Tracey McManus, Pinellas County Commission, Scientology and Clearwater Reporter

Tracey McManus

Pinellas County Commission, Scientology and Clearwater Reporter

I cover Pinellas County with a focus on the workings and impacts of government, environmental issues, the City of Clearwater, the Church of Scientology, animal welfare and other topics. Before joining the Times in 2015, I spent five years with The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia. I've wanted to be a journalist pretty much since I was old enough to read the newspapers my dad kept stacked near the kitchen table every day. That's never changed. I was born in Brooklyn but grew up in south Florida and graduated from University of Florida in 2010 with degrees in journalism and Spanish. When not on deadline, I'm usually out running with my two dogs Tiger and Ollie, both strays I found in Georgia.

Scientology stalked, threatened women who accused actor Danny Masterson of assault, according to lawsuit

Actor Danny Masterson arrives at the Youth for Human Rights International Celebrity Benefit in Los Angeles in 2014. He called a lawsuit filed Wednesday against him and Scientology “beyond ridiculous.” Associated Press (2014)
This is the second lawsuit filed this summer against Scientology leader David Miscavige by a legal team using civil court to expose the church’s institutional structure it says enables abuse...

Judge's ruling brings Dade City's Wild Things closer to losing tigers and cub encounters

Director of Dade City’s Wild Things Kathy Stearns holds a 2 week-old baby tiger after bottle feeding in 2015. Wild Things’ cub petting business is at the center of a federal lawsuit brought by PETA  [CHRIS URSO   |   Times (2015)]
A magistrate judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of PETA in its lawsuit against Dade City's Wild Things, which alleges cub encounters violate federal law. A district judge must now give a final ruling.

Lawsuit accuses Scientology, David Miscavige of child abuse, human trafficking, libel.

The 380,000 square-foot Flag building is Scientology’s international spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times (2011)]
Lawyers say more lawsuits will follow.The first, filed in Los Angeles for an unnamed Jane Doe, outlines her life of alleged abuse in the church, including at the international spiritual headquarters.

Vote on Clearwater condo fought by neighbors pushed to June due to city clerical error

Valor Capital CEO Moises Agami, and his father-son partners Elias and Diego Jafif, is proposing a 7-story, 86-foot condo on the vacant lot at Edgewater Drive and Sunset Point Road. [photo courtesy Valor Capital]
Residents around the Edgewater Drive property are fighting the condo for its height but also question assurances from developers, who are Scientologists, the project isn't controlled by Scientology.

Neighbors protest height of Clearwater condo proposed by developers tied to Scientology

Valor Capital CEO Moises Agami, and his father-son partners Elias and Diego Jafif, is proposing a 7-story, 86-foot condo on the vacant lot at Edgewater Drive and Sunset Point Road. [photo courtesy Valor Capital]
Residents are fighting the 86-foot-tall condo for its impact on surrounding homes. But they also doubt the developers' assurances that the Church of Scientology is not involved.