• Former DCF investigator accused of soliciting sexual favors from woman he was helping

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    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A former state employee was arrested Friday for soliciting sexual favors from a New Smyrna Beach woman in exchange for using his own urine for her drug screening, according to investigators.

    WFTV learned a former Florida Department of Children and Families investigator was arrested Friday after investigators said he asked for sexual favors from a New Smyrna Beach mother he was supposed to be helping.

    Investigators said 32-year-old Andrew Thomas pressured the victim for sexual favors in exchange for using his own urine sample to help her pass a drug screening.

    "Yeah, he was scary. He seemed like he could have gotten aggressive and that's why I was scared,” the victim told WFTV. "It's not right. That's not the way he's supposed to do his job."

    Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Thomas on Thursday. Thomas was booked into the Cumberland County Prison in Pennsylvania where he will await extradition back to Volusia County.

    He's been charged with bribery by a public servant, official misconduct and falsifying records.

    Investigators said the incident happened on May 8 at the 22-year-old victim's home near New Smyrna Beach. The woman told Volusia County Sheriff's investigators that Thomas told her he needed a urine sample for a drug test so that he could close her DCF case.

    Investigators said the woman complied, but Thomas claimed her sample tested positive for drugs. Thomas told the woman that his supervisor would likely want him to notify the woman's probation officer of the bad results.

    However, investigators said Thomas told the woman that he wished he had taken the test for her, using his urine and said he could lose his job for helping her, so she would need to do something to prove he could trust her.

    “He was going so far to bribe this woman to get his own personal gratification of sex, which is definitely beyond the pale,” said Brandon Haught, with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

    The victim told investigators that at one point she tried recording the conversation using her cellphone, but Thomas noticed and ordered her to delete it and to have sex with him.

    Investigators said the victim took off her clothes, but they did not engage in sex. They said Thomas then provided a urine sample and had the victim sign paperwork attesting to having passed the drug screening.

    The victim notified Thomas' supervisors at DCF. The next day, investigators said 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.

    A Volusia County Sheriff's investigator contacted Thomas in Pennsylvania and during an interview, Thomas confirmed what the victim told deputies. The arresting affidavit shows he admitted to the whole thing and said he was "in a dark place. Drinking, doing drugs, and buying hookers every night."

    Investigators believe Thomas may have other victims. They said another woman has already come forward and said that Thomas, who was assigned to her DCF case, called and texted her late at night. Investigators said the woman said that he complimented how she looked, invited her to the beach and to go gambling, and asked her about body massages and sex.

    Anyone with information about additional such encounters is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (386) 423-3301 or (386) 423-3888.

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