OSP official's mystery money result of poor bookkeeping

PORTLAND — The executive director of the Oregon State Athletic Commission has returned to work after spending 16 months on paid leave during an investigation into why he had $22,000 in cash and checks lying around in his office.

Investigators found no evidence Brad Darcy was embezzling money from the division of the State Police that regulates boxing and mixed martial arts. They also determined that Darcy was not taking bribes from fighters and promoters.

Instead, Darcy was judged to be a shoddy bookkeeper in need of more structure and oversight. State police Capt. Jeff Lanz said the agency "looked at the totality of what occurred" and decided to keep Darcy in the job.

"I want to make it clear there was no theft of monies or anything like that," Lanz said. "If that would have been the case, we would not have brought him back to work."

The athletic commission is supported by taxes from ticket sales and money from licensing fees. Checks from those sources that had never been deposited were discovered when the Oregon State Gaming Commission was moving to a new headquarters in March 2012.

A state Department of Justice report obtained this week through a public records request said a state police detective and Lili Wright, a compliance manager with the gaming division, were moving boxes that belonged to Darcy when they found more than $6,600 in checks.

Two months later, Wright and Lt. Craig Heuberger returned to Darcy's office to see if more money was lying around. They found cash and checks in a file cabinet and in piles of paperwork on the floor.

According to the Justice Department report, Darcy told Special Agent Kimberly Hyde that some checks were buried and forgotten about because he had too many tasks, not enough time and no support staff.

Officials said this week that steps have been taken to make sure checks are handled in a more appropriate manner, including better auditing, additional support staff and an immediate supervisor to whom Darcy will report.

"Mr. Darcy is coming back to the job, but the job is going to be different today than it was back then because of things that we found during the investigation that we need to shore up," Lanz said.

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