BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - A Lee County Sheriff's sergeant is in trouble with the sheriff after a Greenville County Sheriff's deputy spotted a marked Lee County cruiser parked outside Disco Mexicali, an Upstate night club, last Friday morning.
According to an incident report, a Greenville County deputy spotted Lee County Sheriff's Sergeant Melissa Feagin's fully-marked Crown Victoria parked outside the club, which is located just outside Greenville's northwestern city limits.
Deputy A.T. Edwards, suspecting the Lee County unit may be stolen, ran the tag number through DMV dispatchers and the National Crime Information Center, according to Edwards' report. Edwards then called his shift supervisor to report the incident.
Around 2:00 a.m., McNeeley called Lee County dispatchers and asked for the county's on duty supervisor to report finding the car. Meanwhile, Edwards wrote that Sgt. Feagin walked up to him outside the club and told him, "she was here to try to find her brother who works construction in the Upstate, and that his truck had broken down," according to the report. "Sgt. Feagin stated her brother was possibly inside the Mexicali Disco and she had a security officer attempting to locate him," Edwards wrote.
The Greenville County deputy went on to describe Feagin's clothing, "wearing a low cut white top to where I could see a tattoo on her chest/breast area," Edwards reported, "and the shirt did not come down far enough to meet the top of her blue jeans."
Feagin then told the deputy that she was leaving the club after giving up on her search for her brother.
The story Feagin told the Greenville County deputy did not match up to what one of the club's managers told. The manager said "that the white female (Feagin) police officer was not looking for anyone, and that her boyfriend was a security officer who was on duty at the club this evening," Edwards reported.
The next morning, Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon sent Feagin a letter, notifying her that she would be suspended without pay while he completed an internal affairs investigation into the incident. Simon wrote, "You are required to park your patrol car at the office and turn in your badge, weapon, ID card in [sic] keys to the building, until the outcome of the investigations."
"She did not have permission to drive the vehicle outside the county," Simon told WIS. Lee County policies allow off-duty deputies to drive their patrol cars into neighboring counties, but not into counties beyond that without permission, "which is extremely rare; it would have to be an emergency situation," Simon said.
As for why Feagin was in Greenville, a phone call to Lee County dispatchers about two hours before the Greenville County call recorded Feagin asking dispatchers:
Feagin:"Y'all got somebody from Greenville checking on a patrol car?"
Feagin: "Ok, I had to come through to pick up somebody with a family member. I heard somebody called."
911: "Oh, ok."
Feagin: "Ok, just call me and let me know."
"She said she wasn't there for a party," Simon said.
WIS tried contacting Feagin at her home, but the deputy did not answer the door. Simon did not have a date for when he expects to complete the investigation, or what else he's looking into.
Feagin will lose her Sergeant's rank, and will be demoted to Corporal, Simon said. The demotion will also include a pay cut.
Lee County also lost a second deputy after Conrad Brooks resigned Thursday. Sheriff Simon said Brooks stopped at a liquor store in his uniform and patrol car to buy alcohol.