Lane County to further scrutinize former administrator's work

This is a developing story. This story will be updated as more information becomes available

EUGENE, Ore. - The Lane County Commission agreed to dig deeper into the conduct of the county's former administrator before hiring her replacement.

The Commissioners didn't name any specific suspicions. Instead, the motivation is to make sure there won't be any surprises for the next county administrator.

The Commissioners voted unanimously in August to dismiss Liane Richardson after discovering she had been cashing out vacation and sick time at a higher rate than allowed under county rules.

Richardson and the county parted ways in September under an agreement holding each other harmless.

Richardson's ex-husband raised new issues in October, accusing the county administrator of having an affair with a Eugene Police officer whom she appointed to something called the deferred compensation board.

Richardson denied her ex-husband's accusations.

"When the allegations regarding the affair came up, it made me personally think - is there anything else out there? Is there any other things that may come to light?" Commissioner Pat Farr said.

County records show the police officer was appointed to what is known as the deferred compensation board but rarely attended meetings.

The existence of the board, which reported to the administrator, was news to the Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Sid Leiken said Tuesday.

Leiken proposed what commissioners agreed to Tuesday: the concept of a "pre-audit" - an immediate review of county business under Richardson, ahead of the anticipated hiring of a county auditor next year.

"The last thing you need is for a new administrator to come in and eventually have to clean up a mess," Commissioner Sid Leiken said. "If there's a mess to clean up, I think it's more appropriate we do it now and have a clean slate for when they come on board."