Franklin County Public Works official back on the job after theft investigation

PASCO, Wash. -- KEPR is continuing to uncover new developments in the multi-million dollar fraud case in Franklin County. Action News has learned Assistant Public Works Director Guy Walters is back on the job after two months on leave.

Walters was put on leave in February as part of the investigation into the alleged theft of $2.8 million of county funds by former Finance Director Dennis Huston. The County Commissioners met with Walters this morning and say after further investigation, there was no criminal activity.

Franklin County Commissioners Chairman Brad Peck says after talking with Walters, "We came to the collection conclusion that any administrative failures were really inconsequential. And in many respects, it would be fair to say that he was merely carrying out the direction he'd been given."

Walters will also be reimbursed for a total of nine days he spent on unpaid administrative leave.

Action News also learned Walters will retire at the end of this summer, but will stay on during the transition to help in the hiring of new employees.

Public Works Director Tim Fife was fired last month for his leadership during the alleged theft. County leaders say he didn't do enough to protect public assets within his own department.

Franklin County has filed a civil lawsuit against Huston and his wife, in an effort to reclaim as much of the $2.8 million as possible. No criminal charges have yet been filed against Huston. But Peck tells Action News he has no doubt they will be coming soon.