Democratic Party megadonor Ed Buck faces new questions this week after Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives opened an investigation into the second death of a man — identified by a medical examiner as 55-year-old Timothy Dean — at Buck’s home in less than two years, and a third man came forward with an account of what he described as his drug-fueled interactions with the well-connected Californian.
Deputies in West Hollywood responded early Monday morning to a report of a person not breathing at Buck’s home, and county firefighters pronounced the man dead. The cause of the death will be determined by the coroner, according to Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department.
But, critics are questioning whether Buck’s race — both men found dead were black — or if his wealth or political ties to the Democratic Party influenced an initial investigation of the 64-year-old who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to a slew of liberal causes and candidates over the years, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and a who’s who of top California politicians.
“He definitely has not been cooperative, as his attorney says. He refused to answer any questions when I tried speaking with him,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Investigator Quilmes Rodriguez told Fox News via email Wednesday night.
Officials said the investigation of the second death will include a review of Gemmel Moore’s death in 2017. After a slow-moving investigation that went on for months, Buck was not charged.
“On July 27, 2017 there was a death investigation of a male adult, Gemmel Moore, who was determined to have overdosed at the same location. Mr. Edward Buck was present during both incidents,” said a recent statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the “admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that Buck gave Moore drugs or is responsible for his death in a document dated July 26 obtained by Fox News. An autopsy report said Moore died of a methamphetamine overdose.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, The Daily Mail published an account by Jermaine Gagnon, a 28-year-old who claimed he narrowly escaped death in Buck’s apartment. Gagnon claimed to have met Buck online in April 2018 and said the Democratic megadonor flew him from Minnesota to Los Angeles.
“He was quite open about being very generous to the black community,” Gagnon said. “I’m his type, and pretty much half of the black community is his type — vulnerable, depressed. If you’re in a depressive state, that’s the energy that feeds him.”
Gagnon claims Buck injected him with crystal methamphetamine at his sex toy-filled apartment.
“He took my phone. I was so scared. I felt death walked into my soul. I called my mother. I said, ‘I feel like he’s going to kill me, I think I’m going to die,” he told The Daily Mail.
Following the discovery of the body Monday morning at Buck’s apartment, his attorney, Seymour Amster, said his client has not been arrested and is cooperating with investigators.
“From what I know, it was an old friend who died of an accidental overdose, and unfortunately, we believe that the substance was ingested at some place other than the apartment,” Amster said. “The person came over intoxicated.”
Amster, however, did not return Fox News’ emails and phone calls about the Gagnon report.