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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sheriff Morgan "Knighthood" Fraud CONFIRMED By Review

Sheriff Morgan does have a "Knighthood" from the The Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem, according to a June 17, 2012, article in the Pensacola News Journal, that can only be accessed by paying $3.95 for it.

But, he still lied to and perpetrated a fraud on the voters of Escambia County.

When I performed a Google search for "David Morgan" and "Order of St John," the name used on his official resume still hanging on the Florida Sheriff Association's webpage for Escambia County, nothing came back.

However, a commenter, "Anonymous," provided a link to the free version of the June 17, 2012, article.  I appreciate the tip from "Anonymous."  The title of the article is "The 'Knighthood' of Sheriff David Morgan."  Nothing in the free version indicates which organization provided the "knighthood."  But, I should have also searched for "David Morgan" plus knighthood.  My mistake.

The version behind the Pensacola News Journal Pay Wall, however, reveals that Mr. David Morgan in 2006 paid $1,000 to purchase his "knighthood."  The organization that he purchased his trinket that he hangs around his neck is the The Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem.

Mr. Rob Johnson, the journalist who wrote the story, contacted Countess Tatiana Bobrinskoy, the widow of the Count who did the sword dubbing ritual for Mr. David Morgan in New York.  Johnson reported, "In recent years, she said, he hasn't contributed the minimum $100 in annual donations expected from each of the group's 500 knights in the U.S. and other countries."  He quoted her, "'He hasn't done enough for the order,' Countess Bobrinskoy said. 'And you can tell him that.'"

Three observations are apparent and relevant, and the fourth observation, proof of the fraud involved further research.

One, the "knighthood" is a worthless title indicative of nothing.  Any gumshoe detective with a spare $1,000 in his pocket could purchase the "knighthood" to pad his resume and make his seem that he actually accomplished something.  He is a knight in shining armor in his fevered imagination.

Two, the timing suggests that the "knighthood" was purchased in preparation for his second, and successful, run for Sheriff in 2008, having lost in 2004.  He used the same resume for his run in 2012.

Three, having apparently purchased the "knighthood" for its appearance on his resume and a trinket around his neck, he apparently did not provide any more contributions, or enough contributions, to the organization.  Sheriff Morgan stated in the article that he had not received that year's annual fee in the mail, but the Countess told the Pensacola News Journal that it was in "recent years," not just that year.

The Fraud Revealed

The most important and relevant fourth observation is that Sheriff Morgan lied on his resume and deliberately perpetrated a fraud.

It appears that he deliberately lied on his resume to give the unsuspecting reader the impression that his "knighthood" came from a prestigious religious order rather than a charity that raises money by selling ridiculous "knighthoods" to anybody without a criminal record, claiming to be a good Christian, and a spare $1,000 in their pocket.

Here is how Sheriff Morgan described his honorific title on his Florida Sheriff Association resume (still there as of 0024 hours on June 4, 2015):

"Knighthood, Order of St. John of Jerusalem (OSJ)"

And, if you Google "Order of St. John of Jerusalem"--exactly what Sheriff Morgan wrote on his resume, Google lists "The Priory in the USA of the Order of St John" as the first return.

In other words, an unsuspecting sap like me who took Sheriff Morgan at his word found himself at a very legitimate, well respected charity based in the United States linked to the Order of St John of Jerusalem headquartered in London, England--the very organization I sent my original query regarding the validity of Sheriff Morgan's claim.  That London-based organization is listed about five entries down as "St John International" Home.

Here is the legal name of the order that gave him his knighthood according to its 2006 Form 990 sent to the federal Internal Revenue Service:

"The Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem"

Notice that Mr. Morgan was knighted in 2006.  Thus, the name above is the name of the organization that knighted him.  It is the name of the organization that would have sent him a reminder in the mail to send his check for a minimum of $100 to maintain his membership.

