The story of two layoffs within the sheriff’s office

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – In November, the Office of Professional Standards recommended that Ryan Miller, a major with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, be fired after several women accused him of sexual harassment while attending to K-9 training out of state. facility.

At least six women in the training class at Tarheel Canine Training in North Carolina alleged “unwelcome sexual advances” from Miller in September 2021.

Miller allegedly sent photos of his genitals via Snapchat, asking one woman about her sexual preferences and if she would wear socks for him, asking another to send photos after she finished showering and even came home with him.

While Miller was attending the facility, a woman called the Crime Stoppers information line to complain.

She told the operator: “[one] daughter denied his advances and informed him that she had a boyfriend. To which he replied: ‘So what? I have a wife.’ Every new girl who sets foot on Tarheel’s property must stay away from him,” according to documents from the PAHO investigation.

When questioned by investigators, Miller told them the interactions were consensual and “at no time … did he believe he crossed the line or made anyone feel uncomfortable” according to internal documents.

This termination was to be “effective immediately” upon Miller’s receipt of the letter.

But before being fired, he resigned.

In a letter of apology to the sheriff five days later, he wrote, “I’m on a mission to improve myself in every aspect of my life, and leaving the sheriff’s office with a resignation would help greatly in that regard.”

The next day, Sheriff Kristen Graziano granted her appeal.

She replied: “I accept your request for resignation in lieu of dismissal. I wish you and your family the best of luck for your new beginning.

A stark contrast to the recent treatment of Joyce Smith, community activists pointed out on Friday. The sheriff’s office terminated Smith for unpaid student loans, according to documents obtained by Live 5 News.

“No grace, no mercy, 25 years have passed,” said Pastor Thomas Dixon. “Contrary to the compassion shown to a proven sexual deviant. Deputy Chief Joyce Smith has just been fired regardless of the black statin forever imprinted on her 25+ year performance on some student loans which is far from being a sexual predator,” he added.

It’s unclear if Miller has ever faced criminal charges. During his six years with the service, he was found guilty of violating the policy three times for incidents unrelated to the sexual harassment allegations.

Supporters also say the lack of empathy for Smith highlights a small part of a larger problem.

“It’s bigger than Joyce, it’s about enjoying the black community again,” said Justin Hunt of Stand as One. “Our people still need help; you should not forget them after election day.

They argue that Sheriff Graziano, who appealed to Charleston County’s black community in his bid for the seat they currently hold, has failed to deliver on his promises.

And by firing Smith, who was often featured at community policing events, further widened the rift between law enforcement and minority communities.

“It’s the lack of effort I see from a sheriff,” Hunt said. “It picked up black citizens and took them to our food drives. It went to the polls with us. It gave me a hug. And again, I’m here again, for lack of effort, I won’t support her anymore.

Asked about the criticism, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Knapp said “the Sheriff would consider a resignation letter in a timely manner if an employee submits one.”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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