Man accused of posing as a social worker - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Man accused of posing as a social worker

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Columbia man is accused of posing as a social worker who did not have the legal credentials to care for individuals at his house, according to police.

Police Chief Randy Scott said Mitchell Smith, 45, is charged with unauthorized practice as a social worker. Police arrested Smith on Sunday at a house on Gervais Street.

Smith is accused of housing seven vulnerable adults including military veterans at the Gervais Street house and two houses on Woodrow Street. Scott said Smith claimed to be a social worker, and received money from the individuals. 

Investigators notified the South Carolina Department of Social Services, which placed the vulnerable adults into emergency protective custody.

"It's just a bad situation," said Fred Easley, one of the neighbors who went to police.

For weeks, Easley says neighbors complained the dependent adults seemed to be unsupervised at the Woodrow Street house. "The individuals would be wandering around, walking down the street," he said. "They would be half-dressed. They would approach small children and ask for cigarettes, things smaller children would not have."

Police found more vulnerable adults at the Gervais Street home. They say some were sick with open sores on their bodies.

Neighbors are relieved Smith's business is shut down. "You can't feel good about this situation, the way it occurred," said Easley. "It's just terrible. Just hope that the outcome is better."

Smith was transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and issued a $100,000 bond.

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