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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

October 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

King County deputy cleared of wrongdoing in probe of drop-in shelter

A five-month investigation into the finances of a non-profit organization run by a King County sheriff’s deputy and aimed at girls and women involved in the sex trade turned up sloppy accounting and poor management, but no crime, according to a letter from federal prosecutors released by the Sheriff’s Office Monday.

Deputy Andy Conner had been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which originated when allegations of financial malfeasances in operation of The Genesis Project led to an internal investigation. The probe was turned over to the FBI and a detective on the U.S. Secret Services’s Electronic Crimes Task Force.

A letter sent Sept. 25 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the investigation into allegations that as much as $50,000 may have been embezzled from the project turned up no evidence of a crime. The project’s employees were interviewed, its books were reviewed by an FBI forensic accountant, and prosecutors reviewed the records.

“Your investigation failed to substantiate the allegations of financial maslfeasance by Conner. Investigators were able to verify and justify all but a few minor cash withdrawals,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Lincoln. “Your investigation did show that Conner oversaw an organization that suffered from very poor workplace management, lack of experience in non-profit operations, and inadequate financial controls.”

A telephone message left with Conner was not immediately returned.

Conner is the idea man behind The Genesis Project, a nonprofit drop-in shelter that opened in SeaTac in summer 2011 to provide a safe haven for women involved in the sex trade. Conner and sheriff’s Detectives Brian Taylor and Joel Banks pooled their money and raised funds to launch the center to offer girls and women a way out of prostitution.

The Seattle Times profiled The Genesis Project and the three men last year.

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: King County Sheriff's Office, The Genesis Project, U.S. Attorney's Office

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