Grievance committee recommends Folly Beach council overturn officer’s suspension
The suspension of a Folly Beach police officer who failed to arrest a man accused of fondling a girl at the beach should be overturned, according to a recommendation from a grievance committee.
The two-member committee released its recommendation on Public Safety Officer Ronald Avallone on Wednesday after The Post and Courier filed a Freedom of Information request.
Public Safety Director Dennis Brown suspended Avallone for a week without pay after Avallone escorted 67-year-old Fred Rogers off the beach June 23 for causing a disturbance and Rogers was arrested later that day after a woman said he fondled her at a swimming pool.
Avallone told the committee last month that he had no idea Rogers was accused of sexually assaulting a girl at the beach and left to handle another call.
Brown said Avallone should have checked out the complaint more thoroughly, which would have headed off the second complaint.
Committee member Aaron Pope said his recommendation is not based on Avallone’s performance on that day but on “inconsistencies in the evidence presented against him and also in the lack of a documented history of past performance issues.”
Committee member Mary Cunningham said, “I have come to the conclusion the process of the said suspension was flawed and biased.”
Overturning the suspension would mean reinstating the lost pay and taking it off his record.
Brown said he was not able to comment on the committee’s recommendation because it was a personnel issue.
City Council is scheduled to consider and then vote on the committee’s recommendation Oct. 9.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.