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CHARGES FINALLY BROUGHT IN EMBEZZLEMENT SCAM

Last August this website exposed an ongoing criminal investigation into hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing funds at the Greenwood County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office.

Bottom line? A Sheriff’s office employee, Sandi McAlister-Owens, allegedly stole more than $300,000 from various law enforcement funding streams over a four-year period – blowing the money on her daughter’s beauty pageant career, among other things.

This week Owens was indicted for embezzlement – and faces up to ten years in the slammer if convicted.

Still unknown? What (if any) role Greenwood Sheriff Tony Davis had in the scandal.

“The Sheriff and his staff, and the County and its Council and staff, want only for the property rights of the taxpayers of Greenwood County to be protected, and therefore look forward to having this matter resolved in accordance with the law,” Davis’ office said in a statement.

Really? Perhaps Davis could have protected taxpayers by making sure long-established protocols governing the disbursement of monies from his office were followed.

“When the drug accounts were handed over after Davis won as a Democrat on Obama’s coattails in 2008 – he’s since switched to the GOP – they were protected by the standard protocols which required three parties to issue any check,” one of our sources says. “Owens and Davis were personally briefed on these protocols when the accounts changed hands.”

According to the source, Davis is either “criminally corrupt or criminally incompetent.”

We concur …

Here’s where it gets interesting, though. According to sources close to Owens, she has repeatedly made clear “there’s no way I’ll take the heat for this alone if they arrest me.”

Well that day has now come …

South Carolina has been awash in Sheriff’s scandals in recent years …

Earlier this year Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael L. Johnson was busted filing fake police reports as part of a credit repair scam. Last spring Chesterfield County Sheriff  Sam Parker was indicted in the wake of an inmate labor scandal. In June 2012, Saluda County Sheriff James Booth lost his job in another inmate labor scandal. In April 2012, Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain was busted using a squad car to drive his mistress to an abortion clinic so she could kill their illegitimate child. Meanwhile in 2010, Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin was busted participating in a narcotics ring – receiving “dues” from drug dealers in his county in exchange for providing them with his protection.

Gotta love the Palmetto State’s definition of “protecting and serving …”