Attorney Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery, Conspiracy Charges
YAKIMA, Wash. - A former Benton County defense attorney was officially charged in Yakima on Wednesday.
He was accused of taking money from his clients -- then dismissing cases -- and splitting the cash with a Kennewick City prosecutor.
Jeff Finney pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery and conspiracy. Investigators believe Kennewick City prosecutor Tyler Morris would send defendants to Finney, who would work up a fake deal with defendants, saying the money was headed to a Kennewick City charity program.
"Probably will send a message to other people in like positions to be very careful about making silly mistakes like that," Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Shogren said.
The state attorney general calls this one of the worst cases of public corruption he has seen.
Finney says he was stealing money from his clients to fuel his drug addiction.
So far, investigators are not saying how much money the two pocketed, but it could far exceed the early estimates of $40,000.