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Clearwater investment manager arrested on molestation charge

CLEARWATER — A longtime city official who helps manage nearly a billion dollars in city funds was arrested Wednesday morning on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor.

Clearwater's cash and investments manager, Steve Moskun, was arrested by Pinellas County sheriff's deputies during a traffic stop near Clearwater. He was wanted on an Orange County warrant.

Moskun, 54, of Safety Harbor was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where he awaits transfer to Orange County. This is his only arrest in Florida. The Orange County Sheriff's Office would not release information about the case.

Moskun has worked for Clearwater since 1994, directly overseeing $321 million in invested operating funds, city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said. As a member of the city's pension investment committee, Moskun also helped make decisions regarding $600 million in employee pensions. He earns $73,657 a year.

Personnel reviews commend Moskun for honesty and integrity. In 2002, a supervisor said Moskun volunteered at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and local schools.

City officials were waiting to learn more about the charges against Moskun before taking action, City Manager Bill Horne said Wednesday.

"It shocks me," Mayor Frank Hibbard said Wednesday. "You just never know what's going on."

Moskun worked for Safety Harbor for over a decade, serving as finance director for eight years ending in 1992. That year, former City Manager Pam Brangaccio accused him of immaturity and instability.

Brangaccio said Moskun told management he worried for his job and was having suicidal thoughts. Moskun resigned while under investigation in a sexual harassment case, saying he was quitting because he didn't think he could get a fair hearing.

Clearwater has faced the arrests of several prominent officials in recent months.

Former fire Chief Jamie Geer was arrested in December and accused of sexually abusing a young girl for several years, recording nearly a dozen videotapes as souvenirs. He was immediately fired and remains at the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of capital sexual battery.

And earlier this month, senior planner Wayne Wells resigned after being convicted of possessing crack cocaine.

He was arrested during a traffic stop on S Fort Harrison Avenue near Belleair Road shortly after midnight on Aug. 31. Police reported finding a chunk of crack cocaine in his car. He pleaded not guilty and had remained employed by the city while awaiting trial.

"These are three separate incidents regarding employees' outside-of-work behavior," Horne said. "It certainly is not reflective of the history of Clearwater's employees."

Contact Drew Harwell at dharwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

Clearwater investment manager arrested on molestation charge 02/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:10pm]
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