Florence Co. sheriff pleads guilty to 2 charges, removed from office

Pee Dee Crime

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – The office of Governor Henry McMaster has announced that William Kenney Boone has officially been removed as the Sheriff of Florence County.

Boone is the 10th South Carolina sheriff convicted of crimes in the past decade. He joins four others who avoided time behind bars.

In an executive order obtained by News13 Wednesday afternoon, the Governor stated that due to the guilty plea, “the office of Sheriff of Florence County shall be declared vacant and the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.” The order goes on to say that the general election for the position is scheduled to be held on November 3, 2020 and that “William G. Barnes is a fit and proper person to continue serving as Sheriff of Florence County ‘until a sheriff is elected and qualifies in the election’…”

The order is effective immediately. To read the full order, click on the link below.

UPDATE: 1 P.M. WEDNESDAY

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Governor Henry McMaster will remove Kenney Boone from the office of Florence County sheriff, according to the SC Governor’s Office.

Governor McMaster will issue an executive order today, permanently removing Kenney Boone from office. The executive order will also re-appoint William Barnes as the interim sheriff until a new one is elected. Because, we are within a year of the general election, a special election will not be scheduled. 

Count on News13 for updates.


SUMTER, SC (WBTW) – Suspended Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone pleaded guilty to misconduct in office and embezzlement charges during a court appearance Wednesday.

Boone’s appearance started at 11 a.m. in a Sumter County courtroom. News13 had a crew in the courtroom for the hearing.

During sentencing, Boone received a jail sentence of five years suspended to one day already served, meaning he won’t spend anymore time in jail. He’s also been ordered to five years of probation, to pay approximately $17,000 in restitution and attend substance abuse counseling.

While the judge said he considered this a serious matter, he said he took into account Boone’s history of public service and cooperation with the investigation into account.

Boone said he was sorry for any wrongdoing, and said it felt good to take responsibility.

Chief Deputy Glen Kirby, with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, released the following statement to News13:

“Today a very sad chapter for Florence County comes to an end. We pray for Boone and his family and as the new chapter begins, we look forward to meeting the challenge of rebuilding and re-earning the confidence and trust of Florence County.”

Chief Deputy Glen Kirby, Florence County Sheriff’s Office

In November 2019, News13 reported that a grand jury returned additional indictments against Boone for one charge of misconduct in office and three counts of campaign ethics violations. This was in addition to the one count of misconduct in office and two counts of embezzlement Boone was charged with in May 2019.

The new indictments alleged that Boone received campaign contributions and failed to put them in his campaign account or keep any record of their use and converted them to his personal use. 

Read the full indictment here

The misconduct offense is a common law misdemeanor, punishable by up to ten years in prison.  The ethics violations are statutory misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine no less than $5,000 and not more than five hundred percent of the amount of contributions that should have been reported.

Judge DeAndrea Benjamin released Boone on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, concurrent with his previous bond, in November 2019.

News13 previously reported that a trial for Boone would begin on January 20.

In May 2019, we reported that Boone would be removed from state Criminal Justice Academy documentation as head of the sheriff’s office.

In April 2019, Boone was given a $50,000 bail and placed on house arrest during a bond hearing. Boone’s house arrested was lifted in early May 2019.

Boone, a Republican, was first elected as Florence County Sheriff in 2004, taking office in early 2005. He was re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Count on News13 for updates.

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