Here is the same organization with all the words bolded that Sheriff David Morgan, a Sheriff who claims that integrity and character are vital to being a successful law enforcement officer, removed and placed on his resume:

"The Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem"

Now, that does not appear to be a simple oversight.  He omitted seven words.  He gave the abbreviation as "OSJ."  The acronym "OSJ" belongs to the Order of St. John that I initially wrote about regarding his "fraud."

I maintain that eliminating seven words constitutes fraud.  Upon further review, the call stands.

But, let us look at how that very same organization portrays itself on the Internet.  This is not so straightforward because the actual organization does not have an Internet presence.  Instead, there is a website which claims that "This is the only officially recognized website of the Knights Orthodox Order of Saint John Russian Grand Priory."

Notice the name given differs from the name the organization is legally required to give the federal Internal Revenue Service and notice that the abbreviation is OOSJ, not OSJ as Sheriff Morgan wrote on his official resume.  In fact, the website also uses OOSJ-RGP.

"Knights of the Orthodox Order of Saint John Russian Grand Priory (OOSJ)"

This fictitious name does not even include the words "St. John."  But, all correspondence is to be sent to the same address given to the Internal Revenue Service.

If you want to send them a donation to the same address, use the name "Knights of the Orthodox Order of Saint John Russian Grand Priory" again dropping any reference to Jerusalem.  And, again the name does not match the legal name provided to the Internal Revenue Service.

The evidence is clear that Sheriff Morgan deliberately and consciously sought to mislead readers of his official resume into believing that his "knighthood" came from an charity and order initially sanctioned by Queen Victoria and still under the protection and guidance of Her Majesty the Queen.  He could not have removed seven words from the name of the organization that gave him his "knighthood" believing that he would not be misleading the voters of Escambia County.  That beggars belief.

Instead, his "knighthood" came from a legitimate charity (registered with the federal Internal Revenue Service that does provide money to churches and the poor), and, in 2002, gave $16,000 to three engine companies in New York City.  But, they sell "knighthoods."  These "knighthoods" do not signify an accomplishment.

Sheriff Morgan lied and perpetrated a fraud on his resume.  I have been challenged--"Anonymous" thought I was a coward--to take this to Florida's ethics commission.  No, the final say on Sheriff Morgan's fitness and suitability to serve as the Sheriff of Escambia County belongs to the voters.  This is a piece of evidence regarding his lack of integrity that they should consider in the deliberations.


  1. My takeaway from the first article and the series of comments by Anonymous was completely different.

    I figured Morgan had actually paid for some spurious Knighthood but that it was of little real substance.

    The fact that he would think it consequential enough to include in his Sheriffs Association resume said more about his cynical appraisal of the intelligence of his fellow sheriffs than it did about his actual accomplishments--which pretty much peak with him getting a Good Conduct medal as an Air Force cop. Big whoop! His "Knighthood" was less a fraud than it was the ego-puffery of man insecure about his real accomplishments.

    It was Anonymous's comments that held the real meat for me:

    Can the elected chief law enforcement officer of a county in Florida actually appoint someone to a sinecure-like position of Homeland Security Liaison as a political payoff?

    How does Anonymous know about this?

    Why is Anonymous so knowledgeable about the rumors surrounding an election that hasn't even really started yet?

    Does our Sheriff actually use dim-witted, name-calling bully-boys as political operatives?

    And then, after your research for this blog post:

    Why would a Florida Sheriff purchase a phony Knighthood from a charity of dubious merit, run by a Russian "nobleman" and with a tax-preparer located in Brighton Beach, NY, a notorious domain of the Russian mafia?

    Are all the politicians and their ignoble ilk here in Baja Alabama actually the spawn of unholy congress of the Snopes with the Bundrens?

    Follow the money, these guys ain't that bright.

    1. I have to agree. Morgan's stunt to awe a few dim-wits seemed to have worked. It sounds like something a post-pubescent boy might say to get laid. I looked at that 8 pointed cross and my first thought was more related to the fascist Third Reich.

      Knowing that Sir David is racially challenged and that his OFFICIAL title is "The Honorable Sheriff David Morgan", maybe "Grand Wizard" is more appropriate for his resume.