Lakewood Police Officer Accused of Diverting Funds for Slain Officer's Families

Feb 9, 2012

A police officer in Lakewood, Washington was arrested Wednesday for embezzling funds meant for the families of slain Lakewood police officers. He’s accused of diverting the donations from union bank accounts and using them for trips, gambling and home remodeling. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle, Lakewood Police Officer Skeeter Manos was arrested at Lakewood City Hall. He’s accused of diverting over $120,000 meant for the families of four Lakewood police officers slain in 2009.

Manos served as treasurer of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild. In that role he was responsible for routing donations made to the Guild for the Lakewood Officers Charity.

Farrar: “He was taking the money in when it came in. And it was coming in fast and furious.”

That’s Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar. He says he learned about the allegations against Manos on Friday, January 20th.

Farrar: “We had an emergency meeting of the command staff on Sunday the 22nd. Monday morning we served a search warrant to get additional information. Once we got the additional information, we knew we had the beginnings of a criminal case.”

Farrar says an equally fast-moving federal investigation culminated in Manos’ arrest. The complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that Manos put some of the charitable donations into a secret bank account with a debit card. He allegedly used the money for purchases at Costco and Home Depot, plane tickets to Las Vegas, and visits to casinos. Chief Farrar calls the allegations “a blow.”

Farrar: “But we will get through this just as we got through the initial tragedy of losing our officers. I got everybody together at the station and said look, we need to hold our heads high. This was one person that was not representative of our values or our department and he went astray and will be dealt with accordingly.”

Manos is charged with ten federal counts of wire fraud. However, the complaint notes that the alleged theft involved just a portion of the $3.2 million dollars donated by the public for officers’ children.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network