RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A judge granted the defense’s request that Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone’s house arrest be lifted.
That ruling came during a hearing Wednesday in a Richland County courtroom. However, the judge did order that Boone remain under GPS monitoring. That issue will be looked at again at a future hearing.
During the hearing, one of Boone’s attorneys, Robert Bulchoz, said Boone being on house arrest complicated matters with family court, particularly where his wife’s children can stay.
He also said the restraints prevents Boone from working during his suspension from office.
He didn’t specify where Boone would be working.
“I think he’s got some very significant support and relationships in Florence and has the opportunity to start working if we can work this out so he could get back into a routine,” Bulchoz said.
Heather Weiss with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office agreed to lift Boone’s house arrest, but preferred that his GPS monitor remain on.
She said while there hasn’t been any problem with Boone contacting the sheriff’s office or potential witnesses within the department, there’s still a concern of the possibility.
“He found out who the witnesses were at the time of the indictment and they were from within the department... just to make sure things stay calm," Weiss told the judge.
Weiss also added the GPS monitor helps keep track of Boone’s whereabouts.
“Once he’s relieved from the house arrest, that he doesn’t travel around the sheriff’s department or any of the sheriff’s department other locations that they have throughout Florence and just in case there’s any issues that we would have an understanding of where he is at the time,” Weiss said.
Boone faces misconduct in office and embezzlement charges after an investigation found that he used both county and federal funds allocated to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office for his own personal use.
Boone’s legal team filed a motion for bond reconsideration, which led to Wednesday’s hearing.
He is currently out on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.
The solicitor said the electronic monitoring and house arrest were due to concerns over possible retaliation against the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, which instigated the investigation into Boone.