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Strickland court date set for CDV charge as AG’s office hands down new public corruption charges

Former Colleton County Sheriff R. Andy Strickland is preparing for an upcoming General Sessions Court on CDV charges filed against him in 2019, all while he is facing new public corruption indictments handed down last week from S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
On Tuesday, February 18th, S.C. Attorney General’s Office announced 13 new indictments against Strickland. Those indictments allege public corruption on Strickland’s part while he served as sheriff of Colleton County.
Specifically, the indictments against Strickland, 40, of Walterboro, include one count of misconduct in office and one count of distribution of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, both of which allegedly occurred in Horry County; six counts of misconduct in office while in Colleton County; two counts of Use of Official Position for Financial Gain Ethics, in Colleton County; three counts of Embezzlement; Use of Public Funds, Property or Time to Influence Election; and Distribution of a Schedule II Controlled Substance.
According to the indictments filed against him, all of these charges stem from Strickland allegedly having “subordinate deputies and sheriff’s office staff” do work on his personal property while on duty for the sheriff’s office. He is also accused of giving a government-issued radio worth about $3,000 to a citizen, with no “valid official purpose.”
The charges also accuse of Strickland of having subordinate deputies and sheriff’s office staff members work on his political campaign during their regular workdays.
Additionally, the indictments allege Strickland used public, taxpayer funds on non-official lodging expenses during a law enforcement conference in Myrtle Beach.
The indictments also allege that Strickland used his “supervisory power over the employment and wages of sheriff’s office staff to coerce the continuation of an ongoing sexual relationship with a subordinate,” and that he “used county resources and time to further these activities,” as stated in the indictments issued by the AG’s office.
Further, Strickland is accused of giving alcohol to subordinates under the age of 21, and of distributing Ambien and Adderall to people who did not have a prescription for the drugs.
Strickland went to a bond hearing last week on these new charges.
According to Robert Kittle, spokesman for the S.C. Attorney’s General, the AG’s office originally asked for a $50,000 surety bond and house arrest. They also asked for GPS monitoring.
“Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Creighton Waters, head of the State Grand Jury Division, told Judge DeAndrea Benjamin that several witnesses had expressed concern that Strickland might react violently once he was indicted, which is why the State asked for the GPS monitoring and house arrest,” said Kittle.
“We also asked that he surrender all firearms to SLED, have no contact with any witnesses or Sheriff’s Office employees and that he surrender his passport,” he said.
Judge Benjamin gave Strickland a $25,000 surety bond. The judge also required that Strickland have GPS monitoring and that he surrender all of his firearms and his passport.
Strickland must also have no contact with any witnesses or with any employees at the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
Kittle said that Strickland’s lawyer could petition for the removal of the GPS monitoring after 90 days, said Robert Kittle, spokesman for S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
Strickland was removed (suspended) from his seat as sheriff by S.C. Governor Henry McMaster, in November of 2019, after being indicted by a state grand jury on a separate charge of criminal domestic violence. He is going to court on March 23rd to face those CDV charges, according to Strickland’s attorney, Andy Savage of Charleston.
The Colleton County victim in those CDV charges alleged in November of 2019 that Strickland repeatedly punched her in the face at her residence. He is also accused of trying to prevent her from calling for help.
Savage said on Monday that he had not been provided any information by state officials on the new charges brought against Strickland by the AG’s office.
“We look forward to the trial,” said Savage.
In preparing for the March trial, Savage said he would do an “extensive questioning of the jury” pool to ensure that Strickland has a fair and adequate jury. This process will be done before Savage considers a change of venue for the trial, said Savage.

Heather Walters (1707 Posts)