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Wagener SC Under Investigation

Freedom of information request reveals existence of SLED probe …

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A freedom of information act (FOIA) request to the mayor of Wagener, South Carolina has unearthed the existence of a criminal investigation involving the town.

This news outlet did not submit the FOIA, but we were alerted to the document by a source familiar with the situation.

According to Wagener mayor Michael Miller, multiple requests for town records contained in an August FOIA submitted by Aiken County accountant Alberta Wasden were “denied.”  His stated rationale?  That the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was conducting “an active investigation” into the town, and that the information sought by Wasden’s FOIA “would interfere” with that probe.

Miller cited this exemption several times – specifically in response to Wasden’s request for copies of all checks, expense records, invoices and receipts compiled by the town beginning on July 1, 2017.   He also invoked the exemption when Wasden requested copies of “any checks written in response to collection letters from the Internal Revenue Service” as well as copies of collection letters from the state of South Carolina’s pension and employee health and welfare funds.

Sounds ominous, right?  Indeed …

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The only item Miller deemed responsive from Wasden’s FOIA was her request for copies of minutes from town council meetings.

“We will provide any such documents available as many were destroyed along with Town Hall by Hurricane Irma in 2017,” Miller wrote.

There was a cost associated with the production of these documents, though.

“We will require a deposit of $1,000 before beginning any efforts for research and duplication to provide these documents,” Miller wrote, denying a request from Wasden that the town waive any fees associated with her FOIA.

Upon receiving a copy of Wasden’s FOIA – and the town’s response – we reached out to our sources at SLED who confirmed there was indeed an investigation underway involving town officials.  As with most pending investigations, however, the agency declined to discuss details of the case with us.

Stay tuned …

This news site has previously reported on investigations into shady goings-on in this corrupt municipality – one of many ethically challenged rural hamlets stretched across the notoriously corrupt Palmetto State.  Hopefully, we will be able to bring our readers the full story behind this latest investigation very soon.

UPDATE: FBI involved ….

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