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Former Downtown Pasco Development Authority director sentenced to one year in prison for embezzlement

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PASCO, WA- A quick guilty plea has turned into a quick sentencing for the former director of the Downtown Pasco Development Authority. Michael Goins plead guilty to embezzling about $100,000.00 from the community organization that runs events like Fiery Food Festival and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration.

Goins appeared reserved during his hearing on Tuesday as the judge read his one year prison sentence. He also spoke to the court and the audience for the first time, "I did not live up to the expectations that my position required. While this was not my intention from the start, sadly it is the outcome. I would like to further apologize to my family for the public humiliation that this has caused. I am sorry that I let them down. I will use this experience today to influence decisions tomorrow. Then just last but certainly not least, I am sorry to my wife and children for failing as a husband and a father. I promise to spend everyday making the time up that is lost, " Goins explained.

Michael Goins admitted to using the cash for bills and backed child support among other smaller purchases. The state auditor's office is still investigating the exact amount of money Goins snuck off with. If it turns out to be more than they originally predicted, he will be facing more charges. They expect to wrap up the state investigation in June.

According to court documents on the case, Goins lived a double life, married to his wife in Richland while also having a family back east, "I kind of created this whole other persona and it makes me happy. I did that for quite some time," he admitted to Pasco detectives back in December of 2015.

"I left New Jersey, I mean I put my kids to bed one day, kissed them goodnight, then the next day I was gone. Then nobody knew where I was for a while, for like a week because I was here," Goins told investigators as they questioned him about a missing persons report filed by his parents.

Goins told the detectives he fell on hard financial times in New Jersey as well, he claims he wanted to pay back what he took. "The intent was always to say okay, well on this paycheck I will put this back here and pay this to this. I just didn't. It was quick sand and it just got bigger and bigger and bigger."

At the time of this interview, Goins estimated he took about $80,000-$90,000.00 from the Downtown Pasco Development Authority, "(I was) paying the child support deduction that I had to do. That's where a big chunk of the missing (money went), I had to be compliant with that or I would have a bench warrant for that."

Goins told detectives while he was at Lourdes seeking mental health treatment he came to his senses, "I am not going to sit there and say it didn't happen. Do I think there is a whole bunch of circumstances there that led to it? Absolutely. Do I think I need treatment like I need? Sure. I don't think anyone does some of the things that I have done, then, tries to off themselves with a bottle of wine. I have a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old and a wife and responsibilities."

Michael Goins is expected in court for a restitution hearing on July 12th.



PASCO, WA - Former Downtown Pasco Development Authority director Michael Goins has been sentenced to one year in prison for embezzling an estimate of $100,000 for his personal use.

Goins spoke in court for the first time today, apologizing to the Pasco community, his wife and kids.

The state auditors office is still investigating the exact amount of money Goins took from the organization, if it totals more than the original estimate he will be facing more charges.