Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston, SC

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Fighting For You

When you are charged with a crime or are involved in an accident, it can seem like the world is crashing down around you. Between the threat of incarceration and the chance of financial loss, these foreboding situations often feel overwhelming. Friends and family cut ties, your employer threatens termination, and life seems hopeless. It is imperative to have a fighter on your side during these trying times: one that will stick with you through thick and thin, without any judgments.

Welcome to the Law Office of Richard Waring: where defending your rights and freedoms is paramount in securing your future.

Richard implements a powerfully simple yet effective model for all his clients' cases:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of a Positive Outcome
  • The Use of Creative Problem-Solving Tactics
  • Excellent Communication

When you are ready to fight back against the allegations against you, it is time to call the Law Office of Richard Waring - a criminal defense attorney on Charleston, SC, with the knowledge, experience, and drive to defend you during your most difficult time.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

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Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

From Prosecution to Protecting Your Rights in Charleston

Richard Waring began his commitment to community service years ago. As a young man, he would spend his summers volunteering his time to help needy communities.

As an adult, his desire to help others manifested itself while I served as a prosecutor for "close to 10 years."?. During this time, he would take part in some of the most difficult trials in the Lowcountry's history. He prosecuted thousands of individuals for crimes such as assault and battery, armed robbery, drug crimes, DUI, financial crimes, and even murder.
His time as a prosecutor was priceless, giving him valuable insight and knowledge into the inner workings of Charleston's legal system. Today, Richard uses that experience to vigorously defend good, hardworking men and women whose freedoms are only one judgment away from disappearing.
Whether you made a mistake and need a second chance or have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a professional who has put in time on both sides. At the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest easy knowing this former prosecutor will fight tooth and nail for your freedom.

Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a crime, it can become a horrible experience. The range of emotions one goes through can be taxing: embarrassment, humiliation, regret, sadness, despair. The domino effect that often happens when charged with a crime can be awful, as well: loss of job, abandonment by your family or significant other, dirty looks from those in your community.

Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney in Charleston, SC, can help restore your reputation and repair your life. In times of legal crises, your friends and family may cut ties, but Richard Waring will be on your side from the time you call his office to the time your case is resolved.

Having prosecuted thousands of cases in South Carolina, Richard has a set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government. Richard truly knows the criminal justice system's ins and outs and is dedicated to fighting for his clients to achieve the best possible outcome on their criminal cases.

While some cases result in a positive outcome quickly, others must go to trial. Much like a combat athlete trains for months, hones his or her skills, and goes to war with an opponent, Richard Waring has prepared for and battled it out in many high-profile trials.

When you trust the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. Each of our criminal defense clients receives the following when entrusting Richard Waring as their criminal defense lawyer in Charleston:

  • Vigorous representation
  • Quick response to emails and phone calls
  • Compassionate, understanding treatment
  • You will never be treated as unimportant or second-rate
  • Thorough investigation for your case
  • All of your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial, upheld
  • Notifications of important updates

The following are common cases that Richard Waring can handle for you:

  • Misdemeanor DUI/DWI
  • Felony DUI/DWI
  • Violent Crimes including: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, and Murder
  • Strong Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Drug Crimes
  • Manufacturing of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Distribution of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Gun crimes including: pointing or present a firearm, possession of a pistol with obliterated serial numbers, possession of a stolen pistol
  • Restoration of Your Gun Rights
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny and Burglary
  • Property Crimes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Financial Crimes including: Forgery, financial transaction card theft, fake IDs, breach of trust, obtaining goods by false pretenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Traffic Crimes including: driving without a license, speeding, reckless or careless driving
Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Charleston, SC

There are several key players in the criminal justice system, each with its own roles. The prosecutor is tasked with enforcing laws and convicting offenders. The judge serves as an unbiased decision-maker. The criminal defense attorney's role is to protect the rights of the individual who is charged with a crime - a vitally important role in the criminal justice world.

Having a proactive, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side almost always improves your chance of a positive outcome. While their primary role is to defend your rights and protect you from excessive sentences, they have many other duties.

