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Sentencing date rescheduled for ex-Kent City Councilman Sharp on theft charges

Ex-Kent City Councilman Ken Sharp faces a Sept. 26 sentencing date for stealing nearly $300,000 from his mother. - Kent Reporter, file photo
Ex-Kent City Councilman Ken Sharp faces a Sept. 26 sentencing date for stealing nearly $300,000 from his mother.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

A King County Superior Court judge agreed to give ex-Kent City Councilman Ken Sharp more time to come up with restitution before he is sentenced for first-degree theft charges from his 93-year-old mother.

Sharp, who pleaded guilty June 3 to stealing $297,500 from his mother's bank accounts, had been scheduled for sentencing on Friday before Judge James Cayce at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The sentencing date was rescheduled to Sept. 26.

"The recommendation on the length of the prison sentence is contingent on the amount of restitution he can come up with," said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, in an email. "Additional time was allowed for that."

The length of the sentence could be reduced based on how much restitution Sharp pays by his sentencing date to the King County Clerks Office, according to court papers. If Sharp pays less than $100,000, the state will recommend the sentence remain at 43 months. If he pays more than $100,000 but less than $200,000 the state will move to dismiss one theft charge and recommend a sentence of 29 months. If he pays more than $200,000, the state will move to dismiss two theft charges and recommend a sentence of 22 months.

He pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree theft and one count of mortgage fraud.

Despite his arrest by Federal Way Police in June 2013, Sharp stayed in his first race for the council and voters elected him to office in a close contest against Bailey Stober in November. His mother lived in Federal Way at the time of the thefts. Relatives tipped off police about the thefts.

Sharp, 67, resigned in January just two weeks into office because of what he said were "pending legal issues I fear will become too distracting for my fellow council members, for the mayor and for city staff."

The charging papers indicate that Sharp reportedly used the money to help out his financially struggling business (Minuteman Press in Kent) as well as to pay for trips to Spain, Mexico, South Africa, Palm Springs, Calif., Austin, Texas and Friday Harbor; and to buy jewelry (with debits to a jewelry store in Tacoma of $10,000 and $2,358).

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