VALE — A Fruitland woman facing multiple misdemeanors related to her job at Malheur County Planning Development will see her sentencing sooner after taking a plea deal on Wednesday morning.
In front of Judge Lung Hung, Jamie Lynn Willet, of Fruitland, entered a guilty plea for the misdemeanors of second degree theft and first degree official misconduct. Willet had three counts of second degree theft and three counts of first degree official misconduct dismissed as part of the deal.
Willet’s sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for Oct. 14. There will also be a restitution hearing at that time.
Willet was the assistant planning director at the Malheur County Planning Department for four years and also the longtime president of the Apple Blossom Court committee. Willet was let go from the Apple Blossom Court committee this spring.
According to the charging document filed by Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe, the thefts allegedly occurred on or between May 30, 2017 and August 28, 2018, with each count identifying the total amount as $100 or more of Malheur County property. Two of the official misconduct charges state that Willet failed to deposit all funds received into a county account for her own use; the other two state that she retained county funds for her own use.
Filed with the charging document is an affidavit containing a copy of a report received from Oregon State Police.
According to the OSP report, the agency was contacted by Malheur County Attorney Stephanie Williams on Nov. 26 regarding investigation of a public official, findings of which were turned over to the District Attorney’s Office. It was determined it would be a conflict of interest for the Sheriff’s Office to conduct an investigation.
The OSP investigatory evidence included audio files, a copy of a handwritten apology by Willet, unedited transcripts of interviews with Willet, Malheur County financial documents and a report about the investigation.
According to the investigation, a multitude of allegations against Willet include a cash discrepancy of “approximately $2,450,” that later “ended up being approximately $2,500-2600 in cash.”
Furthermore, it states that Willet was responsible for cash deposits that were never made, and a copy of a receipt trail filled out by Willet where money was never deposited was provided as evidence.
During a voluntary interview with a detective on Dec. 17, 2018 Willet admitted spending at least $250.