When you entrust Richard Waring as your defense advocate, he will fight to protect your rights throughout the case by:

  • Arguing in court to reduce how much you must pay to post bail
  • Being present during police interrogations and interviews
  • Discovering and applying potent legal defenses
  • Advising you on your decision to plead guilty, not guilty, or to go to trial (if applicable)
  • Explaining the implications of pleading guilty
  • Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses relating to the allegations against you
  • Meticulously examining the circumstance surrounding your search and arrest (if applicable) to uncover Fourth Amendment violations
  • Meticulously examining any drug or DUI-related chemical tests to ensure accuracy and uncover errors
  • Representing you during scheduled hearings
  • Representing you during a jury trial
  • Working with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals or the possibility of a reduced sentence
  • If convicted, representing you during the sentencing phase and arguing on your behalf for a fair sentence

Knowing Your Rights

As a defendant, you have important rights. Some of the rights that Richard Waring will fight to protect on your behalf are:

  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right against unreasonable seizures and searches
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right against cruel and unusual punishment
  • In most cases, the right to a jury trial
  • The right of innocence until proven guilty
  • The right to legal representation

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Charleston, the government must supply you with a public defender.

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Charleston, the government must supply you with a public defender.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Criminal Case Timeline In Charleston, SC

If you or a member of your family is facing criminal charges in Charleston, there is no doubt that you are anxious about the road ahead. You are not alone - most of our criminal defense clients worry about the uncertainties surrounding the legal process and what is next in their case.

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, we empathize with this stress, and as such, make every effort to address anxiety-inducing questions like:

  • How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
  • What type of sentence is common for the crime in which I am being accused?
  • Will the prosecutor offer me a favorable plea deal?

We cannot answer these questions in detail until we have time to review your case and speak with you one-on-one. Until that time, this high-level view of Charleston's criminal case timeline can offer some insight into what lies ahead.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Arrest and Investigation

This is the first step in the criminal case timeline. During this time, police officer(s) will investigate the potential crime at hand and arrest whomever the officer(s) believes to be responsible. At this point, the person in question is considered a Defendant.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Initial Bond Setting

Shortly after the arrest (typically within the same day), defendants are granted an initial bond hearing. This short proceeding determines whether a defendant will be released from jail while charges are pending. It is wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Charleston, SC, before this hearing so that they may argue on your behalf.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Preliminary Hearing

The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence (or probable cause) for the case to carry on. Defendants must request this hearing within 20 days of their initial bond setting. Hearings typically commence within three to six weeks. It is especially important that defendants retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Initial Appearance

The main purpose of this court date is to determine if the defendant has hired an attorney or will need a public defender appointed to them. If you have an attorney before this hearing, defendants are not required to be present. The initial appearance typically happens 45 days after the arrest.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Plea Offers

n some cases, the State may offer a plea offer to the defendant. If the defendant accepts this deal, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the defendant's acceptance. If the defendant pleads guilty, they are typically sentenced on the spot. If the defendant rejects the plea, he or she may have to go before the judge to ensure they understand the consequences of rejecting a plea offer.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Discovery

Under Rule 5 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant will receive all evidence that will be used against them. As your criminal defense attorneys in Charleston, we will submit a written request to the court to obtain this information. It may take the State weeks or months to turn over their evidence, especially if that evidence is new.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charleston, SC

Indictment

The first barrier for the State to prosecute takes place during the preliminary hearing. The second occurs during the indictment phase. In general terms, an indictment is a document that details the criminal charges which the defendant must face. Each crime listed on the indictment is called a "count." During this phase, the State will gather a "grand jury" comprised of public citizens. This jury is presented with evidence to help them approve or disapprove of the charges contained in the indictment. If the indictment is approved, the defendant's case will proceed to trial. If it is rejected, charges are usually dropped.

Trial

During the trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence to a jury, who will hand down a final verdict. The prosecutor's job during the trial is to convince the jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is under no obligation to prove anything. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, Richard Waring will work hard to convince the jury of his client's innocence while pointing out holes in the prosecution's case.

