Saturday, November 3, 2012
An agent with the SC Dept. of Probations, Pardons, and Paroles has been arrested for allegedly soliciting a bribe.
According to Kathryn Richardson, Spokeswoman for the SC State Law Enforcement Division, Agent Vincent O’Neal Howard, 49, of Summerville was arrested Nov. 1 and charged under the state’s Public Officials, bribes, influence action of public employee statute. Howard was arrested and booked into Hill Finklea Detention Center.
Howard was based out of the Berkeley County, according to SCPPP officials.
According to an arrest warrant, Howard willingly solicited a client/offender under his direct supervision for a specific amount of cash currency in exchange for the offender’s early release from the supervision of SCPPP. The warrant further states that the offender delivered the cash to Howard, who accepted it for his own personal use and not as any part of fines, fees, or restitution to be collected by SCPPP as determined by the court.
The transaction was conducted as part of an undercover operation supervised by SLED, according to the warrant.
Pete O’Boyle, PIO for SC Probations, Pardons, and Paroles said Howard, who has been employed by the department for fifteen years, has been suspended without pay as a result of his arrest and the ongoing investigation. Because it is an ongoing investigation and a personnel matter, O’Boyle said he could not release any further information at this time.