As previously discussed, the Escambia County Law Enforcement Trust Fund administered by Sheriff Morgan must conform to Florida statute. The applicable Florida statute mandates that "any local law enforcement agency that acquires at least $15,000 pursuant to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act within a fiscal year must expend or donate no less than 15 percent of such proceeds for the support or operation of any drug treatment, drug abuse education, drug prevention, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, or school resource officer program(s). The local law enforcement agency has the discretion to determine which program(s) will receive the designated proceeds." Of course, the statute also provides that the local sheriff can expend more than 15 percent and the local law enforcement can spread the payments out, if they exceed their trust fund budget.
While the Florida statute is not specific, the legislature's apparent intent, by specifying "drug treatment, drug abuse education, drug prevention, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, or school resource officer program(s)," implicitly assumes that those funds will be expended within the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency for the sole benefit of residents living within that jurisdiction. Otherwise, the statute would not really make sense.
So, why did Sheriff Morgan's Law Enforcement Trust Fund make three donations totalling $7,000 to the Alabama-based Youth Reach Gulf Coast?
The evidence presented below suggests that this payment was a reward or "payback" to the Liberty Church in Pensacola for its personal support for Sheriff Morgan in getting him elected.
Youth Reach Gulf Coast is a sectarian Christian organization that believes that human reason is not to be trusted and should defer to God, any scientific theory that contradicts the Bible should be discarded, and that all scientific "'facts'" need to be interpreted in light of the infallible Bible.
Thus, Sheriff Morgan's donations to Youth Reach Gulf Coast appear to be violations of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which forms the basis for the separation of church and state.
Moreover, the documented evidence will show that the first donation from Sheriff Morgan's Law Enforcement Trust Fund in April 2010 was issued a full 14 days before Youth Reach Gulf Coast was formed in the state of Alabama.
Youth Reach Gulf Coast is not authorized to conduct business in the state of Florida.
And, a contextual analysis of the documents and statements from Youth Reach Gulf Coast will establish that the organization has provided no residential services to any youth from Escambia County, Florida.
The First Amendment's Establishment Clause
The First Amendment's Establishment Clause reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." When government agencies fund religious institutions, especially churches or ministries, they are in fact endorsing and establishing a religion, especially when one religion is favored.
Steven K. Green, the former legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and law professor at Willamette University in Oregon, wrote "for more than sixty years, the dominant legal/historical interpretation of the nation’s constitutional founding has been that the Founders intended to establish a high wall of separation between church and state....The scholarly historical canon maintains that the Founders relied primarily on Enlightenment principles, not religious ones, when fashioning the nation’s governing norms."
Green pointed out that the "popularity of the Christian nation maxim is also due, in no small part, to the efforts of evangelical revisionist historians who have produced a host of popular works asserting America’s Christian nationhood."
The idea that the separation of church and state is a myth, part of the Christian Right's own mythology of America as a Christian nation, is pushed by the Southern Baptist Convention, contrary to their own long history of supporting the separation of church and state dating back to the 17th century and long after ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1789; this Christian Right myth is incorporated into the platform of the Texas Republican Party, in no small measure due to the influence of its former vice chairman and pseudo-historian David Barton; and, this separation myth is pushed by the pseudo-official Colorado-based National Day of Prayer Task Force linked to the anti-LGBTQ Focus on the Family para-church group which also promotes Barton's false claims.
Local activist David Suhor, who strongly supports the separation of church and state, has pointed out that the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners and the Escambia County School Board (and other boards) begin meetings with "prayers [that] run 95-100% Christian," despite the fact that 46.8 percent ("Unclaimed") of the residents of Escambia County in 2010 were not adherents of the main religious traditions in the county: evangelical Protestant (95,418), mainline Protestant (24,082), Catholic (18,032), Black Protestant (12,144), Other (7,735 in 29 religious groups), and Orthodox (674). The "Unclaimed" category meant that the adherents did not fit into 236 religious groups included in the 2010 Religious Congregation and Membership Study provided by the Association of Religion Data Archives. The "Unclaimed" category does not mean that they are atheists or secular.
