What we’ve learned about fired FCSO Lt. Mark Fuleihan since his arrest

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Mark Edward Fuleihan (Source: Richland County Jail)

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Since the firing and arrest of a supervisor within SWAT at the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, News13 has uncovered additional information about his bond, bond conditions and law enforcement background.

Mark Fuleihan was booked into the Richland County Jail on April 2, 2020

Mark Edward Fuleihan, 48, was arrested Thursday, April 2. In a news release sent from the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to News13 on April 2, Fuleihan was accused of accepting bribes from “associates” of a local gambling organization “in exchange for information/services used to facilitate the operation of the illegal gambling organization and to avoid detection from other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.”

Though the release stated that Fuleihan was arrested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents at the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, we’ve since learned he was booked into the Richland County Jail. This is not uncommon, as there could be a conflict of interest if a law enforcement officer is booked into the facility in the county in which he or she used to work.

FULEIHAN’S BOND CONDITIONS

On Thursday, News13 also obtained Fuleihan’s bond condition information from the State Grand Jury’s Office, dated April 2. His bond and some of the bond conditions are as follows:

Fuleihan poses for a May 2019 photo, holding up a plaque for the 2019 Award of Valor that the FCSO SWAT Team received for its response to the officer ambush on October 3, 2018 (Courtesy: FCSO)
  • A surety bond in the amount of $15,000 was set; defendant not allowed to post 10%
  • Defendant not to leave the state of South Carolina without prior notice to and consent from the SC AG’s Office
  • Defendant shall be subject to drug tests
  • Defendant shall have no contact with any co-defendant, either directly or indirectly, without the prior permission of the Court
  • Defendant shall not sell or encumber any property, personal or real, during the term of his bond, or waste any assets or property, without the prior written permission of the SC AG’s Office or SLED
  • Defendant understands that any future violation of any Federal, State, County or Municipal Law will be considered a violation of the conditions of bond and grounds for revoking bond
  • Defendant shall surrender all firearms in his possession to SLED, and shall not possess any firearms
  • Defendant shall surrender all property belonging to Florence County or the Florence County Sheriff’s Office to SLED
  • Defendant shall have no direct or indirect contact with any employees of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office except in case of a legitimate call for service
  • Defendant shall not destroy, hide, alter, or secrete evidence, and the Defendant shall not intimidate or threaten any witnesses or co-defendants

Officials with Richland County tell News13 that Fuleihan was processed at the jail on April 2 at 4:27 p.m. and released less than three hours later, at 7:18 p.m.

News13 obtained the arrest warrant for Fuleihan from the State Grand Jury. The document lays out the details from the AG’s Office release to the media.

We also requested a SLED background check, which lists each arrest a person has had in South Carolina. The check came back with no record as of April 8.

FULEIHAN’S BACKGROUND

Photo of Fuleihan from 1994 jail training documents (Courtesy: SC Criminal Justice Academy)

Since the AG’s Office announced Fuleihan’s arrest, News13 learned that the former Lieutenant was fired on April 2- the same day as his arrest. The FCSO tells us he was originally hired by the agency on February 28, 1994.

News13 also obtained Fuleihan’s training history report from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Documents within that report suggest Fuleihan worked in the Florence County Jail from February 28, 1994 to August 4, 1995.

Fuleihan spoke to News13 on June 7, 2018 about how the FCSO’s Special Response Team ran its weekly training

While working at the jail in May 1994, Fuleihan scored an 84 out of a possible 100 in the academic portion of his week one basic jail training, according to training history documents. Fuleihan scored below the class average, of 90. The training involved some of the following topics: “Special Problem Inmates”, “Emergency Procedures” and “Search & Security Inspections”. During a similar training in week two, Fuleihan scored a 92 out of 100, with the class average being 94. Topics included “Inmate Control”, “Stress Management” and “Disciplinary Procedures”.

A background check found “no identifiable record”, according to a training document dated March 3, 1994.

Fuleihan poses for a photo at a June 16, 2016 banquet for the Florence Breakfast Optimist Club

Since August 4, 1995, Fuleihan has worked as a sheriff’s deputy, including in SWAT and with the department’s Special Response Team. His extensive training includes courses on topics like “Vulnerable Adult Training”, “Mental Illness: An Officer’s Response”, “SLED Moving Vehicles & Deadly Force”, “De-Escalation: Surviving Verbal Conflict”, “Criminal Domestic Violence” and “Meth & Drug Endangered Children”. His training record did not show any violations or disciplinary reports.

A previous News13 story indicates that Fuleihan was a supervisor with the FCSO since at least 2016.

If Fuleihan is convicted of the ethics bribery charge, a felony, he could spend up to ten years in prison, according to the AG’s Office. If convicted, he would also no longer be allowed to serve as a “public official” or “public member”.

Count on News13 for updates on this story.

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