Federal Way School Board president accused of stealing $150,000 worth of tires

The Seattle TimesSeptember 24, 2013 

An Oregon grand jury has indicted the president of Federal Way’s school board for seven counts of felony theft, alleging he stole more than $150,000 worth of truck tires from a Portland-based tire store last year.

William Anthony "Tony" Moore, Jr., 49, a onetime Republican hopeful for Washington’s House of Representatives, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 fine on each felony theft count if he’s convicted.

Moore did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

“We were recently made aware of the situation involving Tony Moore,” district Superintendent Rob Neu said in a statement. “We’ve been informed that the allegations do not involve Tony’s responsibilities as a board member in the Federal Way School District. We have no further information regarding this situation at this time.”

The grand jury handed down its indictment of Moore on Aug. 23, records show. King County deputies arrested Moore on Sept. 17 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, shortly before he was to board a flight to Europe as part of a Federal Way Public Schools trip to visit schools abroad.

Moore, who has since surrendered his passport while awaiting formal arraignment, posted $50,000 bond and was released from the King County Jail on Sept. 20, records show.

Authorities says Moore, who owns a used tire brokerage in Federal Way, worked with Tracy E. Holmquist, an employee of GCR Tire Centers in Portland, as part of a scheme to steal more than $150,000 of semitruck tires between March and October of 2012.

Moore had frequently visited the Portland tire store to salvage used tires for his own business, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Det. Ken Yohe said Tuesday.

“Tire stores will pile up their used tires with no value, and let people like Mr. Moore come in and look through the piles to see if there are any tires that can be salvaged for a retread,” Yohe said. “It was under that (arrangement) that Mr. Moore met Mr. Holmquist, and he was able to arrange for Mr. Homlquist to look the other way why he stole the newer tires over a period of seven or eight months.”

Holmquist already has been convicted of seven counts of aggravated theft and is now serving 19 months in prison, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Dennis Shen said Tuesday.

Moore, a married father of two who is an active youth volunteer and basketball coach, also “served as the founding pastor of the largest African American church in Federal Way,” according to his online biography on the Federal Way Public Schools’ website.

Moore was appointed to the school board in May 2008 and won as an unopposed candidate in 2011. His current term expires in 2015.

He also unsuccessfully ran for the state House last year, finishing third among five candidates vying to represent Washington’s 30th Legislative District in the 2012 primary election.

At the time of his arrest, Moore was set to travel to Europe with other school board members as part of his school district’s controversial “Global Initiative Project.” District officials have said the initiative, which sent Moore and other school officials to China and Australia in recent months at the taxpayers’ expense, is meant to help launch an international exchange program, the Federal Way Mirror reported earlier this month.

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