Monday, Police Chief Craig Nelson resigned from his duties amidst allegations that funds are missing from the police department’s evidence locker.
Town leaders quickly called a special meeting for last night and voted to appoint former Prosperity Police Chief Benji Sease as acting police chief for the town.
One of Sease’s first duties in the post this morning will be to call in the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to begin investigating the allegations of missing money.
Nelson was hired by Sease in February 2005 and was named as the town’s police chief in May 2008.
During his tenure as chief, Nelson came under fire and was investigated by SLED when he was accused of running over his ex-mother-in-law’s foot.
Sease was the town’s police chief from November 2001 until August 2007 when he retired after being injured by a prisoner.
Since he stepped down as police chief, Sease has continued to work for the town and department. Currently, he was working 20 hours a week as an investigator and was on disability due to the injuries he received in the fight with the prisoner.
Mayor Larry Spotts said yesterday that the number of hours that Sease would work had not yet been negotiated.
The department also has one officer, who graduated from the police academy a couple of weeks ago, and another on light duty. The town is in the process of hiring a fourth.
Sheriff Lee Foster met with Sease on Monday and says his department has continued to assist and back up the Prosperity Police Department and will continue to do so.
Foster adds Whitmire also is short of officers due to one of the Whitmire officers being deployed and his office is assisting them also.
“Our tax resources are not budgeted to work both towns, but we will do what we can,” said Foster, explaining the Sheriff’s Office budget had no patrols allocated for the two towns, both have independent police forces.