Beaufort County public safety director placed on administrative leave

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comDecember 11, 2013 

Beaufort County's public safety director returned to work Monday after being placed on paid administrative leave last week for a "violation regarding protocol matters," Beaufort County administrator Gary Kubic said.

Public safety director Philip A. Foot, whose duties include overseeing the county detention center, will not supervise the jail while a review of the incident is underway and will work away from the jail, at the Beaufort County Government Annex in Beaufort Industrial Village, Kubic said Tuesday.

Kubic would not say what Foot's violation was, but said the review is expected to be completed next week.

Maj. Charles E. Allen, deputy director of the detention center, has been in charge of the jail since Foot was put on leave, county spokeswoman Joy Nelson said.

Foot's administrative leave appears to be connected to the Dec. 1 arrest of his 21-year-old stepdaughter, who was charged one day before he was placed on paid leave. She was arrested on a public drunkenness warrant at about 8:15 a.m. Dec. 1 after a Nov. 30 incident in the Beaufort Downtown Marina parking lot on Bay Street, according to a Beaufort Police Department report.

Foot's stepdaughter was in the parking lot when an attempted murder occurred Nov. 30, Cpl. Hope Able said. In that incident, 21-year-old Matthew Guldner attempted to shoot a man he was having an argument with, but his gun jammed, according to police reports. Foot's stepdaughter was ordered to leave the parking lot at about 2:50 a.m. Nov. 30 and was arrested at 8:15 a.m. Dec. 1, the report said.

No information on why Foot's stepdaughter was arrested more than 24 hours after the incident was included in the report.

She was released the same morning she was arrested -- at 9:05 a.m., 50 minutes after she was arrested -- according to jail records.

Police Chief Matt Clancy declined to comment on the timing of the arrest and release. Police also wouldn't provide details about her involvement in the incident, other than to say she was asked to leave because of her behavior and was later arrested.

Beaufort police are investigating a "possible irregularity" in the arrest of Foot's stepdaughter, Able said. Able would not disclose what the irregularity was, saying that the investigation was continuing.

Kubic would not say whether the arrest or release of Foot's step-daughter was related to his administrative leave. Attempts Wednesday to reach Foot for comment were unsuccessful.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.

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