Suhor also provided a second data link to the Escambia County religion statistics profile showing that 22 percent of the residents could not be classified as Southern Baptist Convention (43 percent), Catholic Church (18 percent), United Methodist Church (11 percent), or Assemblies of God (7 percent).
Sheriff Morgan's violations of the separation of church and state regarding funding conservative Christian groups is consistent with county boards violating the same issue with regards to sectarian prayers before public meetings. And, these twin violations of the First Amendment are entirely consistent with the Christian Right's erroneous ideology that the separation of church and state is a myth.
Thus, Sheriff Morgan's apparent violations of the Establishment Clause appear to be ideologically driven violations that put many Christian, Catholic, other denominations, and secular groups in a disadvantageous position in the county.
Sheriff Morgan's Previous Breaches of the Establishment Clause
This is not Sheriff Morgan's first time apparently violating this section of the First Amendment.
Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) donations went to the Assembly of God's mission, Pensacola Men's Center, a franchisee of Teen Challenge USA, Inc; a CJ's Street Report article demonstrated that the Pensacola Men's Center was first and foremost a recruiting tool of the Assembly of God with no independently substantiated record of successfully treating anyone, youth or adult, for substance abuse.
Two LETF donations totaling $5,000 went to the Baptist-dominated Men's Barn Meeting, apparently due to the fact that Sheriff Morgan liked the free steak dinner and the Christian fellowship. Men's Barn Meeting has nothing to do with crime prevention, drug prevention, or safe neighborhoods, according to the CJ's Street Report analysis.
Youth Reach Gulf Coast--Money for Nothing
Youth Reach Gulf Coast is based in Summerdale, Alabama, and was established on April 21, 2010. According to business records filed with the Alabama Secretary of State, its registered agent was Mr. Curt Williams. According to the Alabama records, Youth Reach Gulf Coast is a "ministry." Unfortunately, the ministry's Articles of Incorporation on file with the Alabama Secretary of State can apparently only be purchased by a business entity registered in Alabama.
In response to my own request for information regarding how funds from the Escambia County Law Enforcement Trust Fund were used to support youth from Escambia County, Mr. Williams, the overall executive director of Youth Reach, Inc., responded with an email.
In 2010, Youth Reach Gulf Coast received a $1,000 donation from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, according to documents provided to the CJ's Street Report's public records request. According to a post-it note on a two-page business profile possibly faxed to the Sheriff's Office, there was a request from Sheriff Morgan to his subordinate to write the check. There was no enclosed documentation regarding who had initiated the request for funds, why the request for funds had been initiated, or what the legal basis for approving the funds were.
In 2013, Youth Reach Gulf Coast received another $1,000 donation from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, according to documents provided CJ's Street Report in response to a public records request. All the quotes below are taken from the documents provided to the CJ's Street Report.
This time (2013), however, doubts were raised by Ms. Judy-Ann Stanley of the Escambia County Clerk's Accounts Payable office regarding the propriety of the donation. Ms. Stanley's March 25, 2013, email to Ms. Katie Hoard and Mr. Henrique Dias, the latter definitely a subordinate of Sheriff Morgan, asked: "Youth Reach Gulf Coast received a $1000 donation from the ECSO yet it lists its address as Summerdale, Alabama and the charity operates homes in Houston, Texas and will open homes in Alabama. I do not understand how this non-profit agency operates community-based programs in Escambia County, Florida. Please advise."
On April 25, 2013, Mr. Dias, the Chief Financial Officer for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, responded that "Community Services Commander Tharp he informed [sic] that yes the Youth Reach Gulf Coast does in fact house Escambia County youth. It is the only facility within the Gulf Coast area to provide this service. The Escambia County Sheriff's Office does refer young men to the Youth Reach Gulf Coast organization, if the need arises. This being the case, the request from Youth Reach Gulf Coast does qualify for the LET donation criteria."
