Ex-Lakewood cop who stole from memorial fund facing new charges

Ex-Lakewood cop who stole from memorial fund facing new charges »Play Video
Skeeter Manos, center, leaves the Pierce County Courthouse on Friday, June 29, 2012.
TACOMA, Wash. -- A former Lakewood police officer who admitted to having stolen from the slain officers' fund is facing new charges.

Skeeter Manos, 35, has been charged with second-degree identity theft and forgery in Pierce County. According to prosecutors, Manos, while working as the treasurer of the Lakewood Police Department Guild, stole the identity of a certified public accountant and forged documents in his name.

The latest charges stems from a March 2011 request by the guild for an audit into the guild's spending. In July 2011, the results of the audit prepared and signed by a CPA were posted on the guild's website.

When the guild's president contacted the cited accountant to request copies of the group's tax returns, the accountant told him he had not prepared tax returns for the guild since 2005, and had not dealt with the guild at all since 2007. The accountant added he had not prepared or signed the 2011 audit.

Tacoma police began investigating the audit at the request of Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar, and learned e-mails purporting from the accountant had been sent from Manos' IP address. Investigators also learned the messages had been sent from an e-mail address that was foreign to the accountant himself.

Earlier this year, Manos pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court, admitting to having embezzled from a fund set up to benefit the family members of four Lakewood officers gunned down at a Parkland coffee shop in 2009. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison, and ordered to pay in restitution $112,000 to the officers' families and $47,000 to the guild.

The allegedly embezzled funds were a part of the $3.2 million contributed for the benefit of the families of Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards who were gunned down at a coffee shop.

Manos was hired by the Lakewood Police Department in 2004 after working as a state trooper for a year.

"Our department has always wanted to see this former officer held responsible for all of his actions,” said Farrar. ”We absolutely support this prosecution.”

Manos was ordered held on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 5 years.

He is scheduled to report to federal prison on Sept. 20 to serve time for his prior conviction.