Jefferson County treasurer indicted on 36 counts

Deena Goss investigated twice before for financial irregularities

By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin

Jefferson County Treasurer Deena Goss was indicted on 36 counts of forgery, theft and official misconduct Thursday, following an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice.

Goss has served as treasurer since 2003, when she was appointed to the post to fill a vacancy. She was subsequently elected in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

County officials contacted the Justice Department earlier this year, when a county resident reported that a $26 check written for a dog license appeared to have been altered and was cashed for $46.

The “2” written on the check by the resident appeared to have been altered to a “4,” a county investigation found, while separately, $20 in cash recorded as received by the county on the same day was missing from the county’s deposit at U.S. Bank.

Additional investigation by the county found 14 instances between last September and February in which cash was missing from a day’s deposits, while corresponding alterations to or irregularities with the same day’s checks put the county’s total daily receipts in balance. A total of $315 in cash was unaccounted for.

Thursday, Goss was indicted on eight counts of second-degree forgery, 14 counts of third-degree theft and 14 counts of official misconduct. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Friday.

Goss was investigated by the Department of Justice in 2011 following the disappearance of nearly $8,000 from an account for inmates at the Jefferson County jail, and by the county commission in connection with the investment of $20 million in county funds in corporate debt notes in violation of county policy and state law. Both investigations concluded there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against her.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387, shammers@bendbulletin.com