The data provided by Youth Reach Gulf Coast in support of its donation is rather vague as to its ability to "house Escambia County youth" as the Sheriff's Office claimed.
In its supporting documentation, Youth Reach Gulf Coast stated under "Program Overview": "...and is soon to open homes in Summerdale as well." It also stated that the youth served were "ages 12 to 21." Youth Reach Gulf Coast also included what appears to be its own newsletter dated March 2013 in which Mr. Williams revealed that Mr. Richard Crawford was now the director of Youth Reach Gulf Coast in Alabama. The newsletter also made an appeal for one or two volunteers.
Quite frankly, it is difficult to believe that in March-April 2013, that Youth Reach Gulf Coast was the "only facility within the Gulf Coast area to provide this service." Does Mr. Dias want us to believe that there was no other service in entire state of Florida that met Sheriff Morgan's needs?
What service? According to its "Program Overview" it "operates a series of Christian foster group homes." Was Mr. Dias suggesting that there are no "Christian" foster group homes or no "foster group homes" in the Northwest Florida region that serve young men aged 12 to 21? What service is not provided, Mr. Dias?
It is important to note and emphasize that there is nothing in the documentation up to 2013 provided to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office by Youth Reach Gulf Coast indicating that the organization services or has taken in any youth from Escambia County, Florida. They do not claim that they are requesting funds because they have taken in youth from Escambia County, Florida. They do not claim that they service Escambia County, Florida.
There is only the assertion by Mr. Dias that this is "the only facility within the Gulf Coast area to provide this service" and that the "Escambia County Sheriff's Office does refer young men to the Youth Reach Gulf Coast organzation, if the need arises."
Mr. Dias of the Sheriff's Office wants us to believe that there are no "foster group homes" or there is no "Christian foster group homes" located near Escambia County, Florida, or elsewhere in Florida that met Sheriff Morgan's needs.
In other words, the Sheriff's Offices in the three other Northwest Florida counties also had no place to send troubled youth aged 12 to 21 in 2013?
But, what about 2010, when Sheriff Morgan gave the organization $1,000? According to Alabama's Secretary of State business records, Youth Reach Gulf Coast, Inc., was formed on April 21, 2010. Stranger still, Sheriff Morgan wrote that $1000 check to Youth Reach Gulf Coast 14 days before the organization had been formed in Alabama.
We know from Form 990 that Youth Reach Gulf Coast sent to the federal Internal Revenue Service for calendar year 2012, that it spent only $3,391 on "food for residents" (see Schedule O).
We also know from Form 990 that Youth Reach sent to the IRS for calendar year 2013, that it spent $26,407 for "resident food and clothing" (see Part IX, Line 24b) for "19 young men" (see Part III, Line 4a).
The only available Form 990s are not comparable to each other. The 2012 form has a Schedule O, while the 2013 form has a Part IX. In 2012, there was no expense for "occupancy." In 2013, the expense for "occupancy" (Part IX, Line 16) is $50,985, which is among the "program service expenses."
Why? Well, if we take the only roughly comparable part of the Form 990, what was spent for "food" or "food and clothing," it suggests that in calendar year 2012, Youth Reach Gulf Coast only had 2.4 residents. We know that for calendar year 2013 it had "19 young men" which cost $26,407 for "food and clothing." Dividing $26,407 by 19 yields a cost per resident of $1,389.84. Assuming costs are constant, that yields 2.4 residents in 2012.
We also know from Mr. Williams' email that the Alabama facility only started taking youth from "NW Florida," "Just since our Director, Richard Crawford, stepped in three years ago..." We also know from the executive director's email that "young men ages 18-21 are transported to our 81-acre campus in Summerdale."
Thus, the claim by Mr. Dias of the Sheriff's Office is apparently contradicted by Mr. Williams. According to Mr. Williams, youth aged 18 to 21 were not transported to Summerdale, Alabama, until March 2013 (or slightly just before, when they hired Mr. Crawford), just one month before they requested money from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. And, we have reason to believe that in all of 2012, there were probably only two or possibly three young male residents at the facility in Alabama. These two or three youth probably may or may not have come from "NW Florida" but they almost certainly did not come from Escambia County, Florida.
