Oregon city councilor arrested on embezzling charges

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The small community of Molalla, Oregon, about 30 miles south of Portland, has been shocked by the arrest of one of their city councilors, Michelle Rene Mills, 35.

Mills was arrested Friday and booked into Clackamas County Jail on 32 counts of aggravated theft, according to the Sheriff’s spokesman, Det. Jim Strovink. Mills had been a manager for Abtronics, a Molalla electronics component distributor. She is accused of stealing $350,000.

Molalla was confronted by managers at Abtronics in October 2009 on suspicions of financial irregularities; the company conducted a fraud audit covering the period 2006 through 2009, and turned over the findings to the Molalla Police Department. Because of the police department’s relationship with the city council, the Sheriff’s department was asked to step in and take over the investigation.

City manager John Atkins said of Mills, “She had good attendance at the council meetings, participated in all the council business, contributed to the debates, did her homework, and was serious-minded about her duties as a council member. That’s what makes this so hard to comprehend.”

Mills is being held on $815,000 bail.

The Oregonian

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