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Suspected embezzlement of funds leads to investigation, transfer of fundraising responsibilities

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - The Firwood Site Council of staff and volunteers will take over fundraising duties. Though details remain under wraps, the Clackamas County Sheriff's office is investigating the suspected embezzlement of money from the Firwood Elementary School Parent Teacher Association's bank account.

In a letter to parents, Firwood principal Tara Bourland expressed how "disappointed" she was given the situation.

"While the Firwood PTA is an independent organization, PTA members are a valued part of our Firwood School community," she said in her letter. "(PTA members) are some of our most highly-dedicated volunteers who work together toward a goal of increasing opportunities for all students."

As a result of this "alleged misconduct," the PTA has been dissolved until further notice. In its stead, the Firwood Site Council, an organization of Firwood staff and volunteers, will lend a hand to raise funds for the school's projects. Its overarching goal is to "develop school improvement strategies based on identified needs," according to Bourland's letter.

Members of the general public are welcome to attend site council meetings, which take place monthly. The first meeting of the year is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, in the school library, 42900 S.E. Trouble Road, Sandy. Scheduled meetings are posted to the school's online calendar at oregontrailschools.com/firwood/calendar/.

When asked, the sheriff's officer investigating, Detective David Lundervold, declined to comment because of the ongoing nature of this case.

"It is difficult for us to fully understand this selfish action," Bourland added. "The alleged misconduct of one of their members betrays the trust of all Firwood parents, students and staff."

Any questions about the investigation should be directed to Clackamas County Sheriff's Detective David Lundervold at 503-785-5143 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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