COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Bond was set at $25,000 for Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland who was also ordered to have no contact with the sheriff’s office.
During Strickland’s arraignment on Tuesday afternoon, he was also ordered to surrender any firearms to SLED officials.
This follows after South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced earlier in the day that he has unsealed two new indictments detailing a total of 15 new counts against suspended Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland.
Strickland, 40, was previously indicted on a domestic violence charge last November and was subsequently suspended from office by Gov. Henry McMaster.
The new indictments allege Strickland made deputies and sheriff’s office staff spend time on duty working on improvements to his home, land and other properties as well as his political campaign.
During Tuesday’s court hearing, prosecutors say “Code 48” was the code for employees to do work on Strickland’s house, and was also the code use to work on the sheriff’s campaign while they were on duty.
According to prosecutors, Strickland used his power to control employment status and pay an employee who had sex with him.
He also allegedly used county property including vehicles for his personal benefit.
Wilson also said the indictments allege Strickland used public funds of Colleton County to be spent on non-official lodging expenses during a law enforcement conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Strickland also allegedly provided schedule IV controlled substances to a subordinate who did not have a valid prescription for the substance and has been accused of providing alcohol to a subordinate under the age of 21, attorney general spokesman Robert Kittle said.
He also has been accused of illegally distributed the prescription drugs Ambien and Adderall, according to Wilson.
One new indictment in Horry County shows one count of misconduct in office and one count of distribution of a schedule IV controlled substance.
A second new indictment in Colleton County from a state grand jury shows six counts of misconduct in office, three counts of embezzlement, two counts of use of an official position for financial gain ethics act violation, one count of use of public funds, property, or time to influence an election, and one count of a schedule II controlled substance.
The possible sentences on each count range from a fine to up to 10 years in prison. A bond hearing on the new counts is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Richland County.
Strickland had placed himself on a leave of absence and his law enforcement certification has been suspended.
Strickland was arrested on Nov. 9 on a charge of second-degree domestic violence in connection with an incident two days earlier. Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested Strickland and booked him into the Colleton County Detention Center, according to SLED spokesperson Tommy Crosby. He was released the same day on a personal recognizance bond.
An affidavit states that during an argument, Strickland assaulted the victim by “punching her in the face, with a closed fist, more than once, which caused moderate bodily injury.” Investigators also said the victim suffered a defensive injury to her arm in an attempt to protect her face.
Strickland physically took possession of the victim’s cell phones, “blocking her access to both cell phones, preventing her from reporting the incident or receiving emergency medical assistance,” the affidavit states.
Investigators say he also damaged the vehicle she attempted to flee in.