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School board member arrested

By By Lisa Tindell
An Escambia County School Board member and sheriff’s officer was arrested this week on a variety of charges including sexual misconduct, ethics violations, prostitution and promoting prison contraband.
Richard Leon Hawthorne, of 3245 Oil Well Rd. in Flomaton, was arrested Friday following grand jury indictments.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said Hawthorne was booked into the Escambia County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond, but was released soon after his arrest.
Hawthorne also worked as transportation officer with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, Smith said.
Smith said following an ABI investigation, the bureau presented evidence to a grand jury resulting in writs for his arrest being issued.
Hawthorne now faces charges on two counts of custodial sexual misconduct; two counts of ethics violation, two counts of prostitution and one count of promoting prison contraband, second degree. A court official said the prison contraband was cigarettes.