Originally created 07/09/02

Deputy resigns amid investigation



EDGEFIELD, S.C. - The second in command at the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office quit Monday amid allegations that he misused power to help a victim of domestic violence.

Sheriff Adell Dobey said Chief Deputy Roger Lowe violated office policy as a supervisor May 7 when he sent an officer under his supervision to the scene of a domestic violence call in Aiken County.

Capt. Lowe sent the victim's advocate to a home in the 100 block of Bettis Academy Road in Graniteville after a 28-year-old woman called him and reported being beaten by her husband, according to a sheriff's office report.

The woman told the Edgefield advocate that her husband had broken plates over her, punched her and forced her to stay in one part of the house, according to the report.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene, the report states.

Aiken County deputies arrested the husband and charged him with domestic violence and simple possession of marijuana, according to the report.

Sheriff Dobey said he had received "bits and pieces" of information about the incident a few days after it occurred. After investigating, he suspended Capt. Lowe last week. The captain tendered his resignation Monday.

Capt. Lowe, reached at his home Monday, referred questions to the sheriff but added, "It wasn't that big of an issue."

The captain said he resigned to spend more time with his family, but he said the incident did play a role.

"It would be ludicrous to say it didn't," he said. "(But) it all came to the point when I was considering making some changes anyway."

Capt. Lowe, 47, began his law enforcement career in 1976 in Indiana. He was a reserve deputy under former Edgefield County Sheriff Billy Parker and a building inspector for the county before joining the sheriff's office in August 1999.

Sheriff Dobey said he probably would not name a replacement for Capt. Lowe but instead eliminate the chief deputy position and move the available position to investigations.

Reach Matthew Boedy at (803) 648-1395 or matthew.boedy@augustachronicle.com.