July 29, 2008
Removed Magistrate Reprimanded
The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a public reprimand of a now-resigned Beaufort County magistrate for the following misconduct:
Respondent admits in the Agreement for Discipline by Consent that he made inappropriate statements in commenting on a warrant. Specifically, respondent referred to the use of crack cocaine and addiction thereto as a “black man’s disease.” On another occasion, respondent reacted in an overly harsh manner to comments made by a speaker at a seminar on criminal domestic violence.
Respondent also admits that during a bond hearing, he directed a defendant in a criminal domestic violence case to look at the victim, which was contrary to instructions given to the defendant by the transportation officer from the detention center. While conducting bond court on another occasion, respondent incorrectly advised a defendant of the penalty for the charge against the defendant.
Finally, respondent admits engaging in behavior that, while unintentional, could reasonably have been viewed as inappropriate by female employees.
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