Former Darlington Co. deputies file suit claiming they were pawn - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Former Darlington Co. deputies file suit claiming they were pawns in political conspiracy

Source: DCSO Source: DCSO

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A lawsuit filed against several Pee Dee law enforcement officers claims they were involved in a political conspiracy to discredit and damage former Sheriff Wayne Byrd and two deputies in order to get Tony Chavis elected as Sheriff.

Among those named in the suit filed last month are the former Lamar Police Chief, Charles Woodle, Lamar Police Officer Daniel Barnett and Lieutenant Robert Kilgo, a former police officer with the Town of Lamar, now a spokesperson for the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office.

Court documents list the plaintiffs as Joyce Coe-Everett and Eric Hodges.

The new suit is connected to a story we brought you last May where two Darlington County deputies were fired for allegedly campaigning while on the clock for Former Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd. The lawsuit states the two deputies went to Sam’s Club while on lunch and off-duty to purchase supplies for a fundraiser for Sheriff Byrd’s campaign. While there, Barnett secretly recorded them shopping. The lawsuit alleges that video was later submitted to a news blog by Kilgo to show the deputies seemingly supporting Byrd's campaign while on-duty.

Those two deputies who were fired and later re-hired after an investigation determined no wrongdoing on their part. They retired before Chavis took over as Darlington County Sheriff.

The two deputies alleged that Barnett, Woodle and Kilgo committed conspiracy, among other allegations, all directed at swinging the 2016 Darlington County Sheriff’s election in favor of current Sheriff Tony Chavis.

“Plaintiffs believe that Barnett and Woodle used Plaintiffs as pawns in their plot to discredit Byrd’s authority so that Chavis could be elected as the next Sheriff of Darlington County,” the lawsuits states.

That lawsuit alleges the negligence on the part of Lamar’s Chief of Police which allowed Lamar Officer Barnett to use a personal vehicle with expired tags outfitted with police lights and gear. They also alleged that Woodle and Barnett campaigned for Chavis while on duty.

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