It all started with a skateboard park. Growing up in Decorah, Rob Sand and some of his friends started skateboarding, but they were often asked by property owners to go somewhere else.
That led Sand and others to contact then Decorah Park-Rec Director Rick Edwards, who worked with the group to get a skateboard park built. "Everyone in this town helped to get it built," Sand told a crowd at the VFW Club on Monday evening, adding, "It really changed my perspective on life."
Said Sand, "The lessons I've learned in Decorah I've used to make decisions all my life." His latest decision is to quit his job as an attorney at the Iowa Attorney General's Office and run as a candidate for State Auditor.
"I wanted to do something positive," he told the campaign rally on Monday evening. He says the State Auditor's Office currently has only CPAs and accountants working there, and needs other perspectives. He'd like to change the way the office is operating, doing a lot of work with local governments to promote efficiencies. He says the office also needs someone to put the public ahead of politics.
After graduating from Decorah High School in 2001, Sand headed east to Brown University in Rhode Island, where he majored in political science. Next he attended the University of Iowa Law School, graduating in 2010.
Sand took a job in the Iowa Attorney General's Office upon graduating from law school. He spent much of his first 18 months investigating and prosecuting tax credit fraud related to Iowa's filmmaking tax credit program. Then he became Iowa's first-ever Assistant Attorney General focused on prosecuting financial crime. Most recently, Sand led the nationwide lottery-fixing investigation that uncovered seven fixed lottery tickets across five states with total face values of nearly $25 million. The leader of the scheme is now in prison for up to 25 years; the others served time or have a permanent felony conviction.