Top DSHS official resigns after KING 5 investigative series

Top DSHS official resigns after KING 5 investigative series

Top DSHS official resigns after KING 5 investigative series

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 4:27 PM

OLYMPIA -- The fallout continues at the state's largest social services agency after a series of reports by the KING 5 Investigators that exposed widespread fraud and abuse.

Troy Hutson has handed in his resignation.

As an assistant secretary he is one of the highest-ranking officials at the State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). He's in charge of the state's food stamp program.

The KING 5 Investigators revealed in the series “Their Crime, Your Dime,” that food stamp cards are being used for criminal purposes, a problem DSHS has largely ignored.

Hutson's department also distributes welfare cash benefits on debit cards.

When KING 5 told him it had traced some of that welfare money to local casinos, Hutson's answers riled viewers and legislators.

“I don't know that because someone is withdrawing money in a casino they are using it to gamble,” Hutson said in an interview with KING 5 in September of last year.

He went on to say that if DSHS determined that if the amount of welfare money being spent in casinos was small it might not be worth the cost of trying to crack down on the problem.

KING 5’s investigation revealed an estimated $2 million dollars in welfare cash was withdrawn from ATMs in Washington casinos in one year’s time.

In an editorial in last week’s Seattle Times, two Washington legislators called on DSHS to stop the fraud and abuse.

In a letter to DSHS Secretary Susan Dreyfus, four Washington state senators asked that Hutson “be removed immediately from his post.”

Last month, Dreyfus announced she was hiring a new fraud fighting team to crack down on the type of crime exposed by the KING 5 Investigators. 

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