Typically, a trial in Charleston includes the following phases:

  • Jury Selection
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Opening Statements
  • The State's Case
  • Directed Verdict
  • The Defense's Case
  • The State's Rebuttal
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions and Deliberation
  • Verdict and Sentencing

Latest News in Charleston, SC

North Charleston (S.C.) police investigating shooting incident that sent youth baseball players scrambling

Police in North Charleston (S.C.) are investigating a shooting outside of a youth league baseball field Monday night that sent parents, fans and players ducking for cover in the middle of a game. No injuries were reported.According to a police report obtained by USA TODAY Sports, officers heard dozens of gunshots at around 8:43 p.m., coming from the parking lot of Pepperhill Park in North Charleston, where there are three youth baseball fields. When they arrived to the scene, officers spoke to witnesses who said that "a large gro...

Police in North Charleston (S.C.) are investigating a shooting outside of a youth league baseball field Monday night that sent parents, fans and players ducking for cover in the middle of a game. No injuries were reported.

According to a police report obtained by USA TODAY Sports, officers heard dozens of gunshots at around 8:43 p.m., coming from the parking lot of Pepperhill Park in North Charleston, where there are three youth baseball fields. When they arrived to the scene, officers spoke to witnesses who said that "a large group of teenagers pulled into the parking lot in separate vehicles and began to fist fight with each other."

Witnesses then told police that the suspects began firing guns at each other before all suspects fled the scene in their cars. In a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports, North Charleston Police spokesperson Harve Jacobs said "several youth baseball games were underway when this incident occurred" and that the incident "had nothing to do with the Park, youth athletes, parents or coaches."

According to police, three cars belonging to people unrelated to the shooting were struck by gunfire. Officers on scene watched the surveillance footage from the baseball stand. Later, detectives arrived on scene and interviewed a subject who arrived later to the scene and searched two cars in question.

Games scheduled at Pepperhill Park for Tuesday have been canceled.

In the video, a batter is seen stepping up to the plate, apparently awaiting a pitch when a spate of gunshots are fired in the apparent immediate area of the field. Then, the children playing in the game as well as the ones in the third base dugout and coaches and fans on bleachers along the third base line start to run for cover.

"Is it fireworks?" a voice off screen is heard asking, while players and coaches kneel down or lie prone on the field. Eventually, a group of players takes cover in the third base dugout as players continue to flee the infield.

"Get off the field," another off-screen voice is heard shouting, joined by a third voice who urges someone to "crawl that way."

In a statement, police said North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey watched citizen's video of the incident and "is appalled by what he heard and saw." In the same statement, police said Assistant Chief Greg Gomes "vehemently denounces this violence and is outraged at those responsible for putting so many innocent lives in danger."

North Charleston police leadership will meet with the city's recreation staff on Wednesday to form a plan to ensure the safety of children and their guardians when playing in the city's parks. The NCPD has also been in communication with the Dee Norton Children's Advocacy Center to offer services for the children involved in Monday's incident to help them navigate the fallout of dealing with the incident.

"NCPD officers are actively investigating this incident to the fullest extent of the law and will do everything in their power to locate and arrest the individuals involved in this heinous and reckless act," North Charleston Police said in a statement. "We will leave no stone unturned in bringing these suspects to justice."

Police release statement on video of gunfire interrupting youth baseball game in N. Charleston

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A parent’s video shows children ducking for cover Monday night as gunfire erupted during a youth baseball game in North Charleston.North Charleston Police say they are actively investigating the shooting. Police spokesman Harve Jacobs said police responded to Pepperhill Park in the 7600 block of Brandywine Road where gunshots had been reported.A police report released Tuesday states witnesses told responding officers that a “large group” of teenagers pulled into the parking lot ...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A parent’s video shows children ducking for cover Monday night as gunfire erupted during a youth baseball game in North Charleston.

North Charleston Police say they are actively investigating the shooting. Police spokesman Harve Jacobs said police responded to Pepperhill Park in the 7600 block of Brandywine Road where gunshots had been reported.

A police report released Tuesday states witnesses told responding officers that a “large group” of teenagers pulled into the parking lot and began fistfighting. Witnesses then told officers the teenagers began shooting at each other before they fled in their vehicles where it appeared shots were fired from one vehicle towards another, the report states.

