Union Prosecutor's Law License Suspended - WSPA.com

Union Prosecutor's Law License Suspended

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William E. (Billy) Whitney, Jr. William E. (Billy) Whitney, Jr.
UNION, S.C. -

The Supreme Court of South Carolina has suspended the law license of a former Union city prosecutor.

William E. (Billy) Whitney, Jr., 65, of was arrested and charged with malfeasance and/or misfeasance or misconduct in office by the Union County Sheriff's Office. He's accused of dismissing criminal charges against defendants in exchange for sexual favors.

In addition to being arrested, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has suspended Whitney's license to practice law for nine months. The order was issued by the court on August 28, at the request of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

According to the order, Whitney is "enjoined from taking any action regarding any trust, escrow, operating, and any other law office account(s)" he may "maintain at any bank or other financial institution, including, but not limited to, making any withdrawal or transfer, or writing any check or other instrutment on the account(s)."

The court also appointed an attorney to oversee Whitney's private law practice during his suspension. Columbia attorney Gretchen B. Gleason will handle client needs and any other legal matters regarding his business.

Whitney was arrested in August. Arrest warrants state he dismissed charges against criminal defendants in exchange for sexual favors between July of 2011 and September of last year.

"This investigation began when a complaint was filed with one of the Sheriff's Office lieutenants August 1, 2013," Sheriff David Taylor said Monday in a written statement.

"My office contacted the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and asked SLED to assist because Billy Whitney, Jr. was employed as a Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Union. We brought in the S.C. Attorney General's office for assistance as well."

The common-law violation has a punishment of up to 10 years in prison for a conviction. Whitney, Jr. was released from the Union County Detention center following a bond hearing Monday night.

"Additional charges may be filed as this is a continuing investigation," said Taylor.

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