Former Skamania County auditor to plead guilty

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Skamania County's former auditor, accused of racking up questionable county expenses and shredding public documents, is expected to plead guilty on Oct. 24.

J. Michael Garvison, 41, was scheduled to start a two-week trial in Clark County Superior Court on Oct. 22. Instead, his attorney, Jon McMullen, told a judge Wednesday to cancel the trial because Garvison planned to accept a plea bargain later this month.

Garvison is charged with two felony counts of injury to public records 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.