In early October, Lt. John Long of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office was placed on administrative leave with pay as an investigation was launched into claims of inappropriate purchases. The complaint made involved purchases made by the Sheriff’s Office to a business partially owned by Long.
According to the Greenwood County Policies and Procedures of November 15, 2016 Section 8-13-700-SC Code of Laws: No public official, public member, or public employee may knowingly use their official office, membership, or employment to obtain an economic interest for himself, a family member, an individual with whom he is associated, or a business with which he is associated.
This policy along with several others and the need to ensure there was no criminal activity is the reasons Sheriff Dennis Kelly turned this investigation over to SLED. Sheriff Kelly said many times during his campaign that he wanted to be transparent and operate the Sheriff’s Office with the utmost professional standards. So when these claims were made, turning this over to SLED was the best way to ensure that vision and to be fair.
The actual transactions made have not been obtained by GwdToday as to state how many and to which business those were made to and for what items.
Long has been involved in several businesses including Greenwood Army Navy, Greenwood Guns & Gear as well as the Skate-A-Way USA.
After SLED investigated, their results were turned over to the 10th Judicial Circuit Solicitor David R. Wagner for an opinion if criminal charges would be appropriate or not. Wagner concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support any criminal changes that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The only item creating concern in Wagner’s letter is: “actions may have been ill advised”.
Below is the Wagner’s letter in its entirety:
Dear Captain Hendrix:
I have reviewed the investigative file materials concerning the above referenced matter. The purpose of this review was to make a determination if sufficient facts exist to establish a violation of the criminal laws of this State.
While these actions may have been ill advised, there does not appear to be any criminal intent on the part of the subject. Based on the information provided, I conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Thank you for your thorough investigation and dedicated work on this matter. I am returning your file with this letter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or I can be of further service.
David R. Wagner
Tenth Judicial Circuit
This situation continues to be under review due to the “ill advised” statement but it’s now internally.
In regards to Long’s future with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office Kelly said “John Long is on annual leave and will be returning on Jan 3 in the Uniform Patrol division. I am looking into the ill-advised actions. No comment on if he could return to the same position.”
We reached out to Long for comment on this situation and he respectfully declined to give a response to our questions.