SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane has issued a statement after concerns were raised regarding the criminal history of the operator of Spokane's newest warming shelter.
On Tuesday, November 5, the blog "Shift" published a post bringing the charity Jewels Helping Hands into question, or more specifically, its founder, Jason Green.
Back in 2015, the Department of Justice announced that Green, who was the former Vice President of Finance for the NW Division of US Foodservice, had been sentenced for an embezzlement scheme.
According to the Department of Justice, Green and a friend conspired to steal nearly $500,000 from their employer. Green was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $496,845 in restitution.
Jewels Helping Hands was given approval to manage the warming center site at 527 S. Cannon Street last month.
Following the release of the information, the City of Spokane released the following statement:
"The City of Spokane today learned some information about an expected provider of warming center services for this winter that has caused serious concern.
"The City is evaluating that information and will determine the best path forward as it relates to our contract with that provider. The City must be a responsible steward of the dollars citizens entrust with us.
"Our top priority remains the full implementation of our winter plan for those experiencing homelessness. The warming center set for South Cannon Street will open, following completion of tenant improvements that are currently underway."
Green also posted the following statement online:
"Last night "Shiftwa" a "news" publication posted an article questioning the integrity of Jewels Helping Hands and me specifically. I heard about it coming, then I saw it, and thought about responding but decided to sleep on it first. So here it is:
Between 2001-2010 I was the VP of Finance for US Foodservice in Fife. I was an asshole. I was arrogant and I was entitled. Between 2008-2010 I was in charge of a vacant building in Clark County in which I hired a friend to run security at. That went on for nearly 2 years, during that time there were no incidents at that building and everything that needed to be addressed was. But, during that time I also received a "kickback." In total over that time I received a bit over $100,000. The total paid to the security company was about $350,000. The amount that Shiftwa is throwing around is the full amount paid to the security company plus $150,000 for "investigatory costs" by the company. I did not understand the Federal Point System so I agreed to it. In 2010 I resigned after admitting to receiving these kickbacks, that is how it works when you get high enough up, you don't get fired, you resign. Three years later in September of 2013 I was notified I was being indicted by a grand jury. I had just had my daughter 3 months earlier. I was scared, I did not want to lose my kids. I admitted to what I did and plead guilty in November 2013. After pleading guilty I had to wait until January of 2015 before I got sentenced. In February 2015 I self surrendered to Sheraton Camp in Oregon. I served 21 months inside a facility (3 months at Sheraton then 18 months in SeaTac closer to my kids). I then had 6 months at a Pioneer Residential Re-entry Center in Spokane.
Now lets talk about this. What I did was wrong. The Judge was absolutely right and his words have stuck with me. "it tears at the fabric of society and has a corrosive effect on people who didn't have your opportunity. You were blessed." I was. Even from the time I was charged to the time I checked in to Sheraton I never spent a day in jail. Do you think average people get that, not a chance.
But, I can tell you 27 months away from your 3 kids all under the age of 10 years old is traumatic. Getting a divorce while in prison is traumatic. Not having reasonable access to call your kids is traumatic. Being forced to work for the prison for $0.40 an hour (and I had a good job driving a box truck around Seattle) is inhumane and modern day slavery. So when I talk to the people on the streets, my friends experiencing homelessness, I understand their pain in not being able to see their kids. I understand their despair and not seeing a way out. I understand their need for someone, anyone to believe in them. I got to Spokane in October of 2016. I took a job at Cascade Windows in November for minimum wage so my kids could have a Christmas that year because I failed them the year before. I then was able to get a job at ADM, a Union job, in production which paid better, but still manual labor for a guy that has never done manual labor. I did not have the benefit of "Ban the Box" that came about in 2018. I also delivered Pizza part time to help our family. Then in January of 2018 I found an employer willing to give me a second chance in an industry I love doing work I love and I am good at. Forever I will be grateful.
Since getting to Spokane my priorities have changed. I lost everything for what I did and most importantly I lost time with my kids and family. I work with complete transparency because I do not want to be doubted and I know my past will always haunt me. I help people because it helps me. My past is what it is, I don't hide it. But I will not apologize for it any longer. I have made my apologies to the people I needed to. I will continue with what I am doing. I love our community, the entire community.
Feel free to actually come have a conversation with me if you want to talk about this. Otherwise, understand this article was written to smear two great men in our City running for office (which by the way had no idea of my past) and I am convinced, especially since Linkedin shows who visited your page, that the Washington Real Estate PAC is behind it. There is a reason they did not mention the other three council people who have supported Jewels and I personally have supported."