County worker accused of stealing $585K over 17 years

Linda Hald pleaded not guilty to all charges

Linda Hald, November 2016 (Columbia County)
Linda Hald, November 2016 (Columbia County)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A longtime Columbia County employee faces 29 charges related to taking nearly $600,000 over 17 years from the Community Justice Department.

Linda Hald worked for the county for 30 years before retiring in June 2015. Shortly after she retired, managers discovered cash was missing from an account of those on parole or probation.

A forensic audit found the county lost $585,574 over 17 years. Though the county has recovered most of the money through insurance, officials said they plan to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law and to seek restitution.

A grand jury indicted Hald on October 20. She pleaded not guilty to all the charges:

— 9 counts of 1st-degree aggravated theft
— 5 counts of 1st-degree theft
— 1 count of 2nd-degree attempted theft
— 11 counts of tampering with public records
— 3 counts of 1st-degree official misconduct