A former Florida Department of Children and Families investigator was arrested Friday for soliciting sexual favors from a New Smyrna Beach woman in exchange for using his own urine for her drug screening. Andrew Thomas, 32 (10/22/80), was taken into custody at his current home in Carlisle, Pa. on a warrant charging him with bribery by a public servant, official misconduct, and falsifying records.
Thomas visited the 22-year-old victim the morning of May 8 at her home near New Smyrna Beach. The woman related to Volusia County Sheriff’s investigators that Thomas told her he needed a urine sample for a drug test so that he could then close her DCF case. The woman complied. Thomas immediately tested the sample and claimed that it was positive for drugs. This led to a conversation about how bad the test results would look for the victim and Thomas lamented that his supervisor would likely want him to notify the woman’s probation officer. During this talk, Thomas mentioned that he wished he had taken the test for her, using his urine in order to give her clean results.
Thomas explained to the victim that he could lose his job for helping her, so she would need to do something to prove he could trust her. The woman told investigators that Thomas started pressuring her to have sex with him in exchange for a clean urine sample. At one point, the victim tried recording the conversation using her cell phone, but Thomas noticed. He ordered her to delete the recording and have sex with him. The victim was finally able to appease Thomas by taking off all of her clothes so he could look at her body, but they did not engage in any sex. Thomas then provided a urine sample and had the victim sign paperwork attesting to having passed the drug screening.
The victim later told her boyfriend what had happened and the boyfriend called Thomas to confront him. Thomas apologized, but explained that he had felt that he was backed into a corner when the victim had failed the test. To help her he needed to have her do something that would prove her trustworthiness. Thomas also stressed to the boyfriend that he was in the process of closing all of the victim’s DCF cases.
The victim notified Thomas’ supervisors at DCF. They then informed Thomas that a complaint about him had been filed but they didn’t provide any details to him about it at that time. The next day Thomas moved out of his residence and submitted a letter of resignation to DCF stating that he was moving to Pennsylvania to be near family. However, a Volusia County Sheriff’s investigator contacted him in Pennsylvania and during an interview Thomas confirmed what the victim had told deputies. He explained, “I was in a dark place.”
Investigators obtained the arrest warrant signed by circuit court judge Frank Marriott on Thursday. He was booked into the Cumberland County Prison in Pennsylvania where he will await extradition back to Volusia County.
It is believed that Thomas may have victimized others in a similar manner. Another woman has already come forward to say that Thomas had been assigned to her DCF case and he subsequently called and texted her late at night. She said that he complimented how she looked, invited her to the beach and to go gambling, and asked her about body massages and sex.