And, that also calls into question why Sheriff Morgan requested and authorized a $1,000.00 donation in 2010, when there was (a) no documentation accompanying the Law Enforcement Trust Fund check and (b) we now know that Youth Reach Gulf Coast did not even start accepting youth from "NW Florida" until March 2013, and (c) Sheriff Morgan's check was written 14 days before the organization was formed in Alabama.
Thus, the assertion by Mr. Dias that "Youth Reach Gulf Coast does in fact house Escambia County youth" is apparently a false statement, though the falsity of that statement can apparently be attributed to "Community Services Commander Tharp." Commander Tharp now controls all the "Operation Clean Sweep" programs for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
And, we also know from Mr. Williams' email that when I asked specifically and unequivocally, "how many youths from Escambia County, Florida, did your organization service," he responded with "six boys" from "NW Florida."
But, excuse me, Northwest Florida is a larger geographical area than Escambia County, Florida. In other words, when asked to account for the money in terms of providing a service, which by Florida law he must account for, how many young people from this county has his organization serviced, the answer was essentially--NONE.
I assume Mr. Williams is no dummy and he knows very well the difference between "Escambia County, Florida" (the area in question) and "NW Florida (the irrelevant area) that evades the question. All boys from Escambia County are also from Northwest Florida, but not all boys from Northwest Florida are also from Escambia County. They could come from Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, or Walton County. These four counties, constituting Northwest Florida, also correspond to how Florida divides its circuit courts.
In May 2014, a little over one year later, Sheriff Morgan authorized a $5,000 donation to Youth Reach Gulf Coast, according to documents acquired via a public records request.
To acquire this donation, Mr. Williams put on the application that Youth Reach Gulf Coast's "service area is Mobile, Baldwin (Alabama) and Escambia County (Florida) region, though we have worked with kids from all over the U.S." (see the "Justification for Funding"). According to Mr. Williams, "Funds are being sought from the Escambia County Law Enforcement Trust Fund to provide program services to the young men currently in our care."
However, when I asked Mr. Williams in an email how the Law Enforcement Trust Fund money was used, he replied by email: "They were used for operating expenses for our overall work and services."
Well, there is a distinction between "program services" and "operating expenses." Mr. Williams told the Sheriff's Office the money was for "program services" and told me the money was used for "operating expenses."
Again, Mr. Williams is no dummy.
In 2012 and 2013 he signed the Form 990s sent to the federal Internal Revenue Service which also makes a distinction between operating expenses and program services. On Form 990 for 2013, lines 13 through 19 are for expenses. Line 17 is for "Other expenses" and points towards Part IX for the explanation; however, only lines 11f through 24e are program expenses. Thus, while Youth Reach Gulf Coast had total expenses of $315,719 (Line 25, column A), Fundraising Expenses of $47,215, its program expenses were $177,099, while non-program expenses (everything above 11e) was $91,405.
Thus, if Mr. Williams told me the truth in the email, the donation from the Escambia Law Enforcement Trust Fund went to salaries and wages (Line 7), payroll taxes (Line 10), and accounting costs (Line 11c). Of course, the Form 990 we are looking at is for 2013. While the figures would change for 2014, the line numbers would not.
The implication that the $1,000 LETF donation made in 2013 and the $5,000 LETF donation made in 2014 were used for "operating expenses," according to Mr. Williams's email to me, suggests that there were no youth from Escambia County, Florida, serviced by Youth Reach Gulf Coast. This inference is consistent with Mr. Williams' email statement that Youth Reach Gulf Coast "has cared for six boys in our residential program who are from NW Florida." And, it is consistent with the statement provided to Sheriff Morgan on the 2014 application that the "service area" includes "Escambia County (Florida) region." It would have been sufficient to merely state "Escambia County (Florida)." The word "region" broadens that to suggest Northwest Florida.
