Marion leaders reveal they were not aware of former police chief’s misconduct allegations

Marion leaders reveal they were not aware of former police chief’s misconduct allegations
(Source: WMBF News)

MARION, S.C. (WMBF) – Leaders with the city of Marion were not aware that the former police chief faced allegations of misconduct, according to a Facebook post.

The city posted an explanation as to why the former Marion Police Chief Keith Parks resigned after being on the job for the less than two months.

The city accepted Parks’ resignation on Tuesday.

Officials said he resigned amid an investigation of misconduct allegations involving his employment with Pine Ridge Police Department.

WMBF News obtained documents from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) that revealed he was separated from the Pine Ridge Police Department in April 2020 due to misconduct.

Parks was accused of lying on his application about never being part of an internal investigation or never being disciplined.

The city of Marion said it was not made aware of any allegations against Parks until Nov. 12.

“Officials from the City of Marion and the Marion Police Department contacted the SCCJA in September, prior to hiring Parks. At the time, Parks was in good standing with the Academy,” according to the city’s Facebook post.

The city also explained that it reached out to Parks’ previous employer and also references who knew Parks both personally and professionally, and there were no red flags, indications or allegations of misconduct.

“City officials were told the SCCJA received the misconduct report from the Pine Ridge Department on October 30, six months after his resignation from the agency in April,” the city Facebook post stated.

It’s not clear why the allegations against Parks were not reported in a timely manner.

Lt. Marilyn Rogers will serve as interim Marion police chief while city leaders search for a new chief to lead the police department.

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