RESIGNATION: Judge at center of FOX46 ‘Final Disrespects’ investigation resigns
MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The next-in-charge at the Marlboro County Probate Judge’s Business office is no for a longer time with the workplace. A phone to Judge Mark Heath’s office Friday early morning confirmed Deputy Probate Judge Tammy Bullock is no longer with the place of work.
A woman who answered the cellular phone in the judge’s office confirmed Bullock no extended labored there. The lady did not determine herself and hung up on FOX 46 Main Investigator Jody Barr when asked when Bullock resigned.
Comply with-up calls to the place of work ended up not answered.
Bullock is at the moment the subject of a prison investigation by the State Regulation Enforcement Division and a South Carolina Supreme Court Office environment of Disciplinary Counsel investigation after FOX 46 aired an investigative sequence titled ‘Final Disrespects’ on Oct. 5.
The sequence in-depth prison allegations against Bullock and other folks who plundered through Hollis Slade’s home in January 2021. Slade died on Jan. 23 and security digital camera recordings at his household captured audio and video of Bullock and the team talking about exploring Slade’s dwelling for a will. The movies showed members of the team walking out of the house with property.
This all happened about the program of two days in January though Slade’s wife, who suffers from extreme dementia, was inside of the house.
Bullock and the team hardly ever responded to several requests to program interviews with FOX 46 to describe what took place in those films.
On Oct. 18, Choose Heath questioned the condition Supreme Court docket to reassign Slade’s probate circumstance to yet another county soon after Heath needed to recuse himself from Slade’s estate situation. Heath had already used virtually 9 months presiding in excess of the case despite recognizing of the allegations from his deputy decide because at minimum Jan. 29.
Slade’s neighbor, Bobby Norris, explained to Decide Heath about the legal allegations against Bullock and the films during a Jan. 29 phone connect with. Heath explained to Norris he’d examine the allegations, but Norris reported he under no circumstances heard something even further from Heath.
Heath swore Bullock into business seven weeks later, granting her complete judicial powers in his absence.
Bullock and Heath attended a South Carolina Association of Probate Judges convention at a Myrtle Seaside vacation resort this week. Our investigation identified Bullock attended the initially day of the a few-day convention but remaining the vacation resort following our arrival. Bullock missed two of the 3 days and the vacation resort confirmed Bullock by no means checked out of her resort area for the closing two times of the conference.
The conference offered up to 12 continuing lawful education and learning, or CLE, hours for all elected probate and appointed probate judges in the state. Condition restrictions require all probate judges to earn 15 CLE hrs just about every 12 months.
We attempted to interview Heath inside of the vacation resort at 10:30 Wednesday morning as he waited on an elevator. “No remark,” Heath stated as the doorway shut.
About 30 minutes afterwards we video clip recorded Heath and a girl carrying baggage via the parking lot and loading it into a car or truck registered to Heath. We followed Heath as he still left the resort and bought onto the freeway out of Myrtle Beach front.
Heath attended only 30 minutes of the ultimate working day of seminars at the conference. Heath was not in the place of work Friday morning when we named to inquire about Bullock’s work status.
On Feb. 5, Bennettsville Police charged Bullock with pointing and presenting a firearm in the course of an argument with her roommate. Bullock was never ever arrested in the situation following city police investigators chose to demand Bullock underneath a town ordinance in its place of the state’s felony code.
Bullock was issued a felony citation on a condition visitors summons. Bullock’s demo on that cost is set for Nov. 16 in Bennettsville.
Subsequent our Remaining Disrespects collection, the South Carolina Supreme Court’s investigative device, the Place of work of Disciplinary Counsel, sent subpoenas to the Bennettsville Law enforcement Department searching for information in Bullock’s prosecution. The unit also despatched subpoenas to the Marlboro County Probate Judge’s Workplace sources acquainted with that business office instructed Barr.
The ODC acts as a “screening and investigating” arm for the South Carolina judicial process for investigations involving misconduct allegations towards lawyers and judges in the condition. The company has the authority to prosecute misconduct issues.
The Supreme Courtroom would not validate the existence of an investigation in an emailed reaction to FOX 46 been given Oct. 13, “Court regulations prohibit us from confirming the existence of disciplinary investigations although they are ongoing, so I will not be capable to react to your request,” South Carolina Judicial Department General public Information Director, Ginny Jones wrote in the statement.
Court docket procedures prohibit users of the Supreme Courtroom and its employees from confirming these types of investigations and violating the confidentiality rule could final result in a contempt of court charge for those state employees.
“We have been given a subpoena for information pertaining to the circumstance and we have fulfilled individuals certain subpoena requirements, would like, and concerns regarding this scenario and that has been forwarded to our metropolis attorney so they can thoroughly go by way of the channels to make certain that information is given to that state agency,” Bennettsville Police Chief Kevin Miller instructed FOX 46.
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We questioned Bullock several instances for an interview in the course of our investigative sequence, but Bullock would not respond to any of our requests.
Subsequent our investigation into the Bullock weapon charge, Chief Miller requested the Point out Law Enforcement Division to “review” his department’s prosecution choices. SLED declined Miller’s request.
“At this time no details or proof has been obtained to warrant SLED opening a new prison investigation into this make any difference. There is no evidence to show something poor was performed by the arresting agency or officers. Any cursory overview of the original arrest would be managed by the Town Lawyer or Solicitor’s Business,” SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby wrote in a reaction to FOX 46 trying to get clarification on the agency’s final decision.
Fourth Circuit Solicitor Will Rogers mentioned considering the fact that his business performs authorized perform for the county probate workplace it would not “be proper” for his business to be associated in any investigation of Bullock. Rogers directed the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Business to send out a individual felony investigation into Bullock to SLED in June citing a possible conflict of curiosity involving his office and the probate courtroom.
The different felony investigation was presented to SLED in June and it took the company additional than two months to formally open that investigation into Bullock. In that situation, Bullock is accused of impersonating a judge, rummaging via a useless man’s residence, and taking part in the removing of house from the man’s dwelling in January 2021.
That man, Hollis Slade, died on Jan. 23. Security cameras outside Slade’s Joyce Drive residence captured Bullock and some others looking the man’s house looking for his will. The cameras also captured discussions concerning Bullock and the team about trying to keep economic information and facts they observed inside the man’s residence from his loved ones.
That investigation is continue to open up at SLED.
Chief Miller is the only legislation enforcer in Marlboro County to concur to an interview concerning Deputy Probate Judge Tammy Bullock.
“This interview was critical to me since let us face it, I could have hid behind a desk, I could have hid behind a cellphone which is really straightforward to do is to conceal. I’m out listed here in the open up. I want folks to know this is the truth, these are the info. The Bennettsville Police Division is 100% acting in superior faith with every little thing we’ve performed,” Miller informed FOX 46.
Miller submitted the situation to the city’s attorney’s office environment for overview and has asked for the city lawyer prosecute the case during the scheduled Nov. 16 trial, “I will not conceal behind a desk or a door or a cellphone from everyone who has queries about anything pertaining to this case. That is not who I am and that is not what this police department represents,” Miller stated.
Bullock will be tried in the Bennettsville municipal courtroom. Her demo date is at this time established for Nov. 16, 2021. We will continue to follow the prosecution and update our reporting.