Pasco — A former Franklin County manager was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for alleged fraud about three years before he came under suspicion for embezzling more than $1 million from the county.
The FBI did not find evidence to support an anonymous complaint that Dennis Huston, the countys former Public Works accounting and administrative director, was allegedly committing fraud, according documents obtained by the Herald.
Franklin County Commissioner Rick Miller found the anonymous letter on the doorstep of his home three years ago. Miller said he wasnt sure of the validity of the accusations, but he took the letter to the county prosecutor.
The anonymous allegation was specific and proved to be unfounded, said county Prosecutor Shawn Sant. It involved a different business than the one that Huston currently is suspected of using to allegedly embezzle money from the county.
Sant, who was not in office at the time, said its possible that because the allegation was specific, the FBI wouldnt have found anything. The allegations were unrelated to the current case, he said.
The letter also questioned how Huston managed to get hired in Franklin County.
Huston was hired in May 1989, less than eight months after he finished serving 21 months in federal custody. He pleaded guilty to stealing $142,000 in taxpayer money by using a fake company while he was a finance officer with the federal Bureau of Reclamation in Billings, Mont.
He admitted at the time to having a drug problem and entered a drug-treatment program.
Huston, who was fired in Franklin County on Feb. 8, is currently under investigation for creating a bank account for a company that went out of business in 2001.
The investigations by the county, the state Auditors Office and the state Attorney Generals Office are continuing.
Huston was released from jail earlier this month after the state Attorney Generals Office said it needed more time to investigate before filing charges.
For the full story see Wednesday's Tri-City Herald and tricityherald.com.
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