MAULDIN, SC (WSPA) – A Mauldin Police Department officer and a 911 worker have been fired for misconduct, according to South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy records.
According to the records, Mauldin Officer LaQuendin Counts and Telecommunications Officer Calandra Dawson were both fired by City Administrator Brandon Madden on June 4.
The terminations were in addition to five other employees that resigned since the beginning of the month.
The shake-up began in March when an internal investigation was launched into personnel code violations according to the City Administrator.
Records show Counts and Dawson were questioned at least twice as part of the investigation. Counts was placed on leave pending the investigation.
It was determined Dawson and Counts were dishonest about relationships that were “sexual in nature,” which occurred in the workplace. Both employees were ultimately fired.
“I’m not surprised by too much, because the police department hasn’t really been serving the people well,” said Quintavius Turner, a resident of Mauldin. “[The police department has] been focused on what they have to do for themselves and not really what they have to do for the community.”
Within days of the termination of Dawson and Counts, four officers and one telecommunications worker resigned.
“I would rather have those seven individuals protecting us and what they do in their [own time is their] personal choices,” said one citizen. “As long as it’s not affecting the safety of our community, it doesn’t bother me.”
Documents show the employees were not involved in any misconduct. However, City Administrator said the resignations were part of disciplinary actions taken due to personnel code violations.
It’s still unclear if the five resignations were connected to the two terminations.
On Thursday, Mauldin City Administrator Brandon Madden sent the following statement on the disciplinary actions involving the police department:
“The City has received inquiries from members of the news media regarding the recent disciplinary actions taken that involved members of the City Police Department. Based on City protocols, the City is limited in the details it can share as it relates to any personnel matter.
The actions taken by the members of the City Police Department did not involve the delivery of public services or interactions with the public. However, the disciplinary actions were necessary because of violations of the City’s personnel code.
The City will hold employees accountable for their actions and has a standard of integrity that it expects all employees to adhere to, and while disciplinary actions were taken, they were done so in accordance with the appropriate City policies.
The City is committed to providing high-quality public services to its residents, and will continue to serve the residents of our community in a manner that is reflective of our standards, values, and expectations.”
City Councilman Terry Merritt told 7News council was told about an internal investigation two weeks ago but were not given much more information. Merritt said what he knows he’s learned from the news. Now he is asking the City Administrator to hold a briefing for council members ahead of the city council meeting on Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m.
The City Administrator told 7News there is more than enough officers to keep the community safe.
On Wednesday, 7News reported that five Mauldin Police Department employees — four officers and a 911 worker — resigned within a three-day period last week.
While the resignation documents said the reason for the employees’ resignations did not involve misconduct, Mauldin City Administrator Brandon Madden said the resignations were part of disciplinary actions that were taken because of violations of the city’s code.
Three of the five employees resigned on June 4. One resigned on June 5, and another resigned on June 7, according to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
According to resignation documents, four employees were listed as Class 1 Law Enforcement officers. One employee was listed as an E-911 operator.
Madden said the violations did not involve citizens, members of the public, or the delivery of services.
Mauldin City Council member Scott Crosby said the issue involved taxpayers’ money.
“If you’re on your job, and you’re not doing the job you’re assigned to do, that’s a misuse of funds,” Crosby said.
Madden said any inappropriate behavior that occurs will be handled in accordance with the city’s personnel policies.
“Our directors did an excellent job of the problem that arose, and it’s been properly resolved,” Crosby said.