The manager in charge of Beaufort County's parole and probation supervisors is off the job and involved in a "possible legal matter," a state official says.
As of Thursday, agent Suezanne Foot was no longer in charge of the county office but is still employed by the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, department spokesman Peter O'Boyle added.
However, O'Boyle would not say if Foot has been disciplined by the department or if she is on leave, has been reassigned or is the target of an investigation.
Foot is the wife of Beaufort County public safety director Phil Foot, who was cited by the county for a "protocol violation" in early December, shortly after the arrest of his 21-year-old stepdaughter -- Suezanne Foot's daughter. After a week of paid leave, Phil Foot returned to the job, but he is not supervising the Beaufort County Detention Center and is the subject of an investigation by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division.
County and state officials will not say if the investigation of Phil Foot is connected to his stepdaughter's arrest, nor will they say if the change in Suezanne Foot's job status is connected to her husband's.
SLED will not discuss details of ongoing investigations, according to spokesman Thom Berry, who also declined to say if Suezanne Foot is the subject of a SLED inquiry.
Attempts Friday to reach Suezanne Foot for comment were unsuccessful. Phil Foot has directed all questions about the alleged protocol violation and the SLED investigation to Beaufort County administrator Gary Kubic.
As an agent in charge, Suezanne Foot managed a team of supervisors that ensures offenders on parole or probation comply with orders from the courts, the parole board and hearing officers, according to the probation department's website.
Kubic said he knows no details about Suezanne Foot's situation. However, he added that because of the Foots' relationship and "the nature of their public-official positions," it would be reasonable for SLED investigators to review whether Suezanne Foot played any role in Phil Foot's protocol violation.
The couple's daughter was arrested Dec. 1, one day before Phil Foot was placed on paid leave.
According to a Beaufort Police Department report and jail records, Foot's stepdaughter was in the Beaufort Downtown Marina parking lot on Bay Street when Matthew Guldner, 21, was charged with attempted murder early Nov. 30. That charge was dismissed Jan. 17, according to the jail log.
At the time, Beaufort police ordered her to leave the parking lot, but she was arrested more than 24 hours later, at 8:15 a.m. Dec. 1, on a warrant for public drunkenness, according to the police report. Less than an hour after her arrest, Foot's stepdaughter was released, jail records indicate.
Deputy county administrator Bryan Hill said that on the afternoon of Nov. 30 -- between the incident and the arrest -- Phil Foot notified him of a protocol violation. Hill said told Kubic about the violation that evening.
Kubic was traveling at the time but notified the Sheriff's Office on Dec. 2, he has said.
Sheriff P.J. Tanner referred the case to SLED because of the office's close relationship with the county, Tanner has said.
SLED will report its findings to 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone when it completes its review, according to Berry, the agency spokesman, but he said it is not clear when that will be.
A police report did not indicate why Foot's stepdaughter was arrested more than 24 hours after the incident. Beaufort police are not investigating the circumstances of the arrest, Cpl. Hope Able said Friday.
Phil Foot returned to work Dec. 9 but is working in the Beaufort County Government Annex in the Beaufort Industrial Village, away from the jail, Kubic said.
Phil Foot has directed all questions about the alleged protocol violation and the SLED investigation to Kubic.
Maj. Charles Allen, deputy director of the detention center, has been in charge of the jail since Phil Foot was put on leave, Kubic said.
Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.