OLYMPIA… Seattle Times broke a story today about former Speaker of the House Frank Chopp personally interfering in the allocation of state housing investments, directing $2 million to a nonprofit that he started.
Chopp argued that the funds weren’t being used appropriately with the King County Regional Housing Authority. With billions of state dollars having been spent during Chopp’s tenure as lead architect of housing policy, state Sen. Ron Muzzall, R-Oak Harbor, is calling for an audit and investigation into the financial dealings of state housing funds considering the corruption allegations.
“There needs to be a full accounting of these relationships, money and organizations,” said Muzzall. “I will be pushing for an independent audit and investigation with whatever resources I can muster. The public needs to be assured that this behavior, whether it turns out to be nefarious or not, won’t be tolerated. It immeasurably damages their trust.”
The governor must sign off on the funding changes made by Chopp in the 2022 supplemental operating budget.
According to The Times, a board member from the housing authority who lives in one of the Chopp-funded housing projects said “this conflict of interest” looks to him like corruption. They go on to say, “Why isn’t [Chopp] being called on the carpet? He started LIHI.”
The Seattle Times article details the maze of relationships and housing organizations connected to the former House speaker.
“The state has spent billions on housing and homelessness under the former speaker’s direction,” Muzzall added. “During that time, the problem for the unhoused has only gotten worse and more expensive for taxpayers. There are now a lot more legitimate questions about just how those funds have been spent.”