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New mayor may avoid charges

November 07, 2008|Eric Bailey

Just days after he won the race for mayor, former NBA star Kevin Johnson seems increasingly likely to avoid criminal charges in an investigation of a nonprofit youth program he founded.

U.S. Atty. McGregor Scott said Thursday that information provided by a federal auditor so far has fallen short of proving any criminal misconduct by Johnson or his nonprofit Hood Corps.

But the mayor-elect isn't cleared just yet.

A line-by-line audit of the nonprofit -- a training and mentoring program for disadvantaged youth -- is still being conducted by federal officials.

Scott said the audit still could potentially spark a civil lawsuit to recoup any grant funds that might have been improperly spent.

In September, the program was suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

Johnson defeated incumbent Mayor Heather Fargo by a margin of 57% to 42% in Tuesday's election.

-- Eric Bailey

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