Trial set for Skamania County’s former auditor

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photoJ. Michael Garvison

Former Skamania County Auditor J. Michael Garvison is scheduled for a criminal trial July 16.

His trial will be in Clark County Superior Court, where it was moved after a Skamania County judge agreed with Garvison’s defense attorney that Garvison would not receive a fair trial in Skamania County because of pre-trial publicity.

Garvison, 40, is charged with two felony counts of injury to public record for allegedly shredding documents that authorities have said showed unauthorized spending during his tenure. The records in question were vouchers that showed Garvison’s expenditures in 2003 and 2004. A state audit had found Garvison used thousands of dollars in public money for unauthorized travel, education and office equipment expenses during four years as the county’s elected auditor.

The unauthorized expenses included 13 out-of-state trips, including two conferences in Florida and one in Las Vegas.

For 2008 and 2009, he allegedly billed the county about $83,000 for trips.

Garvison resigned in November 2009 shortly after news of his expenditures became public. He now lives in Ohio.