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Town manager announces investigation of alleged stolen water

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An investigation is being conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) into an alleged illegal water tap of Kingstree's water and wastewater service by a public official. The investigation was made public in a statement presented by Kingstree Town Manager Dan Wells during his manager's report at a November 18, Kingstree Town Council meeting. The purpose of the announcement, according to Wells, was to extinguish persistent rumors that may be damaging to the town and the council.

Reading from the statement, Wells said he felt it was his responsibility to the citizens to address the issue that has been going on for five months. "In July, I learned that an alleged illegal tap was made to the town's water and wastewater service. The town had no knowledge of the activity and the preliminary evidence gave us reason to believe that a crime had been committed."

Wells said the property owner is listed as belonging to a public official but did not disclose the person's identity.

Wells said the town normally would have investigated and prosecuted "this relatively simple matter using Kingstree Police Department resources and legal courts." However, he said given the fact that a public official was involved he chose to contact SLED. He also said charges may or may not be brought by the solicitor's office. After reading his statement, Wells added that the USDA has been notified of the incident and information will be submitted to the state's Ethics Commission.

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