AP NEWS

Florence sheriff candidate says Boone case no surprise

April 27, 2019 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. – Jody Lynch said she saw it coming with Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone.

Lynch, who ran against Boone in 2016, said Thursday by phone that she was surprised it had taken so long for Boone to be investigated and arrested.

Boone was indicted this week by a state grand on two charges of embezzlement and one count of misconduct in office. He was suspended by Gov. Henry McMaster and an interim sheriff was appointed.

Lynch said she was working at the sheriff’s office when she observed some behaviors and spending that she didn’t think was appropriate. Lynch said she reported the information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the office of Attorney General Alan Wilson then.

“I have a feeling this won’t be it,” she added.

As sheriff’s deputy, she worked in a number of different areas including criminal investigations, child abuse, sex crimes and gang prevention. She is now president and CEO of Southern Safety Group LLC.

Lynch said she ran against Boone in 2016 because he had been an “absentee” sheriff, leaving the state as a major storm approached. She also said she would be running for sheriff in 2020.

Frizell Moore, also a candidate for sheriff in 2020, said on social media, “It’s disappointing when you see a law enforcement official having to answer serious charges. We pray for him and his family as they deal with this issue.”

“It is great that interim Sheriff [William] Barnes asked SLED for a full audit,” Moore said. “Also, in transparency, SLED may need to investigate the Command staff of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office to make it clear to the citizens of Florence County there is not any illegal activity continuing to occur and this was isolated to Kenney Boone.”

Wilson’s office announced Boone’s indictment on Wednesday. Boone was arrested by State Law Enforcement Division agents in Florence on Wednesday. Later, he was arraigned in Columbia by Judge DeAndrea G. Benjamin. Benjamin set Boone’s bail at a $50,000 personal recognizance bond and confined Boone to his home.

Lynch and Moore will be running in 2020 along with T.J. Joye and Darrin Yarborough. Boone previously told the Morning News he had planned to run in 2020. It is not yet known whether he now plans to run.

In 2016, Boone defeated Lynch by securing 57.01 percent of the vote to Lynch’s 42.90 percent.