By Laura TippettOregon’s divorce office has been “papeered over” with the “fatal mistake” of printing the papers of ex-wives of officials who are now in the Oregon Legislature, according to a state report.
The office has now been forced to reissue the papers and has a backlog of nearly 500,000 divorce cases, according the state auditor’s office, which has ordered the office to fix the problem.
In addition to the papers, the office has also been “filling in the blanks,” according to the auditor’s report, which was released Friday.
“The office failed to keep proper records of the issuance of divorces, the issuance and execution of divorcing orders and the granting of divorce orders,” the report said.
“In some instances, it was not clear which divorce was issued, and the divorce papers had been incorrectly stamped.”
The auditor’s audit was requested by the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association (OSSA) after the Oregon Supreme Court’s ruling in March that the office lacked a policy that would keep the office’s files sealed for two years after a divorce has been finalized.
The auditor also found the office had a “failing record” of keeping documents that should have been kept secret.
It also found that the OSSA was unable to provide information on whether the office used a polygraph, or whether the polygraphs were administered on a regular basis, which is required by the state’s probate laws.
The report noted that the auditor was not authorized to review the records.
A spokesperson for the office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the auditor report.