by: Amy Clancy Updated:
Ken Sharp has served as president of Kent's Chamber of Commerce and is now running for Position No. 6 on the Kent City Council.
But just weeks before voters cast their ballots, Sharp is being investigated for stealing half-a-million dollars from his own mother. Only KIRO 7 went to his office to ask why.
According to a search warrant filed recently in King County Superior Court, the 63-year-old owner of Minuteman Press allegedly transferred $485,417.58 from the account of his 93-year-old mother into his own.
The documents also reveal Sharp initiated a reverse mortgage on his mother's Tacoma home that overlooks Commencement Bay, even though she was no longer living there. That's a violation of the mortgage terms, according to investigators.
Concerned family members notified police in Federal Way, where Sharp's mother, Helen, now lives in an assisted-living facility. Detectives found documents showing the money had been transferred out of her account into Sharp's in 38 transactions between November 2008 and August 2011.
Even though Sharp has been his mother's Power of Attorney since 1995, his mother wrote on April 3, 2013, "I did not want a reverse mortgage or any other loan on my house. I did not give Ken Sharp any money for his business or any other reason."
Helen Sharp suffers from dementia, according to documents, but she signed the notarized statement in the presence of other family members.
Those same family members told detectives that Sharp has recently engaged in "large spending, including a house, car, trip to Italy, and a large wedding and a wedding ring."
KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy went to Sharp's Kent office to ask him about the investigation and his Kent City Council run. His receptionist said Sharp was not at the office, and suggested coming back two hours later.
Clancy did, but Sharp still wasn't there. He hasn't called the number on the KIRO card left there.
>>> UPDATE: Ken Sharp contacted KIRO 7 on Friday and said he wanted to speak to Amy Clancy. Hours later, he emailed to say that he was pulling out of the interview, as his friends had advised him not to talk.
Sharp hasn't been charged. The Kent City Council primary election is in August.