It was discovered that one of Andrea’s most loyal flying monkeys, Lyle Cooper, is a registered child sex offender. He was convicted for sexual exploitation of a 12-year old girl in 2002 (and for which the FBI investigation that resulted in said conviction uncovered many signs that this was not his first rodeo), and sentenced to over 8 years in prison with an additional five years of supervised release following that. He reoffended during his first stint in supervised release and had to go back to prison for a while, also restarting the clock on the number of years he’d need to remain listed in the national sex offender registry (Level 2 sex offenders must remain active in the registry for 15 years post-release without re-offense).
The court case documents (which are publicly available via https://pacer.gov along with most other US federal court case records) projected a supervision completion date of sometime in 2016 but it is unclear as to how Lyle’s re-offense affected the timeline.
We Heart Seattle has held over 100 trash pickup events since its inception, where there are almost always vulnerable adults and in some cases volunteers bring their minor children with them too. Lyle is present at these events more often than not given that he routinely drives the truck We Heart Seattle utilizes to transport what they pillage during their “litter pick” events to the transfer station for disposal.
It is unclear to what extent Andrea and We Heart Seattle will answer to or take accountability for their involvement in this unsavory discovery, as she nor any other member of their leadership team have acknowledged the public callouts made on various social media platforms.
Per their volunteer waiver, the org’s policy is zero tolerance for sex offenders, and they do not work with those who have committed an offense involving a child in any capacity, including those who have been accused but not convicted.
If We Heart Seattle was aware of Lyle Cooper’s status, choosing to conceal this rather than disclose it to other volunteers strongly implies willful exposure of the hundreds of unhoused folks they’ve crossed paths with over the duration to great risk and potential harm without their consent. The same applies to any of the children that have accompanied their parents to volunteer events where Lyle was also present.
And should they choose to deny having known about Lyle status, it will only further substantiate the argument that opposers of WHS have been making from the very get go. Even if it were possible for this to qualify as an innocent mistake, the level of gross negligence required to get here causes harm all the same as acting with malicious intent, and sadly this is but one instance in a string of many harmful acts Andrea and her flying monkeys are responsible for.
History predicts that Andrea is likely scapegoat Lyle rather than implicate herself of any wrong doing.
Whatever the case may be, one thing is quite clear: Lyle Cooper should not be near minors or vulnerable adults, period, no exceptions. Frankly none of the people of We Heart Seattle should have access to vulnerable people and this whole circus should be halted immediately. Nuke it from space. It’s the only way to be sure.