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Linn County investigates possible theft of funds; employee placed on leave

A Linn County employee has been placed on paid administrative leave while the county investigates the possible theft of thousands of dollars over several years.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 1:08 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2020 3:01 PM

ALBANY, Ore. – A Linn County employee has been placed on paid administrative leave while the county investigates the possible theft of thousands of dollars over several years.

Linn County Administrator Darrin Lane said county officials were alerted to the possible mishandling of funds in May, when an employee in the Planning and Building Department expressed concern about something they had heard.

Lane said key county officials then met to discuss the allegations. They asked the auditor to take a closer look at cash management in the Planning and Building Department, and the auditor concluded there was reason for concern.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office then began investigating the allegations and eventually began interviewing staff members.

“We placed an employee on administrative leave while they continue the investigation,” said Lane, who began working as county administrator on Aug. 1.

The amount of money in question is not known, but Lane said it is a significant amount and will require extensive financial forensics to determine the exact amount.

Linn County has insurance that covers employee theft and the county has instituted new controls to make sure nothing similar can happen again, he said.

The investigation by the sheriff’s office began in mid-October and is continuing. The county will take the appropriate and necessary actions based on the results of the investigation, he said.

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