The chaotic situation surrounding Florence County, South Carolina sheriff Kenney Boone is about to get crazier … to the extent that’s possible.
When we last tuned in to this unspooling soap opera, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had deferred its investigation into death threats allegedly made against Boone to detectives of the Richland County sheriff’s department. At Boone’s request.
How does that work exactly? Good question …
Jurisdictionally, that sounds pretty nebulous to us … especially considering the nature of the alleged threats.
More fundamentally, sheriffs shouldn’t be able to hand pick which law enforcement agencies investigate allegations that directly involve them … right?
Anyway … as we exclusively reported last week (and followed up on here), the ex-husband of Boone’s fiancée, Anna Hovey (below, with the sheriff), is accused of threatening to kill Boone during a verbal altercation that allegedly took place on the evening of July 15 at 418 Chatham Place in Florence (a.k.a. Hovey’s home). Threatening the life, person or family of a public official is a felony in South Carolina, and those convicted of it face up to five years in prison.
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Sources close to Hovey’s ex-husband – Alex Curlington – have disputed Boone and Hovey’s version of events. SLED was called to investigate, but the agency bowed out last week upon learning Richland County detectives were already on the case.
The latest report we have heard is that any charges that might come from this ongoing investigation would be handled by S.C. seventh circuit solicitor Barry Barnette, whose office is based in Spartanburg, S.C.
So to recap: An alleged crime in the Pee Dee is being investigated by deputies from the Midlands and charges (if any are filed) will be handled by a prosecutor from the Upstate. Confusing? Absolutely.
Also, here is our question: Who is going to rebate taxpayers for all these law enforcement travel costs?
Complicating matters? Curlington’s current wife – Genia Curlington (below, with her husband) – is currently employed by SLED and allegedly witnessed the exchange between her husband and the sheriff.
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Boone is not only pressing for Alex Curlington to go to jail, but also wants Genia Curlington fired from her job at SLED – and has reportedly alleged all manner of indiscretions against her in an effort to ensure she is terminated from her post.
While Boone plays offense in one case, he is playing defense in another. According to sources familiar with another unfolding situation involving the sheriff, Boone was involved in a recent dispute with Kevin Yokim – the director of finance for Florence County (which oversees expenditures made by Boone’s office).
The nature of the dispute between Boone and Yokim is not immediately clear, but at some point during their disagreement Boone is alleged to have called Yokim “and left threatening voicemails” for him. Neither the messages nor transcripts of the recordings have been provided to this news site, but a source who heard the tapes told us they “easily could qualify as unlawful use of (a) telephone.”
Robert Kittle, a spokesman for S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson, told us this week that his office had received copies of the voicemails.
“We do have the tapes and are reviewing them,” Kittle told us, adding that “no decision” had been made as to what action(s) would be taken.
Wow …[timed-content-server show=’2018-Jan-17 00:00:00′ hide=’2018-Jul-31 00:00:00′]
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In South Carolina, it is illegal to “use in a telephonic communication or any other electronic means any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious or indecent nature, or threaten any unlawful act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass another person, or convey by telephone or other electronic means an obscene, vulgar, indecent, profane, suggestive, or immoral message to another person.”
This law – which we’re guessing is regularly violated across the state – could land convicted offenders in jail for up to thirty days.
Yokim is also a public official, so Boone could conceivably be staring down the same charge as Curlington.
Boone, 52, has been sheriff of Florence County since 2004. He is currently working to regain the trust of the community following a recent stint in a North Carolina rehabilitation facility where he was treated for an alcohol addiction (news of which also broke exclusively on this site).
Despite his issues, he has said he plans to seek a fifth term as sheriff in 2020.
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