Florida Sheriff David Morgan Accused of Protecting ‘Sex Ring’ Also Faces Discrimination Suit

Escambia County, Florida Sheriff David Morgan has recently had to answer to a lawsuit alleging he knew about, participated in and attempted to influence the investigation of a “sex ring” involving minors, but lawsuits against him don’t end there.

In addition to the sex ring case, Florida news station WEAR-TV found at least six other open federal lawsuits with Morgan as a defendant, one of which involves discrimination. 

Laura Montoya v. Sheriff David Morgan, Eric Haines and Fred Alford was filed in 2016 and involves plaintiff Montoya — who worked for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office from 1998–2015 — claiming Morgan and other employees of the sheriff’s office “berated her,” demoted her and passed her over for promotions on the basis of her race and gender.

WEAR-TV reports the documents state Montoya was fired in 2015 after a Disciplinary Review Board recommendation the sheriff approved. Affidavits from other employees support Montoya’s complaints, outlining sexist and racist comments and conversations they heard from higher-ups at the office.

Former employee Jerry Cox says in his affidavit that he once had a supervisor tell him the Bible declares women should not hold positions over men. The comment, he said, was aimed at Montoya. Another instance he recounted involved the same supervisor telling him of his idea to start a website “cancersex.com,” which would include cancer patients being taken advantage of by their doctors.

This case will go to trial in October.

In a press conference July 3, Morgan denied allegations that he was part of a sex ring for which a Florida couple, Leah and Doug Manning, as well as a Florida deputy, were jailed two years ago. The Mannings’ twin daughters, who were children at the time of the crimes, said their parents involved them and deputies in acts of group sex.

They claim Morgan was involved in a sexual relationship with their mother. Leah Manning also said she had a relationship with Morgan, however, he denies ever having met her.

“Now, after more than two years of incarceration, she miraculously ‘remembers’ having also had a relationship with me in a case brought by her daughters,” Morgan said in a statement. “This suit is based on rumors and innuendo fueled by social media posts.”

Morgan sought a protective order that would prevent him from having to give a deposition in the civil lawsuit Friday, but Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Timothy denied it.

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