A Lakewood cop was arrested today and accused of stealing more than $120,000 from the fund set up for the families of four officers killed in the line of duty in November 2009. Skeeter Manos, 34, of Dupont, is alleged to have set up a secret bank account for donations to the Lakewood Police Officers' families. "This is a sad day for our community," said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan in a news release. "These acts betrayed the memory of our fallen heroes, their families, fellow officers, and all who supported the fund."
Some of the pilfered money was used for cash withdrawals at various casinos, including the Bellagio casino in April 2010 and the Hawks Prairie Casino in December 2010.
There is a total of $3.2 million in the fund, intended to help the families of Mark Renninger, Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Gregory Richards, who were gunned down in the Forza Coffee Shop in Parkland on Nov. 29, 2009. The gunman, Maurice Clemmons, led police on a manhunt for two days before a Seattle police officer shot and killed him.
"Stealing from the children of our fallen officers is disgraceful," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "While these allegations are despicable, we should not lose sight of the honorable work the Lakewood Police Department does for our community."
Manos was to appear in U.S. District Court this afternoon, where he will be formally charged wirth 10 federal felonies related to embezzlement.