State Rep. Frank Chopp may be under investigation after redirecting funds to nonprofit he co-founded
A state lawmaker is calling for an investigation into state Rep. Frank Chopp, following reports that the former House speaker redirected about $2 million in homeless funds to a Seattle non-profit organization he co-founded.
The report first appeared in the Seattle Times, detailing how the money was originally granted by the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) to Catholic Community Services and the Chief Seattle Club to fund tiny shelters at home, before Chopp stepped in to direct the funds to the Low- Income Housing Institute (LIHI) instead. Chopp not only co-founded LIHI, but is also close friends with the organization’s executive director, Sharon Lee.
As The Times reports, Scott Greenstone explained to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin of KIRO Newsradio, this raises several red flags.
“The problem is that the (King County Regional Homelessness Authority) went through a bidding process and said this bid was better,” he detailed. “For an elected official to come in and then redirect that money and send it to a non-profit organization that didn’t get the money, that seems bad anyway because he interrupted an appeal process. offers public, but it looks even worse because he co-founded the nonprofit, he’s friends with the director, and they actually named a building after him in 2005.”
Now, Republican State Rep. Ron Muzzall is calling for a full audit and investigation “into the financial dealings of the state housing funds.”
“That’s not what state legislators are supposed to do, and we have way too many playing around in this, and I don’t understand how they justify it,” Muzzall said.
“Is this a punishable offence? I do not know. Is it inappropriate? That’s for sure,” he added.
Chopp has since pointed out that he is also friends with the leaders of the two nonprofits to which the KCRHA first gave the money, while saying it was well within his power to “redistribute” the money. funds. Lee also denied any impropriety in the transfer of funds by Chopp to LIHI.