Youth program led by convicted sex offender loses county funding after KUOW investigation
A youth program funded by King County has lost its contract to work with young people at risk of gun violence after a KUOW investigation found its leader had false credentials — and is a convicted sex offender facing a new charge of felony insurance fraud.
Saleem Robinson, the founder and executive director of the youth program, Renegades for Life Youth Outreach, had two convictions for indecent exposure, including masturbating in front of a bartender at 13 Coins restaurant in SeaTac. He is set to stand trial this month for filing an insurance claim on a car that was uninsured when he crashed it in May.
KUOW also found that Robinson did not earn his purported bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington, nor his Master of Social Work from Seattle University.
Community Passageways, one of the lead contractors on the county and City of Seattle’s $5.9 million Regional Peacekeepers Collective, terminated the Renegades for Life contract following the KUOW story, said Community Passageways spokesperson Katoya Palmer.
In a letter to Robinson, Community Passageways questioned his “integrity and ability to tell the truth in light of recent findings.”
Although Robinson told KUOW that his sex offenses are irrelevant to his work for the county, and said that he does not work with minors, Community Passageways said the contract he signed requires all Renegades for Life staff to work with youth, which constitutes a breach of contract.
The year-old Regional Peacekeepers Collective stands to receive another $9 million in King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Community Passageways wrote the following letter to Robinson, severing his organization's contract:
" I want you to know that we greatly appreciate your dedicated service and harbor no ill-feelings about Renegades for Life. However, the values we maintain as critical to servant leadership and restorative justice practices are integrity, honesty, loyalty, and truth.
"Although you are one of the most loyal, we question your integrity and ability to tell the truth in light of recent findings. Further, the contract you signed specifically requires all staff to work with youth. You shared that your organization does not work with youth, and there are other issues related to good faith negotiations, such that a breach of contract has been noted as a result."