School Board Member Arrested For Abusing Jail Inmates

October 31, 2009

An Escambia County (Ala.) School Board member from the Flomaton area was arrested Friday after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges that he fondled inmates at the county jail.

hawthorne.jpgRichard Hawthorne, 51, was indicted Friday by the grand jury on seven charges in connection with allegations that he fondled  female inmates at the Escambia County (Ala.) Detention Center where he formerly worked as a corrections officer. He was charged with two counts of custodial sexual misconduct, two counts of prostitution, two ethics violations counts, and one count of second degree promotion of prison contraband.

The charges stemmed from allegations made by two female inmates transported by Hawthorne while he was a corrections officer –one to state prison on March 4 and one being transported to a mental health facility on April 27. Both inmates alleged that Hawthorne touched them in a sexual manner.

The allegations were reported to Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff Grover Smith who immediately turned the investigation over to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Hawthorne resigned his position soon after the ABI began its probe. The results of that investigation were presented this week to the grand jury.

Hawthorne is free on $100,000 bond posted Friday by his wife.

He has served on the Escambia County (Ala.) School Board since 2001 and represents the Flomaton area.


19 Responses to “School Board Member Arrested For Abusing Jail Inmates”

  1. george C. butts, llc on September 7th, 2010 10:17 am

    Hey grover, ? were you thinking having a lone mail transport female prisoners

  2. char on December 13th, 2009 8:30 am

    No matter how much I find out about the County here,
    I am still shocked everytime I hear something.

    I heard a story one day about a county employee who had been caught
    having sex with an inmate. The husband of the employee caught them.
    He then had a fight with the inmate and was fired. as he also worked
    at the county.

    I didn’t know till later who it was. I believe I found out because he came home
    and beat his wife in the front yard of his home for two hours, and screamed
    all the stuff at her, and called her names I wouldn’t call my worst enemy.
    I knew she worked for the county and I knew he was saying it was she!

    I’m still wondering why SHE was not fired also!


  3. Duh on November 4th, 2009 4:10 pm

    He worked for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy/Corrections Officer. He was also on the school board. He has always been a nice, clean cut man, who was very polite, and never raised his voice. I find the accusations hard to believe. However, people need to stop jumping to conclusions and actually read the entire article before making yourselves appear stupid and uninformed.

  4. Mickey Powell on November 1st, 2009 4:30 pm

    Who was in charge of THIS guy?

    Mickey Powell

  5. mikebee on November 1st, 2009 8:19 am

    I’m glad that they caught this moron. People like him think that just because they hold certain positions in society that makes them above the law. I don’t feel sorry for him he knew what he was doing he just got cocky and arrogant in his thinking. I will never get caught is what he said. The Bible say’s BE SURE YOUR SIN’S WILL FIND YOU OUT!

  6. J. P. on November 1st, 2009 8:09 am

    In the first place, the mans’ accusers are apparently not the most reliable of
    witnesses. I do not see it impossible for “sceam” to be cooked up by two
    jailed individuals to accuse a law enforcement officer of such deeds. Object
    being to remove the focus on their own illegal activities whatever they may be.
    I also find it odd an innocent man would resign so quickly. Perhaps we
    should hold judgement either way until all the facts are known and let the
    court decied what the outcome should be.

  7. Lei on October 31st, 2009 11:29 pm

    I just can’t believe this, I know Richard I have worked with him he is such a great person. I just don’t think he would ever do anything like that!

  8. woweee on October 31st, 2009 10:35 pm

    looks like another thug is off the streets. good job cops

  9. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on October 31st, 2009 9:21 pm

    the smurk on his face says it all .. We need to pray for Gods children. The good and the bad.

  10. duh!!!! on October 31st, 2009 8:56 pm

    who says the man is even guilty?????????? I think that is for a jury of 12 to decide. People in that small town are so quick to judge others. It may be YOU being accused next time. BE CAREFUL when you pass judgement.

  11. old news on October 31st, 2009 7:44 pm

    I know someone that had a baby by a correction officer She was not forced in to it. or this is what i was told . This happen 35 years ago so it has been happing or a long time. He would transport her back and forth to the town she live in on the wekends. It seemes to me even if both parties are willing this is a miss use of power. These officers are are suppose to up hold the law. But on the other hand many of these inmates do this to get shorter sentences or money. If he quit his job I feel like he did do this. How long had he worked at the jail? Did he pay the women for sex ? I hope that his wife was checked for aids. also why was not there not 2 officers with these inmates at a time. One male and one female. This would protect the officers and the inmates.

  12. Grateful on October 31st, 2009 6:23 pm

    It seems almost every time I see something like this or a lot of other crimes, they come from Flomaton or Century. Why is this? I haven’t lived her all my life, so can someone clue me in as to what in the world is going on over there????

  13. deBugger on October 31st, 2009 5:33 pm

    The judge & now a School Board member—

    What is it about politics in our beloved South that attracts such vile human beings?

  14. KEE on October 31st, 2009 5:23 pm

    Why was a school board member transporting inmates to begin with???

  15. Note on October 31st, 2009 4:19 pm

    Perhaps the person is already corrupt before he/she assumes any position of power. It’s like money NOT being the “root of all evil,’ but the LOVE of money.

  16. Thinker on October 31st, 2009 4:13 pm

    You’ve heard the term: “Power corrupts”. Don’t accept any position of power over others UNTIL you’ve heard that term and considered it well.

  17. Just Me on October 31st, 2009 3:52 pm

    What’s next???????? Will this ever end??????

  18. Note on October 31st, 2009 3:36 pm

    Good Grief!!

  19. EMD on October 31st, 2009 2:41 pm


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