Rufus city administrator accused of $31K theft

At minimum, according to the indictment, Jaclyn Nicole McCurdy stole an estimated $31,000 from the city

A gavel in a courtroom (MGN Online, file)
A gavel in a courtroom (MGN Online, file)

RUFUS, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The city administrator for a small community in the Columbia River Gorge remains on unpaid administrative leave pending a criminal investigation into allegations that she misappropriated city funds, officials confirmed.

On Tuesday, the Sherman County grand jury issued a 5-page, 15-count indictment against Jaclyn Nicole McCurdy. According to the indictment, first obtained by KOIN 6 News, Jaclyn Nicole McCurdy is charged with 2 counts of aggravated first-degree theft, 8 counts of first-degree theft, 3 counts of felony fraudulent use of a credit card, and 1 count each of second-degree theft and first-degree official misconduct.

According to the indictment, between July 1, 2013 and September 14, 2015, McCurdy “did unlawfully and knowingly” commit theft of money and engaged in unauthorized credit card purchases while serving in an official capacity. At minimum, according to the indictment, McCurdy stole an estimated $31,000 from the city.

Speaking by phone on Wednesday, mayor Dan Pehlke confirmed that McCurdy remains on unpaid administrative leave. He said he could not comment on the allegations themselves because McCurdy remains innocent until proven guilty.

Pehlke confirmed that he first learned about the theft of funds on September 21. The discovery was made during a yearly audit of the city’s finances. Pehlke told KOIN 6 News that McCurdy was placed on unpaid administrative leave on September 23 once he was “sure” that there was sufficient evidence of a crime.

Attempts to reach McCurdy on Wednesday were not immediately successful.

The case was investigated by the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office and the Sherman County District Attorney’s Office.

An arraignment date for McCurdy has not yet been set. It remains unknown if she is represented by council.

Rufus, Ore. is about 2 hour east of Portland along Interstate 84 in Sherman County. According to the city’s website, the town has a residential population of about 250.

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