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Former Algona police chief charged in theft of youth program money

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SEATTLE (AP) — King County prosecutors have accused the former interim police chief of Algona of stealing more than $7,000 from a youth program.

The 43-year-old Lee Gaskill, of Bonney Lake, was charged on Tuesday with first-degree theft and abuse of office. He was arrested in March and released from custody without being charged.

Charging documents says Gaskill used money from the South Valley Explorers Program for groceries, a microwave and other items not intended for the youth program.

Prosecutors allege he opened a secret bank account in which he deposited donations. They also accuse him of interfering with the investigation, including shredding documents.

Gaskill's attorneys, Jim David and Alan Harvey, say the investigation was seriously flawed and tainted. They also said in a statement that Gaskill "will move forward with the hope of fairness in the system."

Gaskill served as interim police chief of the city of 3,000 near Auburn before being removed in February.