COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 23, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that suspended Colleton County Sheriff Robert A. “Andy” Strickland, Jr. pleaded guilty to a felony State Grand Jury charge of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, as well as a State Grand Jury charge of Misconduct in Office, and a Colleton County charge of Assault and Battery Third Degree.
For the misconduct and breach of trust charges, the Honorable Judge R. Markley Dennis, Jr. sentenced Strickland to 5 years, suspended upon the service of five years’ probation. Judge Dennis also ordered 200 hours of community service and random drug and alcohol testing.
As part of the plea agreement, Strickland agreed to resign as Sheriff and permanently relinquish his law enforcement credentials.
“I’m really proud of the work our State Grand Jury section did on this case,” Attorney General Wilson said. “It’s vitally important that we hold our public officials accountable for their actions.”
The State Grand Jury indicted Strickland on February 13, 2020 with two indictments alleging multiple counts of public corruption. He had already been suspended from office following an indictment by the Colleton County Grand Jury for Domestic Violence 2nd Degree on November 21, 2019.
For the felony Breach of Trust indictment, Strickland admitted that while he was Sheriff, he had deputies and staff performing services for him, his businesses, and on his property for his personal benefit during their work hours. Strickland conceded he used county property and resources for his personal benefit and for personal work on his properties, businesses, and for personal concerns. Strickland admitted he breached the public trust to ensure that Colleton County resources were used for official purposes only, and not for his personal interests. Strickland also admitted to using his control over county time, property, and resources to facilitate and continue an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate county employee.
Strickland also pled guilty to Assault and Battery Third Degree for a physical attack on his girlfriend during the night of November 7, 2019, after Strickland found a text message on the victim’s cell phone that he wrongly believed was evidence of the victim’s infidelity.
The Attorney General would like to thank the State Law Enforcement Division, the FBI, the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and, of course, the State Grand Jury Section for their excellent work on investigating and prosecuting this case.