The daily newspaper reports today that Escambia County allowed a man arrested for using his county cell phone to solicit sex from a minor to come back to work while he awaits trial. Only after PNJ reporter Kevin Robinson brought the matter to the attention to County Administrator Jack Brown was the employee, Douglas Scott Griffith, suspended from work.
Griffith, an inspector in the Escambia County Engineering Department, was charged for two counts of transmitting obscene material to a child and one count of child solicitation by computer. His case stayed off the radar for most local media because the warrants were in Henry County, Ala. However, county officials did help with the Alabama investigation —confirming the cell phone used was owned by the county and assigned to Griffith and also identified for the investigators the man from his photo.
The Independent News confirmed last night the county administration was also aware of the arrest. However, it is doubtful that Brown was told about the incident when he reported for work on June 9. County spokesperson Kathleen Dough-Castro told the PNJ that decisions of whether employees are allowed to return to work after criminal arrests are handled on a case-by-case basis.
This policy may change under Jack Brown but how it has been implemented in the past needs to reviewed. A review needs to be done to be sure all employees have been treated equally when they have had run-ins with the law.