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42 theft charges against youth football treasurer

Sandy woman silent in county court last week, but will face judge again June 13


Susan M. Farness
accused of stealing
from a youth 
football leagueSusan M. Farness, 42, of Sandy, who has been accused of stealing thousands from the local youth football program, appeared in Clackamas County Court last week to hear the charges against her. She spoke through Cary Cadonau, a Portland attorney.

Farness has been charged with 42 counts of theft, ranging from first-degree theft (10 counts) to second-degree theft (five counts) and identity theft (27 counts).

Hearings Referee Kenneth B. Stewart, acting as judge for the arraignment, described the accusations against Farness succinctly at the beginning of the arraignment proceedings. He called the document “a small book,” referring to its size.

After being booked and jailed April 4, Farness was released on a security release deposit (bail) of $7,500, which is the standard 10 percent of her $75,000 bail.

She was arrested after officials of the Sandy Youth Football League decided they were missing at least $23,000.

Farness was treasurer of the youth sports league for about 18 months, from January 2011 to July 2012, when the league’s board asked her to resign. Also fired (in July 2012) from his position as president of the board was Chris Jelinek, who was the only other person authorized to sign league checks.

Prior to the July 2012 emergency board meeting, when the two were asked to leave their positions, Sandy Youth Football received a notice from one of its equipment vendors that there was an outstanding bill of more than $7,000 from 2011.

But in 2012, the organization’s bank account was nearly empty, said a spokesperson for the board.

That was the notice the board needed to understand that some mismanagement of funds had occurred.

Police were called, and a nearly yearlong investigation led to a grand jury indictment and Farness’ arrest. Even though he was fired from his position as board chairman, Jelinek was not charged in this case. The board considered him negligent because Farness had allegedly written checks to herself and signed her name and Jelinek’s name.

Farness’ next appearance in a Clackamas County courtroom is during a case manager hearing and is set for Thursday, June 13, at 10:30 a.m.