City official resigns as police get search warrants on her home
On Wednesday at about 10:15 a.m., Milwaukie police arrested Assistant City Recorder Juli Kay Howard on charges of stealing public funds and lodged her at the Clackamas County Jail, where her bail has been set at $150,000.
An arraignment is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14.
On Friday, Feb. 8, a grand jury empaneled by the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office indicted the 40-year-old Milwaukie resident on six counts of theft, official misconduct and computer crimes, which allegedly occurred while she was employed in her position at Milwaukie City Hall.
In August, Milwaukie's Finance Department and Municipal Court personnel recognized a pattern in money transactions that were deemed suspicious, officials say. During the course of an internal financial audit, anomalies in cash transactions were discovered, and City Hall administration forwarded these concerns to the Milwaukie Police Department for investigation.
Ulli Neitch, spokesperson for the Milwaukie Police Department, said that the city immediately coordinated with the District Attorney's Office and is continuing to work in close coordination with that office.
"The city of Milwaukie and the Milwaukie Police Department take very seriously any allegation of misconduct or criminal behavior," said Police Chief Bob Jordan in a prepared statement.
Detectives began a formal criminal investigation that resulted in the issuance of several search warrants executed at Milwaukie City Hall, and at Howard's home, located at 9705 S.E. 37th Ave.
The purpose of the search warrants, Neitch said, was to safeguard and preserve any evidence pertaining to irregular court receipts and documents, and to develop probable cause for Howard's alleged crimes. A parallel internal personnel action resulted in Howard resigning from her employment with the city.
Neitch said there was no credible evidence at this time that any other employees were involved, or that Howard had outside accomplices.