EFFINGHAM, S.C. — Another former member of the Florence County Sheriff's Office has been arrested and charged with misconduct in office.
Former Sgt. Christopher Todd Ard, 32, of Florence, was arrested by officers from the State Law Enforcement Division Monday morning and booked into the Florence County Detention Center at 7:18 a.m.
Ard is accused of responding to a call for service at a residence on an unnamed street in Florence on Feb. 21 and removing a bottle of oxycodone pills from the kitchen of the residence by hiding the pills inside of his ballistic vest. Ard later returned to the residence and replaced the bottle.
According to the arrest warrant, prior to Ard's removing the pills, the bottle contained 40 pills, and after he returned it, the bottle contained 29.5 pills.
The penalty for a violation of common law misconduct in office is up to 10 years in prison or a fine in the discretion of the court, or both. This crime is a misdemeanor.
Ard was released at 10:39 a.m. on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.
The case will be prosecuted by the office of 12th Judicial Circuit Solicitor E.L. "Ed" Clements III.
Ard's arrest marks the third former officer of the Florence County Sheriff's Office to be accused of misconduct in office within the past two years.
Former sheriff’s Lt. Mark Edward Fuleihan, 48, was indicted by a state grand jury on May 14 on two counts: misconduct in office and bribery in violation of the state’s ethics act.
Former Florence County Sheriff William "Kenney" Boone also plead guilty to charges of embezzlement and misconduct in office in January.
Boone was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay approximately $17,000 in restitution by Judge William A. McKinnon in January. He was later sentenced to up to a year in jail after McKinnon found Boone had violated his probation by, in the presence of his wife, hitting a cat with a baseball bat, inflicting unnecessary pain or suffering on the animal.
Boone was previously jailed for violating his bond on the charges related to the incident involving his wife. Boone reportedly visited a Florence-area gym that his wife also goes to.
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