A reader of this blog recently urged me not to drop the ball on the embezzlement investigation of former Franklin County Public Works Accounting Director Dennis Huston, accused of embezzling some three million dollars of taxpayers’ money over a ten-year period.
I didn’t forget about you, NWTraveler. Today I spoke one-on-one with Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. I asked him what’s going on.
Rob McKenna, who’s running for governor, told me it’s taking as long as it is because investigators are following a paper trail dating back to the late 1980s.
“There’s many, many, many years of alleged violations and embezzlement,” McKenna told me. “With this many years of records to go through and years of witnesses to interview, it’s a big investigation.”
As far as when we might expect something, McKenna wouldn’t go on record, but in the Tri-Cities today (receiving the endorsement of the Washington Fraternal Order of Police), I spotted the AG speaking with newly elected Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton, who blew the whistle when he noticed the discrepancies in the books. It’s a safe assumption the status of the investigation came up.
“We’re working on the case hard,” McKenna told me, “and we’ll bring it out as soon as we have the evidence that we need and we know the full range of charges that we want to bring.”
Huston remains free, his bank accounts frozen.
I’ll be in touch with the attorney general.