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SLED conducts preliminary inquiry into Horry County evidence room controversy

The Sun News, Myrtle Beach,
BYLINE: Brad Dickerson -
Link to Article

Horry County, SC

Officials with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division have begun a preliminary inquiry stemming from a request from the Horry County Council to do an audit of the county police department’s evidence room, said Margaret Knox, a spokeswoman with SLED.

Greg Hembree, 15th Circuit Solicitor, said SLED representatives met with him and asked if his office experienced any problems because of possible missing or mishandled evidence.

Hembree said the only issue that’s come up was a defense attorney recently asked an evidence room technician, on cross examination, if the department was being investigated right now.

“That’s a problem generated by this whole ... political whatever,” he said.

Hembree added his conversation with the SLED representative took around 20 minutes. There was no time frame given as to when the inquiry would be complete and any next steps would be taken.

Horry County Administrator John Weaver said SLED officials also met with members of the county’s human resources department, although he didn’t participate in it.

He’s heard nothing back from SLED, he said.

Attempts to contact SLED representatives for further comment were unsuccessful.

“Everybody’s waiting for SLED to issue its report,” Weaver said.

In October, Council Chairman Tom Rice forwarded a letter to SLED after the majority of the County Council voted for an audit to clear any questions raised in an anonymous letter concerning procedures and evidence handling at the Horry County Police Department.

Members of the Horry County Legislative Delegation also have asked SLED officials to look into allegations made in the August letter.

Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.

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