Originally created 07/31/06

Across South Carolina

Ex-city administrator held in embezzlement

EFFINGHAM - A former city administrator for the Florence County town of Lake City has been charged with embezzlement and misconduct in office.

George Simmons, 58, was released from jail Friday on $10,000 bail. He is accused of taking public funds for personal use in connection with rental housing owned by the city. The embezzlement took place between January 2001 and June 2005, Florence Sheriff Kenney Boone said.

His arrest was the result of an investigation into corruption in Lake City government.

The investigation also brought charges against Mayor LaRue Alford, who is accused of misconduct in office and obstruction of justice. Mr. Alford, 45, also has been charged by federal investigators with dealing in counterfeit money.

Whooping cough is reported at YMCA

CHARLESTON - Local health officials are notifying people who worked or attended the Summerville YMCA day camp this summer that they might have been exposed to pertussis, or whooping cough.

Local health officials confirmed two cases of whooping cough among children attending the camp between July 10 and July 22.

The 200 to 300 people who worked at or attended the camp during that time are urged to get preventive treatment.

Although the state requires children to be vaccinated against the illness, even immunized children occasionally can get the disease and transmit it to others.

Republican endorses Democrat for position

CHARLESTON - The Democratic nominee running to replace Education Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum has been endorsed by a one-time Republican candidate for the post.

Elizabeth Moffly, of Mount Pleasant, who ran against eventual GOP nominee Karen Floyd, said Thursday she is supporting Democratic nominee Jim Rex.

Ms. Moffly says she thinks Mr. Rex will "put the interests of our children ahead of partisan politics."

Psychiatric hospital sued in sex assaults

COLUMBIA - Palmetto Health Baptist has been sued by two people who claim they were sexually assaulted by fellow psychiatric patients at the hospital in January.

The Columbia Police Department filed charges in the two incidents that occurred on separate occasions.

The lawsuits claim hospital staff failed to property monitor the two suspects - one a 12-year-old boy - that it knew were potential dangers to other patients.

In its formal reply to the suit involving an 11-year-old female victim, the hospital maintains that the girl's conduct was "reckless" and she was "grossly negligent" in "soliciting the attention and sexual advancements" of the boy by "writing him intimate notes and inviting him to her room."

It has not responded to the other lawsuit, which was filed by a 25-year-old woman who says she was assaulted by a 43-year-old patient.


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