Yemassee police captain cleared of charges

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Yemassee police captain cleared of charges

By TOM BARTON
tbarton@beaufortgazette.com
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012   |  443 Words  |  

A captain with the Yemassee Police Department returned to duty this week after being cleared of all charges after being accused of pocketing more than $10,000 collected during traffic stops.

What happened to that money, however, remains a mystery, according to Yemassee Police Chief Jack Hagy.

"I do not know what happened to that $10,000 as of yet," Hagy said Wednesday. "At this point, it is unknown who may have taken the money."

The S.C. Attorney General's Office on Monday dismissed the last charge, breach of trust of less than $1,000, against Capt. Gregory Alexander, the department's second in command.

Last week, a Hampton County jury found Alexander not guilty of misconduct in office and breach of trust of $10,000.

Alexander was charged with one count of misconduct in office and two counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent after an investigation by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division into the police department's finances. Alexander, who was suspended without pay in May after being accused by state investigators, faced two to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to state law.

The traffic stops occurred in July 2010, involving $10,000, and in February 2009, involving $748, according to the indictment.

"We did not believe it was a wise use of time and limited resources to move forward with the one remaining count, given the two acquittals," Attorney General's Office spokesman Mark Powell said Wednesday. "We made our best case. The grand jury agreed and indicted him, but jurors of Hampton County disagreed and acquitted him. I can't comment beyond that."

The investigation that led to the charges began in October 2010 when Mayor J.L. Goodwin asked Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls to investigate "financial irregularities" within the department, Goodwin has said. Soon after, Smalls turned the investigation over to SLED, according to town officials.

Attempts Wednesday to reach Alexander, Goodwin and Smalls were unsuccessful.

Chief Hagy stood by Alexander and was relieved to see him acquitted.

"I had faith in him and never believed he would do anything like that," he said. "This whole thing has been rough on everybody, and I'm glad it's over. You never want to go through anything like that."

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

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