Sheriff’s Captain fired for alleged misconduct, second Captain put on Administrative Leave
The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office reports that Captain Mark Campbell has been fired after allegations of inappropriate conduct. Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson Jr. stated that the action was taken after his department received reports of past sexual harassment of several female officers while Campbell served with the Hartsville Police Department.
Sheriff Hudson met with Jackie Swindler, Director of the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy and Mark Keel, Chief of SLED. “I take any allegation of misconduct seriously,” Hudson said, “and, I have requested that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) conduct a full investigation into these allegations.”
Campbell was going to be fired from the Hartsville Police Department in 2020, after an investigation was conducted by Internal Affairs into questionable interactions Campbell had with a female Walmart employee but, he resigned first. Recent allegations include concerned female Hartsville police officers who reported Campbell’s actions toward them. One female officer said Campbell came up behind her, caught her in a “bearhug” and kissed her cheek while holding her from behind. The officer said she was shocked by this behavior. According to the officer, Campbell “pushed his groin into her buttocks”. Numerous other female officers have reported that, on multiple occasions, Campbell hugged them and kissed them on the forehead and cheek. They also accuse him of grabbing them and massaging their shoulders.
The Sheriff’s Office hired Campbell in January 2021. Hudson said that, upon taking office as Darlington County Sheriff, he made inquiries about Campbell and asked if there were any “alarms” he should know about. He said, “I was told ‘no’ by the city police chief (Jerry Thompson) and the city manager (Daniel Moore). According to the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, officers who are accused of wrongdoing or set to be fired can quit first and, by doing so, not raise alarm bells to other agencies in the state.
Additional allegations were made against Captain Curtis Bryant and he has been placed on Administrative Leave. It is alleged that Bryant posted nude photos of a woman online without her permission during his time with the Hartsville Police Department. Bryant, too, was about to be fired from the Hartsville Police Department but, he also resigned first. Allegations against both officers are under investigation by SLED.