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Originally published April 1, 2013 at 9:29 PM | Page modified April 1, 2013 at 9:28 PM

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Ex-school-district official Silas Potter Jr. is no-show; warrant issued

A warrant has been issued for former Seattle Public Schools official Silas Potter Jr., just weeks before his trial on charges alleging he stole money through questionable contracts.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of disgraced former Seattle Public Schools official Silas Potter Jr. after he failed to appear at a hearing in King County Superior Court.

Judge Ronald Kessler issued the $100,000 warrant after Potter failed to appear at a pretrial hearing Friday.

It is the second time Potter has been the target of a warrant. He was arrested last November in Florida after he agreed to appear at his arraignment, but didn’t.

Potter, 60, is the former director of the school district’s small-business program. He is accused in a 42-count complaint of operating a scheme that bilked the district out of $250,000 through contracts with firms that did little or no work. Potter and two others are accused of pocketing some portion of the contract payments.

The judge in the case reset the trial date to May 13, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Messages left with Potter’s attorney, Seth Conant, were not immediately returned.

The now-defunct business program was set up to help small companies primarily owned by women and minorities learn how to bid on public projects.

According to a state audit and a report prepared by the school district, Potter oversaw the spending of $1.8 million in questionable contracts.

The small-business program grew during Potter’s tenure, from 2006 to 2010, to about a $1 million annual budget. it was supposed to help train small and minority-owned businesses in how to obtain district construction contracts.

But Potter is accused of approving contracts to favored businesses and consultants who charged the district inflated prices for work of little or no public value, according to the reports.

Mike Carter:

or 206-464-3706

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