the course of so many years."

A concern of the staff was that the incidents at Effigy Mounds "are not likely unique to the monument."  They go on to write, "self-evaluation revealed breaks in the systems of checks and balances and the line of authority, which allowed those who were culpable to prevail for so long."

The report shows a number of issues at the Effigy Mounds site, including a lack of appropriate staff, poor transparency and an utter lack of adherence to regulations.

They also note there was no appropriate avenues for whistle blowing--something that could've prevented former superintendent Thomas Munson from stealing and hiding remains for more than 20 years.

The NPS study puts forth three recommendations they say will "strengthen cultural resources stewardship in the National Park Service."  Those recommendations are:  "The first is to educate and empower all employees as stewards through courses offered through the Cultural Resources Career Academy; the second is to increase the understanding and awareness of the civil, criminal, and administrative penalties and implications in cultural resources laws, regulations, and policies; and the third is to resolve the confusion of what work cultural resources professionals should be doing and where it should take place along with associated responsibilities, accountabilities, and authorities."

To take a look at the full report, visit

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