Suspended Florence Co. Sheriff Boone has history of fiery texts, voicemails

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Suspended Sheriff Kenney Boone remains at home under house arrest after a state solicitor voiced concerns over retaliation and threats.

Boone was indicted on embezzlement and misconduct charges on Wednesday and ordered to have no contact with the sheriff’s department or any property of the sheriff’s department. He also was placed on GPS monitoring.

Heather Weiss, the interim 5th Circuit solicitor, said tips regarding the indictment came from within the sheriff’s office and “they’re concerned there may be some sort of retaliation for that.”

Weiss also said in the last few weeks, threatening texts were sent about another situation involving a law enforcement agent who is not with the sheriff’s office. “Based on those, we would just like to be sure that everything is going to be calm and settled.”

In 2018, the state Attorney General’s Office investigated Boone about voicemails he sent to a Florence County finance director, Keven Yokim.

Boon turned in travel forms to go to a conference in Myrtle Beach. When Yokim questioned Boone’s request for two rooms for himself, and one for former Sheriff Billy Barnes, Boone sent this voicemail: “Kevin, this is Kenney Boone. You call me back immediately. If I don’t get a phone call back, I’m gonna send a deputy around your house or wherever you are to find you’re a– . Call me now!”

The Attorney General’s Office later determined the voicemails did not warrant criminal charges for Boone.

And in February, News13 reported about an email Boone sent to Florence County Council. In that email, Boone accused the council of “underhanded tactics,” “wasteful spending,” and negligence related to giving raises to county employees.  

Boone, who appeared at the bond hearing Wednesday without an attorney, said he was surprised by the charges and it was the first time he heard about the investigation.

“This is a surprise to me if what I understand has been going on since November, and it’s the first I’ve heard of any of this,” Boone said. He added that he’s cooperating with investigators.

The indictments against Boone say he used county funds and money from a federal narcotics account on items such as groceries, window tinting, bicycle and baseball equipment, cooking appliances and clothing. The documents also detail placed Boone allegedly shopped, including Walmart, Best Buy, Gamestop and Rapid Weight Loss.

Judge Deandrea Benjamin set a bond at $50,000.

Boone may leave his home for medical and legal appointments, the judge said. The judge mentioned Boone could return after the first week with his attorney to request the removal of the GPS monitor.

W.C. “Billy” Barnes was appointed the interim Florence County Sheriff by Gov. Henry McMaster.

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