WIS Investigation: Assistant solicitor asks for and receives special bond for friend

Video from a jailhouse surveillance camera shows a hug between Moak and Carey Zeagler.
Video from a jailhouse surveillance camera shows a hug between Moak and Carey Zeagler.

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Days after allegedly showing up on the front porch of a Richland County couple's home at 5 a.m. and threatening them over a stolen phone, a former Fifth Circuit Assistant Solicitor was captured on surveillance video walking a defendant through her booking procedure and receiving a special bond for the woman.

On December 4, surveillance cameras at the Kershaw County Detention Center show Ron Moak's silver SUV delivering a female friend charged with a DUI to the jail.

Moak walked her to the sally port to surrender to the Highway Patrol on a second drunken driving charge. A minute into the video Moak is seen putting his arm around Carey Zeagler.

Reporter: "When you saw that video, what was your initial reaction?" Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson: "It's as wrong as two left shoes. It's inappropriate. It's unacceptable and quite frankly, had he not resigned, I would have fired him."

Moak, who had been with the solicitor's office for 12 years, resigned without explanation on December 10.

Johnson said he had no idea about Moak's jailhouse visit until WIS told him about it. "Quite frankly I'm glad you emailed me so I can look into that," said Johnson.

A November 27th Highway Patrol video shows Carey Zeagler's crashed car.

According to troopers, medics pulled her from the passenger side. Zeagler told troopers someone else was driving. That person, according to Zeagler, left the scene.

Troopers say they found evidence to show Zeagler was driving, and charged her with DUI 2nd offense.

We went to the Kershaw County courthouse last week to ask Moak about the video. "I was wondering if you even cared about what the truth is in this situation," he said.

After waiting more than two hours to speak with Moak, he confronted us on our way out.

"Had a girl that's an associate to guys I went to high school with," said Moak "She got, or her car was in a one car wreck and if you look at it, she's in the passenger seat, unconscious. She gave us the name of the driver and everything. You know what I'm saying?"

"It looks like the girl didn't even do nothing wrong," continued Moak.

Deputy Solicitor Brett Perry told us the same thing.

Reporter: "Mr. Perry told me last week when I was up here that this wasn't even a DUI second case. He explained away that the trooper screwed up, basically and they were going to end up dropping the charges." "No, that's not the case," said Johnson. "That's not the case."

Moak didn't stop at just delivering Zeagler to jail. The video shows he stood by her during her booking, fingerprinting, mug shot, bond hearing, and release.

A booking sheet shows Moak also requested a special bond for his friend. The bond paperwork shows the judge released Zeagler on a $10,000, no cash bond.

Moak spent one hour and 33 minutes of his work day with Zeagler before the pair got back into his SUV and drove away.

"Mr. Moak had a personal relationship with this person, this defendant, and then he essentially put his finger on the scale and that's not how we operate," said Johnson. "It's our job to prosecute those cases. That is to look at the case objectively using a person who is objective and make the appropriate decisions and that's not what happened here."

Moak is also accused of showing up on a Richland County couple's front porch Thanksgiving weekend trying to pick a fight with the homeowner.

Johnson says he's opening investigations into the incidents we uncovered during our investigation.

The solicitor also says he's going to take a look at a case in which a female defendant says Moak touched her inappropriately inside his office in 2007.

SLED turned that investigation over to another solicitor's office. That solicitor told SLED there wasn't enough credible evidence and closed the case.

"They unfounded that issue," said Johnson. "I think that there are a lot of things going on in regard to his conduct that we're going to take a look at, and if there are any places that I need to forward this information to, I'm going to do it."

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