Documents: Former Marion police chief had history of alleged misconduct, violations in other departments

News13 Investigates

MARION, S.C. (WBTW) — A former Marion police chief who resigned one month after being sworn in has a history of alleged misconduct and violations in other departments, according to documents obtained by News13.

Documents from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy show Keith Parks had a separation due to misconduct while with the Pine Ridge Police Department in South Carolina in April for misrepresenting employment-related information.

The documents show Parks lied when he said he had “never been the subject of an internal investigation,” because he was fired from the Lexington Police Department as a result of an internal investigation.

He also lied when he said he “had never been disciplined,” since he lost his driving privileges for policy violations in the Town of Estill, according to documents.

Parks also lied when he said he “had never violated any policies or procedures,” because he violated policies and procedures both at Lexington PD and Estill PD, documents show.

These allegations were discovered due to an ongoing SLED investigation, according to the documents.

Pine Ridge Police Department shows criminal charges are pending, according to the documents. Tommy Crosby with SLED confirmed to News13 that Parks was previously under investigation in regards to his time with Pine Ridge PD. He said the investigation is now closed and didn’t provide any other details.

Parks’ Training History Report shows his Class 1 Law Enforcement Officer Certification is currently inactive due to allegation of misconduct.

Since 2007, Parks was employed by eight different police departments or sheriff’s offices:

  • Marion Police Department: Sept. 28, 2020 — November 2020
  • Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office: Sept. 8, 2020 — Sept. 25, 2020
  • Pine Ridge Police Department: Dec. 2, 2019 — April 29, 2020
  • Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office: Feb. 8, 2016 — Nov. 29, 2019
  • Estill Police Department: Oct. 1, 2013 — Feb. 1, 2016
  • Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office: May 15, 2012 — Sept. 30, 2013
  • Sumter Police Department: July 18, 2011 — May 9, 2012
  • Lexington Police Department: March 5, 2007 — April 20, 2011

Multiple other officers with the Marion Police Department have also resigned recently. Tony Flowers told News13 he resigned in August due to an opportunity outside of law enforcement. Dewayne Tennie also left the department in 2018 after allegations of misconduct, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

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