Thus, the textual analysis of all the documents suggests that Youth Reach Gulf Coast has not, in fact, serviced young men from Escambia County, Florida.
If any young men aged 18 to 21 were sent by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office to Youth Reach Gulf Coast between 2010, when Sheriff Morgan gave the first $1,000.00 donation, to 2014, when Sheriff Morgan made an additional $5,000.00 donation, then "Sir David, Knight of Grace," provide the news media and the Board of Commissioners written proof. All these young men are 18 or older and there is no reason why their records should be withheld. Where are the court documents sentencing them to Youth Reach Gulf Coast?
There are three additional points to be made.
One, if Mr. Williams' email response to me is correct and true, then he may have made false statements to the Sheriff's Office.
Two, the simple inclusion of the wording that their service area includes "Escambia County (Florida) region" and the subsequent approval by Sheriff Morgan suggests that any non-profit that includes those magic words is eligible for donations from Sheriff Morgan. How many non-profits across the United States do deserving organizations in Escambia County have to compete with for scarce Law Enforcement Trust Funds?
Three, Youth Reach Gulf Coast is not licensed to do business in Florida. I have searched Florida's Secretary of State website and there is no listing for Youth Reach Gulf Coast. Not ever.
Which is funny because in June 2011, Sheriff Morgan authorized a payment of $1,000.00 to the University of California at Los Angeles Foundation. The donation on the records received from the public records office reads "UCLA Foundat" for $1000 on 6/28/2011, reference 10072752.
The really funny thing is, the really smart guys at UCLA registered their foundation with Florida's Secretary of State. On the document they submitted they stated that the application and "Certificate of Existence" and a check "are submitted to register the above referenced not for profit corporation to conduct its affairs in Florida." On Line 6 of their "Application by Foreign Not for Profit Corporation for Authorization to Conduct its Affairs in the State of Florida," the smart guys wrote: "The UCLA Foundation to commence conducting business in Florida upon certification."
Now, if the UCLA Foundation's lawyers knew they had to register with Florida's Secretary of State in 2005, why did Youth Reach Gulf Coast's lawyers not know in 2010, 2013, and 2014? And, why did the Escambia County Sheriff's Office legal counsel not ask to see their business papers for Florida?
The only person who even questioned a donation was located in the Clerk of the Court's office, but she deferred judgment to Mr. Dias in 2013. Having bullied their way past the Accounts Payable clerk, they went large in 2014, going for $5,000.
What really appealed to Sheriff Morgan and his immediate top level subordinates? Well, Youth Reach Gulf Coast is a real right-wing Christian nationalist outfit that apparently matches or approximates Sheriff Morgan's worldview.
Youth Reach Gulf Coast--Christian Nationalism Selling Point
Let us return to the "service" that Youth Reach Gulf Coast said it provided in 2013. What was their really big selling point that would have appealed to Sheriff Morgan?
In the 2013 "Program Overview" they state that they operate "Christian foster group homes" and they are a "member of The Evangelical Counsel [sic] for Financial Accountability." Unfortunately, the word is "council" not "counsel."
In its 2013 application, Youth Reach Gulf Coast provided Sheriff Morgan its "Statement of Faith." According to this statement, "We believe the Holy Bible, in its original form, to be the infallible Word of the living God." They also believe that, among other things, "an abundant life on earth are possible only through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship cannot be purchased or earned, but must be accepted through God's grace following repentance from a life of sin."
You do not have to be a free thinker to see that many Catholics and Christians, and people of other faiths would take serious exception to those two statements. Youth Reach Gulf Coast is not an ecumenical, inclusive religious group. Oh no.
Any youth sentenced to Youth Reach is going to be bombarded with this Christian message. Its "Statement of Faith" declares: "We believe in the strict adherence of the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus before his Ascension. We believe sharing our faith and leading others to our Savior to be of supreme importance. Any less is disobedience." [emphasis added]
In other words, fearing they would disobey God, youth sentenced to Youth Reach are to be subjected to right-wing Christian propaganda in the hope that they will come to Jesus and then, and only then, will they be able to have "an abundant life on earth."
