MAULDIN, S.C. (WSPA) – The City of Mauldin asked South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate the Mauldin Police Department after their own internal investigation found a hand-full of employees were having inappropriate sexual relationships while on duty.
City officials told 7News the affairs had been going on for years and happened on city property.
Monday, Mauldin Mayor Dennis Raines said he was extremely disappointed in what he called “inappropriate behavior” by more than half a dozen police employees.
In an attempt to get to the bottom of what is believed to be a series of “inappropriate sexual activities” within the Mauldin Police Department, city officials are asking for an external investigation from SLED.
This request came after the city quietly wrapped up their own three-month investigation, after getting tipped off by an anonymous letter in January. The letter was followed by a dispatcher complaint, according to city officials.
According to a memo released by Mauldin’s City Administrator Brandon Madden, the city found that a female dispatcher was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with four corporal police officers within the department.
The city also found that two of those officers, along with an additional sergeant, were having similar sexual affairs with another female dispatcher.
According to the city, the encounters were happening while the officers were on duty and on city property. The city also said that all of the instances were consensual.
Since the beginning of the month, 7News learned that five employees have resigned and two have been fired.
According to a memo released by the city, the investigation revealed that Dispatcher Calandria Dawson, Dispatcher Amy Ketchum, Corporal Christopher McHone, Corporal Kyle Quin, Corporal Christian Balsiger, Corporal LaQuendin Counts and Sergeant Adam Lawrence were involved in inappropriate sexual activities.
Mayor Raines called for the SLED investigation Monday night at City Hall.
SLED spokesperson Thom Berry confirmed with 7News that they received a letter from Mauldin City Attorney John Duggan on Thursday, requesting the investigation into the allegations involving the police department.
“Our intention is to insure that we have an all-encompassing report once their investigation is concluded, and we will deal with each fact expeditiously as we have done so already in this case,” Raines said.
7News attempted to catch up with Raines and Madden Tuesday, but both declined interview requests.
According to the memo, their initial investigation finished up in March and was reviewed by the Mauldin Police Chief Bryan Turner.
Turner provided the report to the human resources department for review in April, according to the memo. After the review was complete, human resources gave the report to the Madden for review.
Raines and city council were debriefed on June 3, during a city council meeting in executive session. Council members were unaware of the results of the investigation prior to that meeting.
Raines released the following statement following an executive session meeting Monday afternoon:
“I want to ‘Thank You’ for coming and waiting while Council wasDennis Raines, Mauldin Mayor
meeting. You have been given the facts as we currently know them.
Myself, our City Council and City Staff are, needless to say, extremely
disappointed in the type of inappropriate behavior as uncovered from
our internal investigation. Tomorrow morning we will be requesting
an external investigation from SLED. Our intention is to insure that we
have an all-encompassing report once their investigation is concluded
and we will deal with each fact expeditiously as we have done so
already in this case.
This is a community we cherish and we will not lose focus of what it
means to wake up every day in this City and to be a part of a place
this is special. We live and serve here. Family values are at the core of
our community here in Mauldin. Unfortunately, humans disappoint us
from time to time, our strength shows in how we respond to those
disappointments. We will come out of this stronger than ever