King County sheriff’s deputy cleared of wrongdoing over nonprofit’s funds

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King County sheriff’s deputy Andy Conner (KCPQ-TV, May 22, 2013)

SEATTLE — A King County sheriff’s deputy who had been placed on administrative after allegations of missing funds from a nonprofit program he created has been cleared of any wrongdoing, the Seattle Times reported Monday.

Deputy Andy Conner is the founder of the Genesis Project, a drop-in center that opened in 2011. Since then it has attempted to help more than 70  women,  many of them teenage girls, get off the streets and away from prostitution. Conner’s wife, Laura, said that on May 1, 2013, her husband was forced to turn in his badge with no explanation from the King County Sheriff’s Office.

“In front of the house they collected his gun and his badge and his handcuffs,” Laura Conner told Q13 FOX News in May.

On Monday, the Seattle Times said a letter sent Sept. 25 from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the federal investigation into allegations that as much as $50,000 may have been embezzled from the Genesis 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, the Times said.

“Your investigation failed to substantiate the allegations of financial maslfeasance by Conner,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Lincoln wrote, according to the Times. “Investigators were able to verify and justify all but a few minor cash withdrawals. 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.”

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