For Kent city worker, good deed goes rewarded

What would you do if you found a bag of cash? When city of Kent employee Jeff Veach found a money bag with $1,200 early one morning this summer at a cash machine in downtown Kent, he picked up the bag, waved to the security camera and took the money to his boss.

Jeff Veach

Jeff Veach

What would you do if you found a bag of cash?

When city of Kent employee Jeff Veach found a money bag with $1,200 early one morning this summer at a cash machine in downtown Kent, he picked up the bag, waved to the security camera and took the money to his boss.

“I made sure the camera saw me and waved at it because I didn’t want the bank to think a city employee took the money,” Veach said in a phone interview Sept. 25.

Veach made a transaction at the cash machine at about 6:30 a.m. July 28 when he heard a “clunk” sound. He opened the deposit box and found a blue money bag sitting there.

“There was $1,200 cash plus checks and change,” Veach said.

Because the bank had not yet opened, Veach took the money bag to City Hall to give to his boss, City Parks Director Jeff Watling. Veach works as a home-repair specialist for the parks department.

Watling returned the money to Washington Mutual Bank on West Smith Street when the bank opened. The money belonged to The Glory House Fellowship Church on Central Avenue South in Kent.

To thank Veach for returning the money, pastors and several members of the church presented him with a certificate of appreciation at the Sept. 16 Kent City Council meeting.

“We want to show you our appreciation for your honesty,” said the Rev. Marvin Mitchell, of Glory House Fellowship Church, at the Council meeting. “It shows that man can do the right thing.”

The reaction from church members surprised Veach.

“I thought that was nice of them,” the city worker said. “They didn’t have to do that. But it’s cool to be recognized for being honest.”

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke also praised Veach at the Council meeting.

“We want you to know how proud we are,” Cooke told Veach. “We want to recognize you for modeling for others in the community.”

Veach, a city home repair specialist, does projects that range from changing shower heads or light bulbs to building patio decks or wheelchair ramps for low to moderate income homeowners. Veach was profiled in a June 7 Kent Reporter article as part of a series of stories on city employees.

Veach said he never thought about taking the money for himself.

“What goes around, comes around,” Veach said. “Maybe something good will happen to me, like winning the lottery. I’d give up $1,200 for $12 million.”

Because the money bag had the name of the church printed on it, Veach knew what he had to do.

“I believe in fate,” Veach said. “I didn’t want to be cursed, especially by a church.”

Veach said he hopes people follow his lead if they find money that belongs to someone else.

“Hopefully, it will show other people that what goes around, comes around,” Veach said.

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