Wrongful termination, discrimination lawsuit filed against former Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis dismissed; settlement pending

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DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – A wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit filed against former Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis has been dismissed, pending a settlement.

Former Florence County sheriff candidate Darrin Yarborough sued Chavis, along with the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and Darlington County, in May 2020.

Yarborough claimed in the initial lawsuit that, in April 2019, “immediately” after announcing his intent to run for Florence County sheriff, three DCSO officers “personally visited” his home and “notified him he was terminated from DCSO.”

It was also alleged in the lawsuit that Chavis fired Yarborough “without giving plaintiff any cause for termination” and that Yarborough “was essentially punished for engaging in political activity and that his professional standing was impaired as a result of the abrupt termination.”

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Tony Chavis (Courtesy: WBTW)
Darrin Yarborough (Courtesy: Darrin Yarborough)

Yarborough also previously claimed he “experienced extreme emotional trauma, depression, and distress, that led to emotional distress within his marital home and physical damage to his health, all as a result of the misleading and negative comments made” by the defendants about his “work performance and professional reputation”.

Yarborough also claimed he was discriminated against because of his race.

The ‘order of dismissal’ for the lawsuit, filed on August 17 in the District Court of South Carolina, says that the case is being settled by both parties. A settlement must be reached within 60 days. If not, either party could petition the court to reopen the case.

Read the initial lawsuit here

Yarborough went on to narrowly lose the Florence County sheriff’s race to TJ Joye, in November. Joye later assigned Yarborough a spot on the Florence County Sheriff’s Office command staff, as a captain. According to the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association website, Capt. Yarborough currently works in the investigations department.

Chavis was defeated by James Hudson Jr. in the democratic primary for Darlington County sheriff, in June 2020. Hudson was elected sheriff last November.

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