County investigation into HCPD released publicly - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

County investigation into HCPD released publicly

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) Horry County Council has decided to make public the county's internal investigation into the Horry County Police Department.

During Tuesday's County Council meeting in Conway, County Administrator John Weaver discussed in full detail his investigation into allegations made in an anonymous letter against HCPD.

"At the directive of Chairman Rice, I authorized and have overseen a Human Resources personnel investigation into certain allegations, potentially criminal in nature, against the HCPD and several of its officers," said Weaver in a statement released on Tuesday night.

Horry County started the investigation back in August after Council members received an unsigned letter. The writer listed nine specific accusations about officers deleting records, removing evidence and misusing county cars.

"I recommend that this investigation be ended with finality. With full cooperation promised,I strand available to assist in any investigation that Chief Keel deems appropriate." added Weaver.

Weaver oversaw the investigation, and he said his final report was ready to share with Council at their meeting. However, after county leaders learned no investigation had been made on the allegation of improper use of police evidence, many council leaders requested SLED to consider an investigation into the matter.

Weaver said he did not investigate the claim involving the county's evidence room because the allegation was too broad and he didn't have access to the facility.

"We did not ask nor would we have been permitted to enter the evidence room to look at the books and the records or to make a determination or any finding at all," said Weaver.

He says he'll present a demonstration to council about how the evidence room works to assure them that it's secure.

The demonstration will happen next Tuesday in front of the Committee of the Whole and that's when council could decide if they'll ask SLED to investigate further the claim about the evidence room.

State lawmakers from Horry County also received the anonymous letter. They asked the State Law Enforcement Division to do an outside investigation of the police department. As of Wednesday, SLED still has not decided if that will happen.

[To view the entire report, click here (PDF)]

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