And if a youth's philosophical outlook does not match Youth Reach Gulf Coast's "Statement of Faith," well, that youth could himself being psychologically tortured.
In language that can only be considered double-speak, under the "Defining Characteristics of Youth Reach," the organization claims that "First and foremost we are a Christian ministry built on the foundation of God's Word. We are not religious..."
Excuse me, but you are a "Christian ministry" built on the "foundation of God's Word" and you "are not religious"? How is that even possible? Who can believe this nonsensical writing? That is like the Department of the Army claiming that it is built on the "foundation of the spirit of the bayonet" but we "are not violent." Good luck trying to find a grunt who believes that.
On their website, describing what they are about, they state that they come from a "Biblical perspective." And, Youth Reach includes the statement above that "we are a Christian ministry" (bolded on the website).
Youth Reach Gulf Coast also touted their use of "the accredited PACES program from The School of Tomorrow" in their 2013 application.
What exactly is this "accredited program"? According to the ChristianBook.com website, it is a program ranging from Grade K to Grade 12 and is produced by the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) PACEs from School of Tomorrow. It is a set of books for Christian home schoolers.
PACE actually stands for Packets of Accelerated Christian Education and is produced by Accelerated Christian Education and promoted by the School of Tomorrow. The PACE system is sold in the United Kingdom and the United States and the publications of ACE have been criticized both there and in the United States.
A youth sentenced to this "Jesus Gulag" would learn the following key points related to science, according to the UK-based Jonny Scaramanga writing at the Patheos blog "Leaving Fundamentalism: The Escape From Ignorance." Scaramanga was "raised on the ACE curriculum."
According to Scaramanga's analysis (2012) based on the PACE books and conversations with high-level ACE officials to verify that the older materials were still in use, the PACE scientific curriculum is based on the idea that human reason is not to be trusted and scientific findings cannot contradict the Bible:
"'Man should never trust his own reasoning--his reasoning may be incorrect because man's reasoning is not God's reasoning.'"
"'If a scientific theory contradicts the Bible, then the theory is wrong and must be discarded.'"
"'All scientific 'facts' must be interpreted on the basis of God's word, the infallible source of knowledge.'"
In fact, Sheriff Morgan's own religious beliefs can be correlated to the PACE curriculum, especially about "Man should never trust his own reasoning."
At the April 3, 2009, "Pray for Pensacola" event, Sheriff Morgan stated the following: "Never let us forget oh Lord, that it is never ever about us but, about you, Heavenly Father; that we are obedient to your Will; that in times of crisis, economic and personal, that the answers are there; that you have provided to us your Word; and, that as a nation we must only once again turn and seek your Face and your Word and your Wisdom, and never ever rely upon our own."
Sheriff Morgan, "Pray for Pensacola," excerpt
According to Scaramanga's analysis, the "Top 5 Lies" and "5 Even Worse Lies" in the science program are:
"'Humans and Dinosaurs Co-existed'"
"'Evolution Has Been Disproved'"
"'A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur'"
"'Solar Fusion is a Myth'"
"'The Loch Ness Monster Disproves Evolution'"
Five Even Worse
"'Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior'"
"'Scientists Believe the 'Hopeful Monster' Theory'"
"'No Transitional Fossils Exist'"
"'Mark's Gospel Was Written in 50 AD'"
"'The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution'"
Scaramanga also observed that the PACE curriculum was openly racist and promoted segregation. He noted, in the "educational cartoons that occur throughout each PACE, students of each race attend different, segregated schools." Even five years after the fall of apartheid in South Africa, Scaramanga noted that in the PACE curriculum "apartheid was beneficial after all. And that’s not all. Native Africans have no concept of wisdom, says ACE founder Donald Howard, because they do not know God." Scaramanga quoted Howard from his 1995 teacher training manual: "'It’s interesting that in the African primitive languages there is no word for wisdom. We in the West find that surprising, but you see, the idea of wisdom came through the Biblical channels of the Judaeo-Christian religion and filtered into all of western culture and society.'"
