Former Lakewood Police officer Skeeter Manos -- who pleaded guilty in March to stealing large sums of money from the Lakewood Police Independent Guild and a fund set up for the families of four Lakewood police officers murdered by Maurice Clemons - is in the news again. And the news isn't good for him.
In a statement distributed to local media types, Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar said: "Our department has always wanted to see this former officer held responsible for all of his actions. We absolutely support this prosecution."
According to charging documents filed in the case:
In March of 2011 several members of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) requested that the guild perform an audit to explain how their guild money was being spent. At the time MANOS was a Lakewood Police Officer and served as guild treasurer. MANOS was responsible for maintaining all financial records and bank accounts for the guild. On July 14, 2011, an audit was posted on the LPIG web site so that all members would have access to its contents. The audit appeared to have been prepared and signed by accountant Roy Ovist.
As we know, in February of this year Manos was arrested and charged with embezzling money from the Lakewood Police Independent Guild and a fund set up for the families of the four Lakewood Police officers murdered by Maurice Clemons. Manos was subsequently sentenced to 33 months in prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $112,000 to the fund for the families and $47,000 to the Lakewood Police Guild.
Charging documents filed today bring to light the lengths Manos allegedly went to in an effort to cover up his crimes.
According to charging documents:
After MANOS' arrest, Eric Bell assumed the position of President for the LPIG. Bell contacted Roy Ovist's office to request copies of the guild's annual tax returns and was informed by Ovist that he had not done tax returns for the guild since the 2005 tax return was filed in 2006. Bell also learned that the audit was not prepared by Ovist and that the signature on that document was not Ovist's.
The Lakewood Police Department referred the forged audit case to the Tacoma Police Department for investigation. Tacoma Police determined that a copy of that document had been e-mailed from Roy.Ovist@yahoo.com, which had been used to correspond with LPIG officers as well as the guild's attorney. It was from this e-mail account that the audit had been sent to the guild. Ovist reported that this was not an e-mail address he has ever used, he has never had any contact with Skeeter MANOS, and he has not dealt with the Lakewood Police Guild since 2007.
A computer analysis determined that the e-mails sent from the yahoo e-mail address, Roy.Ovist@yahoo.com, all came from the same computer IP address. The investigation revealed that the IP address associated with the e-mails sent from the fraudulent Ovist account matched the IP address of MANOS' computer used to access the guild website and correspond with members.
As LPIG treasurer and manager for the fund benefiting the families of the four fallen Lakewood police officers, previously filed court documents indicate Manos spent the swindled money on himself and his family - wining and dining his wife on elaborate trips, blowing $7,000 at Home Depot, and making regular trips to local casinos.
Manos is scheduled to be arraigned on the latest charges against him this afternoon in Pierce County Court.
Find full charging documents filed against Manos on the following page ...
Previously on The Daily Weekly:
How Low Can You Get? Skeeter Manos, a Lakewood Cop, Arrested for Stealing From Slain Officer's Fund