Originally created 07/31/05

Across South Carolina

IRS looks at county's mileage reports

COLUMBIA - A federal Internal Revenue Service audit has raised questions about how Lexington County reports mileage, especially for vehicles issued to prosecutor Donnie Myers.

The IRS has requested a breakdown of personal and business use of 11 county-owned vehicles for its 2002 returns, according to documents requested under the state Freedom of Information law. Under IRS rules, using a vehicle to commute to and from work is considered taxable income unless exempted by law.

Nine of those vehicles are issued to solicitors office employees, and two others belong to the county's heads of fleet and building maintenance.

The county has reported the mileage for its two employees, but Mr. Myers has refused, saying his office is exempt as a law enforcement agency.

Report clears officers who dismissed tickets

CHARLESTON - An internal investigation has cleared Mount Pleasant officers of wrongdoing for fixing traffic tickets.

An investigator determined that officers had dismissed tickets as favors and accepted free passes to a concert, but he found nothing to link the two acts.

Officers have the discretion to get traffic citations dismissed but only in cases for which there is a legitimate reason, such as a medical emergency.

Man pleads guilty to 2 shooting deaths

GREENVILLE - A Greenville man charged in the 2003 shooting deaths of two people has pleaded guilty.

Britney Emanuel Ervin, 20, pleaded guilty to murder in the deaths of Jorge Lemus-Patricio, 19, and Roberto Garcia, 37.

A third man, Mr. Garcia's brother, Jose, was wounded.

Mr. Ervin also pleaded guilty to assault and battery with intent to kill, grand larceny and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

SLED changes report on death to homicide

CHARLESTON - The State Law Enforcement Division delivered a new report on the death of the girlfriend of a Mount Pleasant police officer, nearly a year after a rare coroner's inquest found that the woman was killed.

When Molly Wrazen's body was found Nov. 3, 2003, police and SLED agents first treated it as a suicide, and her friends and family then hired their own lawyer and investigators.

Last summer, Charleston County Coroner Susan Chewning held an inquest. After three days of testimony, a jury determined that Ms. Wrazen's death was a homicide and that SLED had mishandled the investigation.

Their report was sent to state Attorney General Henry McMaster, who could file charges.


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