Mayor Keith Summey watched a citizen’s video of the children on the field during this incident, and was “appalled by what he heard and saw,” Jacobs said.

Assistant Chief Greg Gomes is shocked by the video and horrified at the events that took place, he said.

“He vehemently denounces this violence and is outraged at those responsible for putting so many innocent lives in danger,” Jacobs said.

North Charleston Police promised to investigate the incident “to the fullest extent of the law and will do everything in their power to locate and arrest the individuals involved in this heinous and reckless act.”

“We will leave no stone unturned in bringing these suspects to justice,” Jacobs said.

“Witnesses indicated that multiple vehicles pulled into the parking lot, where a physical altercation took place, followed by dozens of gunshots,” Jacobs said. “Several youth baseball games were underway when this incident occurred.This incident tonight had nothing to do with the Park, youth athletes, parents or coaches. Thankfully no injuries were reported.”

Blake Ferguson recorded video of his child's youth baseball game in North Charleston when gunfire rang out, sending the children running for cover.

Blake Ferguson was recording the game as his son was on the pitching mound at Pepperhill Ball Field. Ferguson’s video captured the sound of multiple shots, sending children and officials running for cover. Ferguson said he heard between 50 to 75 shots and believes the gunfire happened in the parking lot.

The gunfire began at approximately 8:45 p.m., he said.Lori Ferguson said she heard the booms and initially thought someone was setting off fireworks.

“And then all of a sudden, boom, boom, and ‘Get down, everybody, get down!’ And you’re at a park. My kids are not with me directly and you just see everybody scattering,” she said. “And my son’s on the pitcher mound by himself and it was just the most traumatic thing as a mother, as a citizen of this city, that you just feel helpless. I felt completely helpless.”

After the shooting ended, Blake Ferguson said multiple parents’ vehicles had been struck by gunfire.

Lori Ferguson said police responded to the park to investigate where the shooting occurred, but said officers did not come onto the ball field to check on the families or escort them off the field.

“But nobody ever came and checked like, ‘Hey, are these kids okay?’” she said.

The incident, she said, left her children shaken, even after they were back home.

“Now, I understand we could walk down the street, something could happen. We could be at church, something can happen. One-hundred percent understand that,” she said. “My kids asked me where the police were to protect them. They didn’t want to take a shower, in our own home, because now they’re traumatized by what happened tonight.”

Police planned to meet Tuesday morning with city recreation staff to formulate a safety plan “to ensure that our city’s youth can feel safe when playing on our parks and playgrounds,” Jacobs said.

“We will also make arrangements for the children, parents, coaches, and volunteers who were affected by this event are provided with the resources necessary to assist them in dealing with such a traumatic incident,” Jacobs said.

He said the police department has spoken with the Dee Norton Children’s Advocacy Center to help provide those services.

Games scheduled at the field for Tuesday will be canceled while these plans are finalized.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Gunfire interrupts youth baseball game in South Carolina

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/Gray News) - A parent’s video shows children ducking for cover Monday night as gunfire erupted during a youth baseball game in North Charleston.North Charleston Police say they are actively investigating the shooting. Police spokesman Harve Jacobs said police responded to Pepperhill Park in the 7600 block of Brandywine Road where gunshots had been reported.WARNING: This video may contain disturbing content.“Witnesses indicated that multiple vehicles pulled into the parking ...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/Gray News) - A parent’s video shows children ducking for cover Monday night as gunfire erupted during a youth baseball game in North Charleston.

North Charleston Police say they are actively investigating the shooting. Police spokesman Harve Jacobs said police responded to Pepperhill Park in the 7600 block of Brandywine Road where gunshots had been reported.

WARNING: This video may contain disturbing content.

“Witnesses indicated that multiple vehicles pulled into the parking lot, where a physical altercation took place, followed by dozens of gunshots,” Jacobs said. “Several youth baseball games were underway when this incident occurred. This incident tonight had nothing to do with the Park, youth athletes, parents or coaches. Thankfully no injuries were reported.”

