Updated: 4:41 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 | Posted: 2:08 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2013

Kent City Council candidate charged with stealing $297,500 from elderly mother

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By Amy Clancy

KIRO 7 first broke the news in June that Kent City Council candidate Kenneth Sharp was being investigated by the Federal Way Police Department for possibly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his 93-year-old mother.

Now the King County Prosecutor’s Office has filed seven felony counts of theft against the owner of Minuteman Press in Kent. 

Click here for the charging documents filed against Ken Sharp >>> http://kiro.tv/16Rbxnc

According to his defense attorney Mark Prothero, the 66-year-old Sharp has no plans to drop out of the City Council race, despite the just-filed charges.  In fact, Sharp gathered more votes than his opponents in the primary election, which was held earlier this month.

With the new developments, however, some people on the streets of Kent told KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy the fact he’s facing seven counts of felony theft may change the outcome of the general election in November.

Jovan Jones, a voter in Kent, told Clancy everybody in the south King County city should know about the criminal charges because “if somebody like him is going to be around, just imagine what he might do with our money.  And I’m a good tax-paying person.”

Alicia Hayak of nearby Covington echoed those thoughts: “If he’s going to do that to his own mother, who knows what’s going to happen to the city of Kent?

Joseph Snyder of Auburn simply said “throw him in jail.”

Sharp has not been convicted.  The trial won’t happen for months, long after the general election, but the allegations are serious. 

According to charging documents, Sharp allegedly transferred $297,500 from his mother’s account into his own without her knowledge or permission. His mother, Helen Sharp, is reportedly in declining health, and sometimes doesn’t recognize her own children, or even know how many children she has.  Helen Sharp now only has $20,000 on which to live, according to Senior Deputy Prosecutor Page Ulrey.

When KIRO 7 first broke the story, reporter Clancy tried to get Sharp’s version of events but he denied her repeated requests for an interview or comments.

And Friday, Sharp referred us to his attorney, Prothero, who said his client is innocent because there was “no criminal intent” that Sharp is a “leader in the Kent community” and is “the last person in the world who would try to steal from his mother.”

Click here for KIRO 7’s original story on the investigation >>> http://kiro.tv/14BPNu1

If convicted, Sharp could face more than two years in prison.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 29 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

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