Pasco — Franklin County officials were told in an anonymous letter three years ago that one of their county managers had been convicted of embezzlement and demanded that the issue not be swept under the carpet.
The 2009 anonymous letter writer accused the employee of falsifying an invoice for a tire purchase and allegedly pocketing $21,000 to $40,000 for tires the county never received.
The one-page letter was obtained through the states Open Records Act but has names of people and businesses blacked out by the county prosecutor because it contained unfounded allegations.
I also would encourage whomever investigates this issue to look further than this one incident, according to the typed letter. Im sure you will find discrepancies and/or other schemes that (name redacted) is involved in to steal money from Franklin County to support his gambling.
Dennis M. Huston, the countys fired Public Works accounting and administrative director, is suspected of embezzling nearly $2 million from the county from checks sent to a defunct Spokane company.
Huston, 65, is not charged with a crime. He initially was arrested but then released while county and state officials investigate theft allegations.
The FBI investigated the allegations and didnt find anything, according to documents obtained by the Herald. Huston also may have been the subject of a grand jury investigation about that same time.
Huston was named as the employee under investigation by the FBI and in grand jury subpoenas previously obtained by the Herald.
Huston was convicted in 1986 of stealing $142,000 in taxpayer money by using a fake company while he was a finance officer with the federal Bureau of Reclamation in Montana.
Huston was hired by Franklin County in May 1989, less than eight months after he finished serving 21 months in federal custody for embezzlement.
-- Read the full story in Wednesdays Tri-City Herald.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org