Former officer files lawsuit against Marion County Sheriff’s Office over ‘wrongful arrest’

Pee Dee

MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A former officer is suing the Marion County Sheriff’s Office over a “wrongful arrest.”

Odette Akers and her attorney, Tyler Bailey, filed the lawsuit Monday after charges against her were dismissed. Bailey recently represented former Atlantic Beach Police Chief Timothy Taylor, who sued the City of Conway for defamation.

Bailey released the following statement:

“The Marion County Sheriff’s Department arrested Mc. Akers without sufficient probably cause and neglected to follow proper protocol and procedure when arresting a member of our community. Ms. Akers is an upstanding member of the community and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department should have conducted a thorough and unbiased investigation into the allegations made against Ms. Akers before obtaining a warrant for her arrest. However, this wasn’t the case with Ms. Akers despite her previous service to the community as a law enforcement officer. Ms. Akers suffered great humiliation and embarrassment as a result of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department’s actions, and we will pursue every avenue of justice to right this wrong.”

Akers is seeking actual damages, incidental damages, consequential damages, and court costs, according to the lawsuit.

In January 2020, Akers was charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult. The charge stemmed from an incident on October 13, 2019. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said that Akers was an in-home nursing aid at that time. A warrant accused Akers of assaulting a vulnerable adult by striking the female with a belt. A report suggested the alleged victim had autism.

Akers, who worked as a police officer in Dillon, Mullins and Lake City until 2016, denied the allegation and called for the sheriff’s office to do a thorough investigation of the case.

On February 20, 2020, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the department and the 12th Circuit Solicitor’s Office were conducting a review of the facts and circumstances surrounding Akers’ arrest.

In November, Akers says she found out from an online public records search that her charge had been dismissed. Akers also learned, after asking the solicitor’s office about her case, that the alleged victim had died.

News13 reached out to Sheriff Brian Wallace for comment and he said “it would be inappropriate to comment on pending litigation at this time.”

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