UNION COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate fire chief has been accused of driving under the influence.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office said over the weekend, the Stephen Stone, fire chief for Cross Keys Fire Department was pulled over for an improper lane change and ultimately charged with DUI.
Saturday, around 11 p.m., Capt. Scott Coffer said the call came in for a possible intoxicated driver.
He said deputies made a stop in the Cross Keys area, around Old Buncombe Road.
“The deputies initiated a traffic stop, once they got out with him, I think they could smell a little bit of alcohol,” he said.
Once the driver was identified as Stone, Coffer said deputies got highway patrol to conduct the stop and investigation.
“A conflict with the deputies with him being a county employee, being in the fire service. They just decided at that time to contact Highway Patrol,” said Coffer.
Coffer said Stone was booked into the Union County Jail and got out on bond Sunday.
“By the report that was written by the deputy, he was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to the county jail by highway patrol,” he said.
He said in situations like these, it’s good to have an outside agency oversee the process.
“It’s kind of like with officer involved shootings, they get SLED to do an investigation. So, yeah, I think it’s a good thing,” he said.
Cross Keys is a volunteer fire department within Union County.
Coffer said it’s not often they have situations where officials are involved on the other end.
“Nothing recent, but whether you’re a county official or not, everybody’s human, people make mistakes,” he said.
The Union County Supervisor sent out a statement:
“Union County is aware of a personnel matter that involves a member of the Cross Keys Fire Department. This fire department is managed by a department Board, who are aware and will address this situation.”Phillip G. Russell, II. Union County Supervisor