Police reveal investigation into DPDA director's embezzlement scheme

    PASCO, Wash. --The executive director of Downtown Pasco's Development Authority is on suicide watch Wednesday night after appearing in court on charges of embezzlement.

    One man, two lives, $90,000 dollars missing, and now the director is behind bars.

    An investigation into the life of Michael Goins, the director of Downtown Pasco Development Authority, reveals that this man has lived the reality of his favorite movie "Catch Me If You Can." That's exactly what a Pasco Police detective wrote in his investigation report about the accused embezzler.

    That dual lifestyle ends today, as Goins sits in jail on suicide watch for 72- hours with his bail set at $100,000.

    Court documents point to Goins' history before he came to Tri-Cities in 2013. Documents detail when he fled from a prior life in New Jersey filled with lies, secret marriages and embezzlement, only to come and start stealing funds from DPDA.

    "We looked into it and we were just blown away," said DPDA President Michael Miller.

    Miller says he was blown away by the fact that the man who revamped a number of downtown Pasco businesses and even rallied to increase the company's city budget, is accused of secretly stealing the company's cash, just 6 months after he started working for the DPDA.

    "There were some financial issues that we were looking into and as we started looking more into it it started getting deeper and deeper," said Miller.

    The deeper he got into it, the more Goins' panic set in, documents say. When Goins was put on the spot for his actions, he skipped out, similar to when he fled from the New Jersey business that he admits to embezzling from, says the affidavit.

    However, this time one thing changed: instead of attempting to leave the state, the affidavit says Goins attempted to kill himself. Documents say Goins skipped the meeting with Miller to go home and drown his worries with alcohol and prescription medication; allegedly hoping to end it all by taking his life.

    "Obviously he's been part of the family so the shock of this happening is not fun to deal with," said Miller, adding "We're all worried about worried about him and his well-being and at the same time we recognize we have a duty to this organization, to make sure we care of the dollars that was given to us by the city as well as other dealers and other matters."

    For now, the judge ruled that Goins will remain on a 72-hour hold while the city and authorities work to untangle what his wife calls "the web of lies Goins' spun for himself".

    Franklin County has until Friday at 4 pm to officially charge Goins with first degree theft. His next appearance in court will be Tuesday, December 8th.

    The president of DPDA says restitution will be paid to those who's dollars were allegedly embezzled by Goins.

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