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Ex-official guilty in child porn case

The man had thousands of pornographic images in a county computer.

By WILLIAM R. LEVESQUE

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 31, 2001


The man had thousands of pornographic images in a county computer.

LARGO -- A former manager of Pinellas County's Environmental Management Division has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography that he downloaded on his office computer.

Donald D. Moores, 61, who was fired from his $63,300-a-year job in June when police arrested him, pleaded guilty on Monday to four charges of possessing child pornography, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Mark Shames immediately sentenced the Clearwater resident to serve five years of sex offender probation and ordered that Moores pay $403 in fines and court costs.

The judge also withheld a formal finding of guilt for Moores, who has no prior criminal record.

County computer technicians discovered a cache of thousands of pornographic images on the computer in Moores' Clearwater office after investigating why the division's computer server was clogged with files and available space cut to 20 percent.

A technician called Pinellas sheriff's deputies after he saw sexually explicit images that Moores had downloaded.

Detectives said that Moores moved many of the images to the server so he could perform maintenance on his office computer. But when he did that, computers for all employees who used the system were slowed, alerting technicians.

Detectives who executed a search warrant at his office at 512 S Fort Harrison Ave. found at least 10,000 pornographic or erotic images in Moores' computer and on computer disks or on printouts. Deputies seized 300 disks.

Most of the pornography involved adults. But deputies said 100 photos showed nude children and about 25 displayed children in sex acts.

Deputies said Moores admitted downloading the pornography and expressed remorse. He declined to comment when contacted at his home on Tuesday and his defense attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Moores worked for 12 years at the division, which is in charge of monitoring groundwater and seagrass, as well as various educational programs on water quality and manatee protection regulation. He supervised 12 employees.

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