DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A candidate for Florence County sheriff is suing the Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis and his office for wrongful termination.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday and lists Darrin Yarborough as the plaintiff and lists Chavis, Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and Darlington County as the defendants.
Darrin Yarborough was hired as a major by the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office in November 2018.
Yarborough had previously spent 20 years with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office but was terminated a week after seven officers were gunned down in the Vintage Place neighborhood. Yarborough claims he was fired after questioning then-Sheriff Kenney Boone during a debrief.
The lawsuit claims that Yarborough informed Chavis during the hiring that he had intentions to run for Florence County sheriff.
Court documents state that even though Chavis knew of Yarborough’s political plans, he made attempts to discourage and prohibit him from taking part in political activity while he was employed with DCSO, which included creating policies on the matter.
The lawsuit also made another claim as to why Chavis didn’t want Yarborough to run for sheriff.
“Sheriff Chavis supports and has a friendship with a different candidate running for Sheriff of Florence County and is believed to be indifferent to Caucasian candidates running for Sheriff,” the lawsuit states.
Yarborough announced in April 2019 that he was running for sheriff, and then immediately after the announcement, three DCSO officers visited his home and told him he was terminated, according to the lawsuit.
When WMBF News reached out to DCSO at the time of Yarborough’s firing, it was stated that “his services were no longer needed.”
Yarborough claims in the lawsuit that the termination has caused “extreme emotional trauma, depression and distress, that led to emotional distress within his marital home and physical damage to his health.”
The lawsuit alleges discrimination and wrongful termination. It is asking for a jury trial and damages for loss of income.
WMBF News reached out to the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office about the lawsuit. The office stated, “We wish Mr. Yarborough well in his future endeavors.”