Jail date set for former Okaloosa sheriff's office employees

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 10:06 AM.

Under the scheme, trusted employees received large bonuses and were asked to return some portion of it to the sheriff. Morris used the ill-gotten taxpayer dollars to fund trips to Las Vegas and to pay bills and buy gifts for a mistress — his chief of staff, Sabra Thornton.

Morris is serving a 71-month federal prison term, and Adams has completed a three-year sentence. Both have been ordered to serve 20 years probation after prison and to pay $200,000 in restitution to Okaloosa taxpayers.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley is credited with bringing the kickback scheme to the attention of the FBI in early 2009. Morris and Adams were taken into federal custody on Feb. 27 of that year.

Coup, who earned a salary of $109,000, received $107,406 in bonuses, according to auditor records.

Norris received 15 bonuses totaling more than $97,000 and used her knowledge of what Morris was up to to bully him into a pay raise of $13,520, according to the FBI.

Yacks, Adams’ brother, received a salary of $65,500 and $149,644 in bonuses, auditors said.

The three were convicted by an Escambia County jury — the cases were moved from Okaloosa County — and were allowed to remain free until appeals of their convictions had been heard.



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