Folly Beach council upholds officer’s suspension
FOLLY BEACH — City Council upheld a public safety officer’s suspension Tuesday night, despite a grievance committee’s recommendation to reverse it.
Public Safety Director Dennis Brown suspended Officer Ron Avallone for a week without pay, saying that Avallone failed to prevent 67-year-old Fred Rogers from fondling a woman at a swimming pool in June. Earlier that day, Avallone escorted Rogers from the beach because Rogers was bothering people. The officer said he wasn’t aware that Rogers had been accused of sexually assaulting a girl on the beach.
Brown said Avallone should have checked out the complaint more thoroughly, which would have headed off the second incident.
Avallone appealed the suspension. A two-member grievance committee said there was no evidence to back up the suspension and recommended that council reverse it.
Council spent a half-hour in closed session discussing the committee’s recommendation, while about a dozen people waited in the auditorium for them to return.
It was a much smaller crowd than showed up to support Avallone during the grievance committee’s hearing in August.
Tuesday’s vote was 6-1, with Councilman Eddie Ellis the only one to vote to accept the grievance committee’s recommendation.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.