United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge United States District Court
Shannon L. Anson is charged with bribery in connection with
programs receiving federal funds. (Docket No. 1, PageID #
9-10) Anson, as an employee of the Kentucky Department of
Juvenile Justice (DJJ), allegedly accepted more than $50, 000
from Defendants Clifford Frank Wilkinson and Erica Beth Bowen
in exchange for favorable treatment of their “equine
employment training center, ” Bluegrass Training and
Therapy Center, Inc., which had contracts with DJJ.
(Id., PageID # 3; see id., PageID # 9-10) Anson has
moved to suppress a statement she gave to agents from the
Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, arguing
that she was coerced into making the statement. (D.N. 40)
Because the United States has demonstrated by a preponderance
of the evidence that Anson's statement was voluntary, the
Court will deny her motion to suppress.
was interviewed by Special Agents Alicia Vazquez and Patrick
Schumacher of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector
General on May 11, 2016. (D.N. 40-3, PageID # 142-44) Before
the interview, Anson was presented with an OIG form labeled
“WARNINGS AND ASSURANCES TO EMPLOYEE REQUESTED TO
PROVIDE INFORMATION ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS.” (D.N. 40-2)
The agents reviewed the form with Anson, who acknowledged at
the outset of the interview that she understood the interview
was voluntary. (D.N. 40-3, PageID # 144-45) The form
describes the investigation as “pertain[ing] to
allegations relating to improprieties with DOJ [g]rants
related to the Bluegrass Training & Therapy Center
(BTTC).” (D.N. 40-2) The form further provides:
This is a voluntary interview. Accordingly, you do not have
to answer questions. No. disciplinary action will be taken
against you if you choose not to answer questions.
Any statement you furnish may be used as evidence in any
future criminal proceedings or agency disciplinary
proceeding, or both.
(Id.) Anson's signature appears under the
“Waiver” section of the form, which states:
“I understand the warnings and assurances stated above
and I am willing to make a statement and answer questions.
No. promises or threats have been made to me and no pressure
or coercion of any kind has been used against me.”
interview began with background questions concerning
Anson's employment at DJJ. (D.N. 40-3, PageID # 146-49)
Schumacher then asked Anson about the extent of her
relationship with Wilkinson and Bowen and her connection to
BTTC. (Id., PageID # 149-51) When asked whether she
had ever had employment outside DJJ, Anson stated that she
had done “case management” with an entity called
Family Links. (Id., PageID # 151-55) The questioning
then returned to BTTC:
MR. SCHUMACHER: Have you ever received any money from BTTC?
MS. ANSON: No. MR. SCHUMACHER: I would like to remind you
what we stated before we got going here that if there's
any information that you know is not truthful, this would be
a good time not to be covering over it.
One of the things that we've already done is issued a No.
of subpoenas to their bank and you have a bank account with
MS. ANSON: Yes.
MR. SCHUMACHER: So can you explain why there's a No. of
checks from BTTC in the amount of $1, 000 beginning in 2013
going through 2015 issued out in your name?
MS. ANSON: (No audible response.)
MR. SCHUMACHER: Would you like me to re-ask the question?
MS. ANSON: No. MR. SCHUMACHER: Have you received any money
from BTTC, or from Erica Bowen or Jay Wilkinson directly?
MS. ANSON: Well, that's not what, I guess I, I guess
we're done here because- MR. SCHUMACHER: Okay. Is there
any other questions [sic] that I could ask ...