KENT — A Kent City Council candidate has been accused of draining nearly $300,000 from his mom’s bank account.
The Seattle Times reports that Ken Sharp, 66, faces seven counts of first-degree theft. King County prosecutors say he used the money to shore up his failing printing business, to go on trips to Mexico and South Africa, and to buy a $12,000 diamond ring for his third wife.
They say that all the while, Sharp regularly fell behind on payments to a Federal Way assisted-living facility where his now 93-year-old mother, Helen Sharp, had been living. Charging papers say Helen Sharp suffers from dementia and is now in a Medicaid-funded facility, with about $20,000 in assets to her name.
The Times said Sharp didn’t return calls seeking comment. His attorney, Mark Prothero, said his client “denies ever having any criminal intent to steal from his mom or anyone else.”
According to King County Elections, Sharp received 41 percent of the vote in the August primary for Position No. 6 on the Kent City Council, besting his two opponents by more than 10 percent each and advancing to the November general election.
Prothero said as far as he knows, his client plans to stay in the race.