Columbia County narcotics investigators say the coordinator of the county drug court program sold drug investigation information to drug dealers and users.

ST. HELENS — Columbia County narcotics investigators say the coordinator of the county drug court program sold drug investigation information to drug dealers and users.

Emily Davis Cayton, 30, of Scappoose, was arrested this month and charged with possession of methamphetamine and again on charges of stealing a county laptop computer.

The case could go to a grand jury next week, Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison said.

Cayton, on paid administrative leave, appeared in court on the theft charge Friday and was released, the Longview, Wash., Daily News said.

Investigators said Cayton learned about a search warrant served Sept. 4 on her own home, car and office, initially unaware that she was the target.

The warrant yielded methamphetamine, "drug records" and "official documents of a suspicious nature," investigators said. Clayton was arrested and posted bail. They said they began building their case and watching Cayton.

St. Helens Police Lt. Terry Moss declined to say how Cayton learned of the warrant but said the incident shows security lapses.

As the county drug court coordinator, Cayton dealt with people charged with drug crimes and had access about informants and "the details that lead up to a criminal investigation, the little bits and pieces that build a case," Moss said.

The Columbia Enforcement Narcotics Team said it learned through its own informants that Cayton had been selling information to dealers and users.

Moss said he didn't know how much she may have been paid or how much information was released.

"I'd like to think we got in front of this before much of that damage was able to take place," he said. "There might already be damage that we're not aware of yet."

"This is one of those cases that you hope is in someone else's backyard, not in your community," Moss said. "It's disappointing. You would hope that people who are put in these positions of trust and authority would have the same values we share."

The said gave the stolen laptop to an acquaintance in the drug trade but that it contained no drug case information.

Clayton began working with the county in 2004 and was working on a master's degree from Portland State University. She had been administrator of the drug court program since February.