Timmonsville clerk sues Attorney General, SLED after criminal charges dropped

TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - One month after charges against a former Timmonsville Clerk of Court were dropped, she has filed a suit against Attorney General Alan Wilson, several other individuals in the Attorney General's Office, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Wilhelmina Washington, Timmonsville's Clerk of Court who was arrested in 2011 on charges of forgery and misconduct in office, walked away from those charges in December 2013 when officials opted not to pursue a third criminal trial.

The state Attorney General's Office argued that sometime in October of 2011, Washington unlawfully signed a judge's name on court documents, while working as a clerk for the Town of Timmonsville.

"From the very beginning of this whole thing, there was no question about what happened. Mrs. Washington admitted to everything that happened. Our stance was that it wasn't a criminal act," said Patrick McLaughlin, Wilhelmina's attorney.

Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson has been outspoken about Washington's innocence in the past, and said at the time that was glad that it is finally over.

"I was just glad for her. You know there is no real victory in this. Because you had a young lady and also, not just her but her family that had to go through this agony," said Darrick Jackson.

"It has been two years. She has been through a lot. Anyone who has seen her can tell that it has taken a physical and emotional toll on her," said McLaughlin.

The lawsuit, filed last week, alleges that SLED and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office committed an abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, according to court documents. The suit also names Attorney General Alan Wilson, and several other individual members of the Attorney General's office and SLED as defendants, alleging violations of Washington's Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and gross negligence.

The suit seeks consequential and punitive damages.

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