DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Lamar police chief has been arrested on several charges, including filing a false police report with a felony, misconduct in office and theft of a controlled substance, and is incarcerated at the Darlington County Detention Center.
Jason Chaney is charged by the State Law Enforcement Division with filing a false police report with a felony, two counts of misconduct in office, and two counts of theft of a controlled substance. The date of the offenses is listed as June 5, 2017, according to jail records.
Chaney was booked into the Darlington County Detention Center at 11:33 a.m. Wednesday.
According to the arrest warrant from SLED, Chaney took over as Lamar police chief in January 2017. The alleged first offense occurred in June when he filed a false police report.
The documents said Chaney changed the report another officer filed to add two sentences at the end, making it look like the other officer had done so. The affidavit also alleged that Chaney deleted the list of medications in the body of the original report.
Investigators said Chaney was attempting to hide the theft of 15 hydrocodone pills and 16 codeine pills, and altered the original police report.
Lamar Mayor Randy Reynolds said Wednesday's arrest came out of the blue and the town expected it to be only an administrative issue.
"He is the evidence officer, so is ultimately responsible if anything looks wrong," Reynolds said. "We were just hoping it was more of (an) administrative-type thing."
Scott Gardner, who works next to the police department, called what happened unfortunate for the town of Lamar.
"You know, you depend and put your faith in people to protect you," Gardner said. "I mean, we are all human and we make mistakes, but I heard there was an investigation and didn't know who was involved. Just make sure our community is safe and protected by law enforcement because trust is the bottom line. trust is the bottom line."
As for what's next, Reynolds said it happened so fast that council hasn't had time to sit down and talk about what will happen in the near future.
At the next council meeting on Monday, Sept. 11, the council will discuss who will take over as interim chief, according to Reynolds.