WA police officer accused of stealing donations - KPTV - FOX 12

WA police officer accused of stealing donations from memorial fund

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TACOMA, WA (KPTV) -

A Lakewood, WA, police officer is accused of embezzling thousands from a memorial fund meant to benefit the families of four fallen officers.

Millions of dollars in donations poured into the memorial fund, following the ambush of four Lakewood officers in a coffee shop in 2009.

According to court documents, Officer Skeeter Manos diverted more than $150,000 into a personal account, then spent $120,000 at Costco, Home Depot and on a trip to Las Vegas, among other purchases.

"The children of our fallen officers who would be the recipient of the goodwill of the public, it didn't get to them, and that's a betrayal," Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar told KIRO-TV. "And it's a betrayal to every man and woman in the Lakewood Police Department."

Manos faces 10 federal counts of wire fraud. He was the police union treasurer and oversaw the memorial fund.

"I've had a couple of weeks to process it, so I've gone beyond the devastated sadness and just to the point of, I guess, anger," said Farrar.

Internal affairs began investigating Manos after Clackamas County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Bigler attempted to get a receipt for a $5,000 donation he made to the fund.

Bigler sold memorial knives to raise money for the fund. Another officer began checking into the fund when a record of the donation couldn't be found.

"Being a police officer myself, I was shocked and very disappointed that someone would take this for their own gain. It was upsetting," Bigler said in a statement.

Manos was released from jail. He is due back in court later this month.

Lakewood police say $3.2 million of donations did make it into a trust for the families of the fallen officers.

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