Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces State Grand Jury Indicts Walhalla Police Chief

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 20, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that on April 19th, 2018, the State Grand Jury indicted Ronald Wilbanks, the former Police Chief for the City of Walhalla, on three counts of Misconduct in Office. Wilbanks resigned from his position on April 17th. He was the police chief of Walhalla since 2012 and a member of the police department for 12 years.

Count One of the indictment alleges that from January 2010 until December 2017, Wilbanks asked for and illegally obtained from officers and subordinates under his command narcotic and opiate pills that the officers or their family members had obtained legitimately, and did so at times when he was on duty, in uniform, or in police vehicles or at police facilities.

Count Two alleges that from January 2008 until December 2017, Wilbanks on many occasions, while on duty and in uniform, and in police vehicles or at police facilities, asked for and received prescription narcotic and opiate pills from a citizen, and threatened that citizen with retaliation when the citizen refused to provide them.

Count Three alleges that sometime in 2014, Wilbanks improperly gave a citizen a police department gun as part of a private deal.

All three counts are for statutory Official Misconduct in Office pursuant to S.C. Code 8-1-80, which is a misdemeanor and carries a possible penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1000.

The case was investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the South Carolina State Grand Jury, and will be prosecuted by State Grand Jury Section Chief Attorney S. Creighton Waters and Senior Assistant Attorney General Brian Petrano.

The Attorney General cautioned that all defendants are presumed innocent into proven guilty in a court of law.

You can read the indictment here.

 

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