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Sheriff's dispatcher facing theft charges over paid leave

A Linn County Sheriff’s dispatcher who, in 2020 was named the department’s Dispatcher of the Year, is facing charges of stealing thousands of dollars from the agency over three years.

Tara Ann Trudell, 34, of Albany, is accused of seven counts of first-degree theft. The case was filed in mid-March after an investigation by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, at the request of newly appointed Sheriff Michelle Duncan, she said.

““Earlier this year, shortly after becoming Sheriff, it was brought to my attention that an employee may have taken a large amount of paid leave time over...