A South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation into Anderson, S.C. police captain Mike Aikens is focused on an allegedly improper sexual relationship with a subordinate, sources familiar with the inquiry told this news outlet earlier this week.
Aikens, 51, has worked for the Anderson police department for the past two decades. In addition to his law enforcement duties, he serves as public information officer (PIO) for this agency – which serves a city of nearly 27,000 people located approximately thirty miles southwest of Greenville, S.C.
Aikens’ boss – Anderson police chief Jim Stewart – forwarded the matter to SLED for investigation on April 28. He declined to comment on the inquiry, stating that it was the policy of his office “not to discuss ongoing personnel matters.”
Aiken is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into his alleged conduct.
SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby told reporters with The Anderson Independent Mail that the investigation involved Aikens “interactions with a fellow officer,” but he did not elaborate beyond that.
News of this investigation was first reported by Cody Alcorn of Fox Carolina. Alcorn pressed Stewart and other Anderson city officials for more information about the inquiry, but none was forthcoming.
Sex scandals among law enforcement officers are quite common in South Carolina. Two years ago, this news outlet exclusively uncovered a huge sex scandal at the Mauldin, South Carolina police department – one that quickly morphed into a mainstream media feeding frenzy.
As I reported at the time, up to a dozen individuals were implicated in an alleged “on-duty sex ring” – one said to have included multiple sworn law enforcement officers, police department staffers and a few members of the Mauldin, S.C. fire department. The participants in this sex ring allegedly engaged in all manner of consensual adult acts with each other on taxpayer time. And on public property.
No criminal charges were ever filed in connection with the sex ring, although several officers involved in the scandal lost their jobs. Others took positions at neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Prior to that, my news outlet was the first to report on nearly all of the major developments related to the sex scandal (and related bad behavior) that brought down former Greenville county, S.C. sheriff Will Lewis. Also, let’s not forget the scandal that took down former Union county, S.C. sheriff David Taylor last year … the sordid details of which were exclusively reported by this outlet.
Or the mess that went down in Chesterfield county in the fall of 2019 involving multiple deputies who allegedly engaged in sexual relations with a drug dealer … and who tipped this dealer off about law enforcement activity that could impact his “business.”
Where do I come down on “cop sex?” As a libertarian, I have always believed people should be free to have sex with other consenting adults as they see fit – including sex with other consenting adults within the workplace. While “mixing business with pleasure” is an inherently combustible proposition, I do not see anything inherently wrong with it – even if those engaging in such behavior are serving in taxpayer-funded positions.
Of course, my views regarding consensual promiscuity in the workplace have never extended to taxpayer-funded employees “who are on the clock (and on government property).” Especially cops.
“What law enforcement officers choose to do with other consenting adults on their own time and in the privacy of their homes is none of our business, but when they clock in and come to work their job is to protect and serve – not sexually service each other,” I wrote in response to the Mauldin scandal.
Accordingly, officers should “wait to indulge their sexual appetites until they are off the clock.”
Beyond that, though, I have consistently argued that sexual relations between superiors and their subordinates is an absolutely terrible idea in organizations where following the chain of command is literally a matter of life and death.
In fact, sex with subordinates in any position of public trust is generally a bad idea – as it creates a climate in which decisions could be made (or could be perceived to have been made) on the basis of romantic entanglements, not professional merit.
As far as Aikens’ case is concerned, I look forward to providing readers with an update as soon as SLED concludes its investigatory work and forwards its recommendations regarding potential violations of the law to the appropriate prosecutorial authority for review.
Stay tuned …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.