Governor Suspends Sheriff For Alleged Misconduct: Let INMATES Out, Use Dept. Vehicles, Have Guns… In Exchange For Working On His HOUSE.

Posted on March 20, 2013

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South Carolina (The Gaslamp Post) – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has suspended Chesterfield County Sheriff Sanford “Sam” Parker today after he was indicted by a Grand Jury amid allegations of misconduct.  Sheriff Parker was named in six indictments where he is accused of showing preferential treatment to two inmates.

Sheriff Sanford "Sam" Parker.

Sheriff Sanford “Sam” Parker.

According to WCCB-TV, Parker allegedly permitted two inmates to live outside of jail and have some pretty generous liberties usually not afforded to prisoners.

The indictment alleges Parker allowed convicted Department of Corrections inmates to live outside jail, go shopping, dine in public restaurants and wear civilian clothing in exchange for performing work on the Sheriff’s house and personal property, as well as assisting with special events and performing work within the Sheriff’s Department.

Inmates William Skipper (left) and Michael Lee (right).  Images Mugshots.com.

Inmates William Skipper (left) and Michael Lee (right). Images Mugshots.com.

The two inmates; Michael Lee and William Skipper were reported to have been allowed these liberties in exchange for working and providing services for Sheriff Parker.  According to the Charlotte Observer:

Lee is serving a 15-year sentence for arson. The indictment alleges that he was permitted access to firearms, was allowed to have unsupervised visits with a woman, was permitted to take shopping trips in the Carolinas, and drove sheriff’s office vehicles despite not having a valid driver license in South Carolina.

Lee is a trained engineer, according to the indictment.

Skipper is serving a seven-year sentence for drug trafficking. According to the indictment, he is a licensed general contractor and HVAC repair man, and he allegedly performed work at Parker’s house.

In return, according to papers filed in the case, Skipper was allowed to take shopping trips in the Carolinas, spend holidays with his family, and take trips to an unspecified lake with Parker and his family.

Sheriff Parker is facing 4 counts of misdemeanor misconduct in office and 2 counts of misdemeanor furnishing contraband to inmates.  Each count carries a possible 10 years in prison.

(h/t:  The State)