Rachel Tabachnick, a close observer of the Christian Right at the Talk to Action website and the Boston-based Political Research Associates, quoted from a study by Dr. Frances Paterson who analyzed the PACE curriculum materials. PACE's own treatment of Social Security asserts that "'Scripture plainly teaches that widows, the needy, and others who cannot provide for themselves are to have their needs met [but] God's plan is for these needs to be met first by family members and then by local churches, but not by government.'"
On poverty, Dr. Paterson noted, "'In quasi-economic discussions related to poverty and its amelioration, providentialism predominates fatalism. The authors present poverty as rooted in personal weakness and tend to ignore or downplay possible structural causes. Organized efforts to end poverty are characterized as contrary to God's plan for humanity, injurious to good government, or both.'"
In other words, Youth Reach Gulf Coast uses teaching materials based on an infallible Bible that not only contradicts science, but is racist, homophobic, and promotes an extreme right-wing libertarian economic philosophy. Again, that is highly sectarian and not consistent with the variety of viewpoints held by residents of Escambia County.
The Triangular Relation Between Youth Reach and Sheriff Morgan
At least as early as 2013, if not before, Youth Reach Gulf Coast was linked to the Pentecostal Liberty Church in Pensacola as a "sponsoring church," according to the 2013 application which included the March 2013 newsletter.
In September 2008, Mr. Joe Miller, the organizer and promoter of "Pray for Pensacola," in article titled, "40 days for the election," wrote that "elections more than ever before are becoming a place of Spiritual warfare." The elections were important because the proper Christians had to combat an atheistic, secular government that supported abortion and gay rights. According to Mr. Miller (with his misspellings): "The last generation that was in the same place we are today allowed an athiest agenda to be pushed and allowed a lie (the seperation of church and state) to be propigated. The end result is we now do not have prayer in schools. We allow the killing of the unborn for convenience. We think same-sex marriage would be a great step forward for our country. etc. That is why more than ever before we must pray and fast for the elections and for our country."
Clearly, when a scant seven months later, in April 2009, just a couple of months after taking office, when Sheriff Morgan was openly praying at the "Pray for Pensacola" to demonstrate the affinity of his faith with the coalition, he knew exactly what the group stood for.
In September 2009, just five months after the "Pray for Pensacola" event, Mr. Miller noted that Sheriff Morgan had a close relationship with Liberty Church. According to Mr. Miller, "Today I was at Liberty to create awareness about our ministry. They have an annual ‘God of the City’ service and invite different local ministries as well as local government officials. It was good to see the regulars. Those leaders that live a life of faith. Dave Morgan, Malcolm Thomas and Wilson Robertson."
The first $1,000.00 donation to Youth Reach Gulf Coast, which has no substantiating documentation as to who initiated the request for the donation, no documentation explaining what Youth Reach Gulf Coast did, and no explanation as to why an Alabama-based non-profit was entitled to receive Law Enforcement Trust Fund money was made on April 7, 2010, a mere seven months after Mr. Miller, head of "Pray for Pensacola" reported that Sheriff Morgan was a "regular" at Liberty Church, presumably a "sponsoring church" of Youth Reach Gulf Coast from 2010 when it was established in Alabama. While the date on the check is washed out, the check number and the date can be clearly seen on the "Voucher" dated "4/26/2010."
It is worth pointing out, that according to Alabama Secretary of State business records for Youth Reach Gulf Coast, that organization with ID Number 571-497 had a "Formation Date" of "4-21-2010."
In other words, Sheriff Morgan wrote a $1,000 check to Youth Reach Gulf Coast on April 7, 2010, fourteen days before Youth Reach was even a registered non-profit in Alabama.
