Ex-Seattle school official sentenced to 43 months

SEATTLE — The former head of a Seattle Public Schools program to help women- and minority-owned businesses has been sentenced to 43 months in prison in a theft-and-kickback scheme.

The Seattle Times reports Silas Potter Jr., 62, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in April to 36 counts of theft.

He and David A. Johnson, who ran a nonprofit, were accused of taking $250,000 through fake invoices and a fraudulent cleaning business.

In a plea agreement, Potter admitted to approving dozens of school district checks to pay for services that were never completed and said he was given some of that money as kickbacks.

Johnson was convicted last week by a King County Superior Court jury and is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

As the head of the school district’s Regional Small Business Development Program from 2006 to 2010, Potter oversaw efforts to teach minority- and women-owned businesses how to better compete for public contracts.

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