Crime & Courts

Pervert On Patrol: Palmetto Police Chief Accused Of Harassing Female Subordinates

“He was watching through her body camera …”

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An embattled police chief and accused sexual predator has been placed on administrative leave for allegedly harassing female subordinates. The move comes after years of lawsuits and media scrutiny detailing his obscene escapades across South Carolina. 

On January 1, 2024, Sullivan’s Island, S.C. police chief Chris Griffin was placed on administrative leave amid a “personnel matter investigation.” That investigation led to him being placed on administrative leave without pay on January 17, 2024, according to town administrator Andy Benke.

Griffin joined the Sullivan’s Island Police Department (SIPD) in 1997 as a patrol officer, holding several positions at the department including interim chief following the abrupt resignation of Danny Howard in March 2017. 

According to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), Howard was “discharged for misconduct” following an alleged extramarital affair with the spouse of a subordinate. Of interest? Griffin later attested to the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) that Howard’s separation did not involve misconduct. 

For more on that incestuous affair, click here …

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On January 16, 2018, Sullivan’s Island’s town council appointed Griffin as its permanent police chief after observing his “ideal” interim leadership over the previous nine months. He was supposedly selected from a number of highly qualified applicants vying for the same position. 

“Given the importance of the position for the town, it was necessary to identify a candidate who would not only be a skilled and experienced law enforcement officer, but also an effective leader and good fit for the island,” Benke said at the time.

In the coming years, however, Griffin has repeatedly landed in hot water. In 2019, he was permanently banned from the S.C. Police Chief’s Association (SCPCA) for sending “unsolicited sexually explicit text messages” to two females which later resulted in a widely publicized lawsuit with graphic exhibits.

In January of 2021, Griffin received a $417,000 loan with one of his subordinates in exchange for a security interest in a property they co-owned together — even though town ordinances expressly prohibit such a relationship between municipal employees.

These issues were among the many exclusively reported by FITSNews over and over and over again in 2021 — without heed from Sullivan’s Island officials who insistently denied any wrongdoing under Griffin’s leadership. 

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“PEEPING CHIEF”

Sullivan’s Island Police Chief Chris Griffin questioned on Are We Dating The Same Guy?
(Provided)

While Benke did not elaborate on the town’s ongoing investigation into Griffin, several sources familiar with the inquiry spoke with us on condition of anonymity. According to one source, their goal in doing so was to inform the public — and fellow officers — of a proverbial “monster” unfit for service.

“Everyone knows he’s a pervert,” one individual told FITSNews. “Chief Griffin leads with fear and intimidation while preying on females. Those who don’t fall in line are subject to endless harassment and intimidation at the taxpayers expense.”

According to our sources, Griffin became fixated on a female patrol officer who joined the department in August of 2023. These sources indicated the officer was compelled to address his alleged lewd behavior within weeks of transferring from the Mount Pleasant Police Department (MPPD).

“He took that as a challenge and started with more inappropriate pranks and comments around the station,” continued an anonymous source. “Then he started putting stuff in the female bathroom stalls … like a blow-up sex doll.”

Fueling further complaints? Griffin was allegedly caught logging into the female officer’s body-worn police camera without her knowledge. He purportedly watched several intimate moments in realtime — and went so far as to “tease” her about it at least once.

“The female officer then went to HR and filed a complaint,” another source stated. “The flood gates opened after that. She gave multiple people the courage to come forward and multiple complaints were filed as a result … he even harassed a secretary at [MPPD].”

All of this supposedly happened around the same time a former SIPD officer received a $105,000 settlement after suing Sullivan’s Island for discrimination, sexual harassment (and more). That suit listed Benke, Griffin and fellow personnel as negligent.

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“ABOUT DAMN TIME”

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According to our sources, Griffin did not take the intra-office scrutiny well. In the days leading up to him being placed on administrative leave, he allegedly cornered members of his own department in a last-ditch effort to identify his loyalists — and complainants.

As of this writing, Sullivan’s Island’s administrative inquiry into Griffin continues while deputy police chief Glenn Meadows leads the department as interim chief. Bear in mind — this is the same township that failed to acknowledge Griffin’s documented obscenities for at least five years.

Obviously, we will publish any new developments related to the town’s inquiry — as well as extend our open microphone policy to anyone (including Griffin) who wish to provide statements.

If you or someone you know has information related to this case, please contact the author of this report. As our audience is well aware, we religiously protect the anonymity of our sources.

Moreover, if you know of similar cases that deserve investigative scrutiny, please reach out to FITSNews. We’re not only committed to exposing nefarious activity within government — but are steadfast on holding our law enforcement officers accountable.

UPDATE | On February 20, 2024, Sullivan’s Island Police Chief Chris Griffin resigned from his position ahead of town council’s discussion of their personnel investigation. Anonymous sources have since credited FITSNews for exposing Griffin and “speeding up” the town’s inquest.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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4 comments

Red Uprising January 26, 2024 at 10:49 am

40% of cops.

Reply
Morty W January 30, 2024 at 7:18 am

I’m a retired career cop. I submit the percentage is much lower than 40% but still too many.

Reply
FedupinCarolina Top fan January 29, 2024 at 5:07 pm

I live in SC, but not on Sullivan’s Island. If I did , this story would raise my hackles, not only about this pervert, but the members of the town councl (maybe even more so). This reeks of sleazy SC good ol’ Boy politics at it’s worst. Last year Florida passed a law that required elected state, county, city,& town officials to release info on their income and, boy-howdy, you would’ve thought the world exploded! After screaming bloody murder for a few weeks to the media, they finally started resigning rather than comply. I’d rather be represented by a short-staffed honest politician than a fully staffed council consisting pork-belly backscratching slimy greaseballs.

Reply
Morty W January 30, 2024 at 7:13 am

One good look at Chief’s eyes and face proves you sometimes CAN judge a book by its cover. Would trust that character as far as I could drop kick his patrol car.

Reply

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