TACOMA -- A former Lakewood police officer convicted of stealing from a charity set up for fallen officers is in trouble again.
This time a Tacoma-based construction company is accusing Skeeter Manos of stealing from them.
Manos claims he is being set up.
“It`s retaliation and, in my view, it`s defamation,” Manos said.
Manos was convicted of stealing more than $100,000 from a fund to help the families of four murdered police officers in 2013. He says he regrets his past actions but he adamantly denies wrongdoing in the latest accusations.
He`s charged with stealing from Integrated NW Construction, a business he worked for after getting out of prison.
“We knew about his past, we wanted to give him a second chance,” Integrated NW Construction owner Caralyn Valdeman said.
Valdeman says Manos bought unnecessary tools from Home Depot with a company-issued credit card. Investigators say Manos returned some of the tools and pocketed the money through gift cards.
Valdeman says Manos stole about $2,500.
“These are product purchases that does not even make sense in the job, not to mention all the returns we didn`t know anything about,” Valdeman said.
Manos says the whole thing is a lie.
“I’ve made my mistakes and I’ve always owned up to my mistakes,” Manos said.
Manos says the company is deflecting blame, retaliating after he sided with a customer who accused the construction company of overcharging.
“I started noticing that there was huge discrepancies in the billing, not only material but hours worked,” Manos said.
“We disagree that Integrated overcharges its customers,” said Daniel Frohlich, a lawyer for the company.
Frohlich showed up in court on Tuesday, telling us the investigation will back up their story. Manos disagrees.
In court Tuesday, Manos pleaded not guilty. The state asked for a $100,000 bail but Manos’ attorney, Dave Hancock, fought to get his client released without bail -- which the judge granted.
“I can’t wait until the facts actually come out in this. I truly believe people will see it for what it is,” Manos said.