How is that even possible, unless someone from Liberty Church or some other organization advised Sheriff Morgan that it would be a swell idea to write a check to an organization that did not legally exist in Alabama, and, certainly was not authorized to do business in Florida?
UPDATE (6/23/15): A closer examination of the apparent fax sent from Youth Reach to the Sheriff's Office is dated April 7, 2010, based on the date of the myManta business data date. The post-it note is dated the same day with the notation, "Mr. Dias: Need a contribution check for Youth Reach Gulf Coast." In other words, an Alabama-based non-profit is approved for a $1,000 donation on the same day the apparent fax request is received and no one asks why or what for. That can only mean that Sheriff Morgan or one of his high-level subordinates had already coordinated this donation and somebody outside the Sheriff's Office and Youth Reach had vouched for Youth Reach. This finding strengthens the case that someone from Youth Reach's Pensacola partner, Liberty Church, had vouched for Youth Reach.
The documented evidence and analysis of the supplementary email from Mr. Crawford, founder and executive director of Youth Reach, Inc., the parent company of Youth Reach Gulf Coast, Inc., has established the following findings:
1. Sheriff Morgan authorized a Law Enforcement Trust Fund donation of $1,000.00 for Youth Reach Gulf Coast on April 7, 2010, a full 14 days (April 21, 2010) before Youth Reach Gulf Coast had been formed in the state of Alabama, according to Alabama Secretary of State business records.
2. The Escambia County Sheriff's Office provided no documentation substantiating who initiated this 2010 donation and why Youth Reach Gulf Coast was authorized to receive this money.
3. At no time between April 7, 2010, and June 17, 2015, has Youth Reach Gulf Coast, Inc. been registered as a foreign corporation legally able to conduct business in the state of Florida, according to a search of the Secretary of State website.
4. Based on analysis of Youth Reach Gulf Coast's submissions to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office in 2013 and 2014, plus the email from Mr. Curt Williams, founder and executive director of Youth Reach, Inc., Youth Reach Gulf Coast has not provided residential services to any youth from Escambia County, Florida.
5. Moreover, based on the email from Mr. Williams, while Mr. Williams submitted to the Sheriff's Office a document stating the Law Enforcement Trust Fund donation would be used for "program expenses," in fact, the money was used for "operating expenses."
6. Based on Youth Reach Gulf Coast "Statement of Faith" that the Bible is the "infallible Word of the living God" and that "only through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ" can a person live "an abundant life on earth," it is clear that funding for Youth Reach Gulf Coast probably is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
7. Youth Reach Gulf Coast touts its use of the Packets of Accelerated Christian Education (PACE) produced by Accelerated Christian Education and promoted by The School of Tomorrow
8. A separate analysis of PACE course materials revealed that the PACE curriculum believes that human reason is not to be trusted, any scientific theory that contradicts the Bible is wrong and should be discarded, and that all scientific "'facts'" need to be interpreted in the light of the infallible Bible.
9. There is moderately strong circumstantial evidence that the origin of the mysterious 2010 donation to Youth Reach Gulf Coast is the result of a triangular relationship between Youth Reach Gulf Coast and Sheriff Morgan mediated by the Pensacola-based Liberty Church, a "sponsoring church" of Youth Reach Gulf Coast.
10. There is direct evidence provided by Mr. Joe Miller, founder and organizer of "Pray for Pensacola," that Sheriff Morgan was a "regular" at the Liberty Church.
11. There is circumstantial evidence that Liberty Church, a supporter of "Pray for Pensacola" since its inception in 2008, was part of a group of churches that believed, according to "Pray for Pensacola" founder Mr. Miller, that the upcoming November 2008 election amounted to "Spiritual warfare" and the need to elect godly officials who opposed abortion and same-sex marriage.
Thus, the origin of the original 2010 donation to Youth Reach Gulf Coast was probably mediated by Liberty Church and approved by Sheriff Morgan because Liberty Church was one church in a loose, informal coalition of churches in "Pray for Pensacola" that helped elect Mr. David Morgan Sheriff in November 2008.