Blake Ferguson was recording the game as his son was on the pitching mound at Pepperhill Ball Field at approximately 8:45 p.m, WCSC reports. His video captured the sound of multiple shots, sending children and officials running for cover. He said he heard between 50 to 75 shots and believes the gunfire happened in the parking lot.

Lori Ferguson said she heard the booms and initially thought someone was setting off fireworks.

“And then all of a sudden, boom, boom, and ‘Get down, everybody, get down!’ And you’re at a park. My kids are not with me directly and you just see everybody scattering,” she said. “And my son’s on the pitcher mound by himself and it was just the most traumatic thing as a mother, as a citizen of this city, that you just feel helpless. I felt completely helpless.”

After the shooting ended, Blake Ferguson said multiple parents’ vehicles had been struck by gunfire.

North Charleston Police promised to investigate the incident “to the fullest extent of the law and will do everything in their power to locate and arrest the individuals involved in this heinous and reckless act.”

“We will leave no stone unturned in bringing these suspects to justice,” Jacobs said.

Assistant Chief Greg Gomes is shocked by the video and horrified at the events that took place, he said.

“He vehemently denounces this violence and is outraged at those responsible for putting so many innocent lives in danger,” Jacobs said.

Mayor Keith Summey also watched the video of the children on the field during this incident, and was “appalled by what he heard and saw,” Jacobs said.

Lori Ferguson said that police responded to the park to investigate where the shooting occurred, but said officers did not come onto the ball field to check on the families or escort them off the field.

“But nobody ever came and checked like, ‘Hey, are these kids okay?’” she said.

The incident, she said, left her children shaken, even after they were back home.

“Now, I understand we could walk down the street, something could happen. We could be at church, something can happen. One-hundred percent understand that,” she said. “My kids asked me where the police were to protect them. They didn’t want to take a shower, in our own home, because now they’re traumatized by what happened tonight.”

Police planned to meet Tuesday morning with city recreation staff to formulate a safety plan “to ensure that our city’s youth can feel safe when playing on our parks and playgrounds,” Jacobs said.

“We will also make arrangements for the children, parents, coaches, and volunteers who were affected by this event are provided with the resources necessary to assist them in dealing with such a traumatic incident,” Jacobs said.

He said the police department has spoken with the Dee Norton Children’s Advocacy Center to help provide those services.

Games scheduled at the field for Tuesday will be canceled while these plans are finalized.

Copyright 2022 WCSC via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

A local’s guide to Charleston, SC

The best part about being a Charlestonian is knowing the ins and outs of the 843. With National Tourism Day last weekend — on May 7, to be exact — we thought it apt to rack your brain about the best things a tourist should do in the Holy City.From neighborhood bars like Share House to the Gibbes Museum of Art that you really sh...

The best part about being a Charlestonian is knowing the ins and outs of the 843. With National Tourism Day last weekend — on May 7, to be exact — we thought it apt to rack your brain about the best things a tourist should do in the Holy City.

From neighborhood bars like Share House to the Gibbes Museum of Art that you really shouldn’t skip, here are 16 recommendations for tourists to do according to, well, you.

Eat + drink

Vicious Biscuit, 409 W. Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant

Check out this local restaurant suggested by Reader Mary V. that also landed a spot on our list of brunch eateries around town. We’d recommend The Fat Boy.

Shoutout to Reader Mary V. for this submission as well. Enjoy panoramic views of the peninsula while sipping on a frozen negroni or mimosa.

Firefly Distillery, 4201 Spruill Ave., North Charleston

DYK the co-owner of this local distillery is one of two masterminds behind the worlds first handcrafted Sweet Tea Vodka? Enjoy live music + other events, plus more than 25 spirits at this Park Circle establishment.

Hero Doughnuts & Buns, 145 Calhoun St.

Grab a dozen donuts from this hidden gem offering breakfast, buns, and baked goods. Thanks, @thingstodoincharleston.

Check out the view from the highest rooftop in Charleston while indulging in light bites + cocktails. We’ll take an order of oysters on the half shell, please.

Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill, 14 N. Market St.

Be sure to make a reservation + check out the menu for this awardwinning, casual steakhouse, suggested by @the_twinmike.

