Angela Renee Adams, 48, of Albany was arrested Tuesday and faces several charges relating to the alleged embezzlement of about $235,000 from the Linn County Planning and Building Department.
Adams was lodged in the Linn County Jail on 10 counts of first-degree aggravated theft and two counts of first-degree theft.
Sheriff Jim Yon said that in March, a Linn County employee told former Linn County Administrator Ralph Wyatt that they suspected that Adams, who was the Planning and Building Department office manager, was stealing money.
Wyatt requested a financial audit of the department. The audit took place in November, and officials said it revealed financial discrepancies.
Wyatt then requested that the Sheriff’s Office conduct a criminal investigation.
Yon said detectives interviewed numerous Linn County employees and served a search warrant and numerous subpoenas related to the investigation. Detectives were able to determine that approximately $235,000 in cash payments made to the Linn County Planning and Building Department had not been deposited with the Linn County Treasurer’s Office over the last eight years, he added.
Yon said detectives saw receipts for cash payments that had been deleted from the permitting software. Detectives were able to recover the receipts with the assistance of the Linn County Information Technology Department, which had the files backed up in the archive system.
Adams was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 12, 2020. She had been employed by the county since 1994.
Linn County Administrator Darrin Lane said the day after Adams was placed on administrative leave, he and Linn County Treasurer Michelle Hawkins "took steps to make sure county policies regarding the handling of cash and checks were in place and being implemented in the Planning and Building Department.”
Lane said it appears that, as office manager, Adams “managed to create an environment that allowed her to have access and capability” to allegedly siphon off funds.
“We have policies in place countywide about handling cash and checks and they are very clear, and we also have a regular audit that is supposed to identify weaknesses in internal controls,” Lane said. “We are working with the Planning and Building Department director to make sure that does not happen again.”
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Matt Wilcox at 541-967-3950.
Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.