Two Beaufort County jail officers fired for misconduct

achristnovich@islandpacket.comNovember 16, 2012 

Two Beaufort County jail employees have been fired for misconduct -- one for lying about two fugitives and another for smuggling a cellphone to an inmate, according to county employment dismissal records.

One firing came after deputies went to the home of a fugitive on Oct. 8. The jail employee was there and "provided misleading information to the deputies about the suspect," according to dismissal records from Beaufort County Employee Services.

The employee, who had worked for the jail for five years, was fired Nov. 2.

Details about the fugitives and the employee's relationship to them were not immediately available.

Sheriff P.J. Tanner said late Friday night his agency has the fugitives in custody but could not provide details on their names or when they were arrested because he didn't have access to the records at the time of the interview.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is not involved with investigating the cases of county employee misconduct, Tanner said. He also did not know whether charges against the former employees were brought or will be brought.

"We're outside of any kind of internal investigation," Tanner said. "Early on it involved the Sheriff's Office but our information was passed on to the detention center."

Attempts Friday to reach the jail director, Col. Phil Foot, or the county's public information officer, were unsuccessful.In the other firing, a male employee lost his job Oct. 31 after deputies discovered he smuggled a cellphone to a Beaufort County Detention Center inmate. That is a violation of state law, according to a supervisor's comments on the employee's dismissal form.

"There is absolutely no excuse for this type of behavior," the supervisor wrote in the report. "(The employee) was well aware his actions were against our policies and state law."

It's not clear how long the man worked at the detention center, but records indicate he had been there since at least Nov. 2010. He was fired Oct. 31.

The names, ages and job titles of the two fired employees were redacted from the documents, and it is against Beaufort County policy to discuss personnel matters, county attorney Josh Gruber said Thursday.

Several officials within the county are investigating both cases, county administrator Gary Kubic said Thursday. He declined to give more details about the alleged misconduct, the investigation and whether charges have been filed or will be filed.

The female employee already had three warnings from superiors since Jan. 1 -- two concerning policy violations and one for a "lack of application in performance duties" -- according to the dismissal records. The male employee was fired for a "violation of operational policies." It was his fifth infraction since 2010, according to dismissal records. The other infractions included habitual tardiness and one other instance of violating operational policies.

Follow reporter Anne Christnovich twitter.com/IPBG_CrimeNOB.

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