HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina law-enforcement officials on Monday dismissed misconduct allegations against a former Horry County Sheriff’s Office sergeant.
The decision by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council means that William McMeins Jr., who was never criminally charged following allegations of falsifying warrants, will keep his law-enforcement certification and have his record expunged.
McMeins, who worked at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center from 2015 until he resigned on May 20, allegedly presented a search warrant containing several misleading and incorrect statements in the affidavit, according to documents obtained by News13.
The council’s decision came after the sheriff’s office declined to prosecute the case, following the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office review that found no evidence of criminal behavior.
“We stand by our decision that former employee, William McMeins, violated various policies and procedures,” Horry County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Brennan Cavanagh said Monday in a statement emailed to News13. “We sent the results of our internal investigation to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for further review and they determined McMeins’ actions were not criminal in nature, meaning there was no evidence of improper personal benefit gained by the subject.
“That’s why we decided not to move forward with prosecuting this case. If an agency declines to prosecute or does not show up to a contested case hearing, it is the SC Criminal Justice Academy’s policy to have the charge(s) expunged.”
Florence McCants, with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, said state law mandates how these situations are handled.
“Reported incidences of misconduct shall be prosecuted by the reporting agency before the contested case hearing,” the code says. “The reporting agency shall maintain prosecutorial discretion up to the time of the contested case hearing. If the agency declines to prosecute the allegation or allegations of misconduct, the agency shall provide a written report to the council stating that the case is not being prosecuted.”
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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.