Jefferson Transit accounts payable officer accused of theft in Oregon

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — An executive employee at Jefferson Transit was arrested this month on an outstanding theft warrant stemming from an accusation that she took $7,500 from a former employer in Oregon.

Natalie A. Patten, 39, has worked as Transit’s grants, procurements and accounts-payable officer since November 2009.

She was arrested by Port Townsend police officers June 10 at her home on Bell Street, according to court documents.

The warrant, issued in Benton County, Ore., accused Patten of five counts of first-degree theft, one count of second-degree theft and one count of falsifying business records.

The total amount, $7,200, allegedly was stolen by Patten from her employer, CoEnergy Propane, over a one-year period, according to a probable-cause statement dated Jan. 9, 2009.

According to the statement, Patten unexpectedly quit that job Aug. 18, 2008, and the missing funds were not discovered for several months.

Patten has been placed on administrative leave from her position, which pays $50,787 per year.

Jefferson Transit Finance and Human Resources Manager Sara Crouch declined to comment on the situation and would not say whether Patten would return to her position if the accusations are resolved.

At her arrest, Patten was charged only with being a fugitive from justice in another state.

Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Keith Harper on June 11 released Patten on her own recognizance and told her to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. this Friday.

Jefferson County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Walter Perry expects Patten to waive extradition and be transported to Corvallis, Ore., to face the charges.

Patten is represented by attorney Richard Davies, who declined to comment.

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Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 22. 2013 6:07PM
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