Life Decisions

Life Decisions


“Tom DeVocht liked and wanted to be connected to power and wanted to position himself as if he were powerful, when he really wasn’t in much of a position of power at all.”
Jenny Linson, ex-wife and former administrative senior to S.P. Times source Tom Devocht

Tom DeVocht tells Joe Childs and Tom Tobin he had witnessed “75 to 100 instances of violence.” Of those instances, he would only elaborate on five, one of which was physically impossible given the alleged perpetrator was out of state at the time he said it occurred.  Only two were corroborated by others—who conveniently happened to be Childs’ and Tobin’s other sources.

Meanwhile, DeVocht’s 20-plus aggravated assaults on staff members were independently documented by more than 25 witnesses.

Also now documented: In his capacity as Church construction manager, DeVocht wasted millions in parishioner donations.

To wit:

“Specifically and in short… I committed financial crimes by signing work orders and committing expenses without any authority. It was thought—very incorrectly—that I must be informing Chairman of the Board of what I was doing and how much I was spending on the project. This was not the case.”

In a retrospective examination of his modus operandi, after he was removed from his staff position for his financial overspends, he further admitted:

“I would never even consider I was doing wrong unless I was caught out and then my only sorrow was for being caught…. Lying was not wrong unless I was caught out and couldn’t lie my way out of it—the actual wrongdoing wasn’t wrong if I could get away with it.”
Add to that a rap sheet citing counts of:

  • Enlisting a convicted felon to broker a Church property acquisition, losing the building and $1 million in the process.
  • Serving as a co-conspirator in suborning perjury and obstructing justice.
  • Squandering his wife’s inheritance behind her back to the tune of $100,000.
  • Selling his wife’s vehicle in her absence and despite her dismay, proceeding to sell her next car several years later, again in her absence, both times absconding with the profits.
  • And pilfering from his wife’s grandmother on his wedding day.

DeVocht formerly sold used furniture on eBay that he collected as a “repo-man” from delinquent self-storage units. He then moved on to selling used furniture in a garage storefront, partnered with a woman who explains that she and DeVocht “just hit it off when they met at a swap meet.”

The point: One need only contrast his home, which is best described as a matchbox with a latrine, with where he once lived. As Ms. Linson states:

“I can only imagine the bitterness of having lost such an incredible game and exciting life, including me and my family. He left in 2005. We were right on the precipice of a level of expansion that we had only previously dreamed would happen.

“He’s never going to have a life like that again. I’m sure he’s not very happy; I can imagine he’s miserable. He liked that life…[he] wanted to be connected to power and wanted to position himself as if he was powerful, when he really wasn’t in much of a position of power at all. I can only imagine his emotions, driving through Clearwater, seeing our stunning buildings and what he could have been a part of.”

It is in light of all this and more that DeVocht was enlisted as the second “source” for the S.P. Times story for reasons Joe Childs describes as both professional and personal:


“I knew him from our work and so did Tom Tobin.

“So we thought, ‘Well gosh, who else has made some similar life decisions?’”