We can confirm: This recently-opened duo on Ann Street suggested by @noonan_15 is the place to be. Order a Larceny Mule from Share House and head back the next morning for a breakfast sandwich from Bodega.

Tours

Holy City History Tours, 164 Market St., Ste. 227

Get tickets to explore our city during a daytime walking tour or evening ghost tour, if you dare. Shoutout to @lindseyy__m for the suggestion.

Choose a fishing charter, sunset cruise, beach walk, or custom charter to experience the Holy City waterways, suggested by @the.hangry.captain.

Must see

There’s nothing better than a beach day in the Lowcountry. Grab a beach chair + some friends and soak up the sun along this two and a half-mile long barrier island. Thanks, @thecharlestonsuites.

Waterfront Park Pineapple Fountain, Vendue Range, Concord St.

Reader Mary V. hit the nail on the head for a must-do during a classic Charleston day. Be sure to snap a photo of the picturesque landmark.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Rd.

This local venue was recognized as one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Embark on a historic garden walk and explore the venue for an event or wedding.

The Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 N. Hwy. 17, Awendaw

Check out weekly tours + flight demonstrations at this local nonprofit dedicated to conservation through education.

The Woodlands Nature Reserve, 4279 Ashley River Rd.

Swing by this 6,000-acre nature reserve to explore 11 lakes, a blackwater swamp, and wildlife just outside of Charleston, by the suggestion of @thingstodoincharleston.

Museums

Suggested by local restaurant Bull & Finch, this museum offers programs + events, exhibitions, and a membership, working to connect our city’s history to contemporary art.

Charleston principal now on leave was promoted despite active investigation

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County School District principal who was promoted on Friday then placed on administrative leave on Tuesday is now the subject of an investigation from the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.Documents state the agency has been investigating an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against newly-promoted Septima P. Clark Academy Principal Carolyn Anderson for more than two months.Anderson was promoted to that position on Friday despite the complaint after serving as the scho...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County School District principal who was promoted on Friday then placed on administrative leave on Tuesday is now the subject of an investigation from the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.

Documents state the agency has been investigating an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against newly-promoted Septima P. Clark Academy Principal Carolyn Anderson for more than two months.

Anderson was promoted to that position on Friday despite the complaint after serving as the school’s interim principal since the beginning of the school year.

In the complaint filed with the SCHAC on Feb. 16, a male employee accuses Anderson of unwanted touching and sexual comments and gestures. He says she would give details about her sex life with her husband and even find administrative tasks for him to do just to be close to her.

The employee also alleges that Anderson discriminated against him on the basis of his gender by requiring him to intervene in student fights, even after he suffered an injury that he is still recovering from months later. He claims female teachers were not held to the same standard.

After the employee heard Anderson was promoted on Friday, he sent an email to all of the Charleston County School Board members and interim superintendent Don Kennedy on Saturday, laying out his allegations and including the official EEOC complaint. In that email, he attached a number of provocative images he says came from Anderson’s social media and what appears to be screenshots of security footage inside the school. He says the images show Anderson is unfit to be a leadership position.

“The Interim Principal does not represent what Professional Leadership represents, appears, or is expected in any of Charleston County Schools. Her conduct at best is unbecoming of a principal, egregious and reprehensible,” the email states.

The school district has not commented on why Anderson was put on leave or who is responsible for promoting her.

“As stated previously, Septima P. Clark Academy’s principal is currently on administrative leave related to personnel matters for which we cannot comment while the investigation is ongoing,” the district said in a statement. “We understand the questions of timing caused by the principal’s appointment announcement and the subsequent administrative leave, but that does not change the necessity of completing a thorough investigation.”

It is also unclear if the district was even aware she was the subject of an EEOC investigation, despite documents showing the district was served on Feb. 21. School Board Member Kristen French said she was unaware of the allegations or the promotion.

“My understanding is that staff are investigating the situation and any internal breakdown in communication regarding the EEOC complaint,” French said.

Board members are not required to review or approve principal promotions.

The district had 30 days to respond to that EEOC complaint. The Human Affairs Commissions says the district has not yet responded and the next step in the case would be to send them a subpoena.

This is still an open investigation with the SCHAC, and so far, they have not made any findings.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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