Opportunistic Donation Responsible for Lack of Investigation in Deputies Sex Abuse Case?
On October 28, 2014, Sheriff David Morgan presented a check to Gulf Coast Kids House for $50,000. This philanthropic gesture is posted on the ECSO’s Facebook page below.
The caption with the picture reads as follows: Joining Sheriff Morgan this afternoon were Pam Schwartz, Gulf Coast Kids House Board Chair, Debbie Ritchie and Stan Connally, Co-chairs of Captial Expansion for the Gulf Coast Kids House Board of Directors, and Stacey Kostevicki, Executive Director.
There is a short description of where the funds came from out of the Honorable Sheriff’s budget:
“The donation are provided by The State Law Enforcement Trust funds. Under the auspices of Florida Statute, Chapter 932.701-706, "Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act," law enforcement agencies may seize and forfeit any contraband that have been used in the commissions of felonies to be used in the community.”
A couple of local articles thank local felons for this generous donations, which is a very noble way to think of such a donation. In researching the above mentioned, “Law Enforcement Trust” (LET) fund, after perusing the generous donations the Sheriff’s office likes to dole out to private charities in the area, this donation is conspicuously larger than the last 3 years donations to any other organization.
The 2 years prior, in particular, Sheriff Morgan donated a mere $500 each year. What drives such a sizable donation in the first 3 weeks of his fiscal year? This single donation is roughly 20% of his beginning budget in the LET fund of $250,000. The largest other donation in recent years was $15,000 to the National Flight Academy in March, 2014.
Keeping this in mind, the Pensacola News Journal broke the story on March 9, 2015 about Leah & Doug Manning being wanted as well as the arrests of Senior Deputy Mark Smith & Deputy Walter Thomas. The PNJ states:
“In late September or early October of 2014, Thomas allegedly visited spouses Leah and Douglas Manning. A victim allegedly identified the Mannings as "swingers" who had multiple sexual partners.The victim said that Leah Manning invited her into a bedroom where she engaged in sex acts with Thomas while Douglas Manning recorded the abuse with his cell phone, according to the report.The victim also reported multiple instances of abuse while visiting Smith in the summer of 2014. The incidents were reported through a child abuse hotline in February. Following an investigation, Smith and Thomas were arrested Friday.”
Being Sheriff Morgan’s biggest fan and knowing that no further investigation was done to see if there were any more victims or offenders within his department while also knowing through a confidential source, who spoke with personnel from the State Attorney’s office at Gulf Coast Kids House, that was baffled to find a LACK of zealousness to push such an investigation, I have to wonder if Sheriff Morgan wrote the biggest check to the state mandated child abuse advocacy agency in October, after the first complaints came in on Senior Deputy Smith, was this incentive money to keep the ECSO secrets?
This is purely speculation but looking into the timing of this phenomenal check and the investigation into the ECSO for sex offenders who wear badges, seems less than coincidental.
What do you think? Could this be the dirtiest secret in Escambia County?