Suit accuses former Cottageville officer of unethical conduct
A Cottageville man is accusing a former town police officer of fabricating documents in order to arrest him.
James W. Carter, 60, filed the lawsuit against Randall Price and the town of Cottageville on Monday. Price has been the subject of an investigation and an unrelated suit after he shot Bert Reeves, the former town mayor, during a May 16, 2011, confrontation near town hall.
In this most recent suit, Carter alleges that in May 2009, Price created a false affidavit alleging that Carter had stolen two air conditioning window units. That document led to Carter’s arrest, the complaint stated.
Carter was charged with receiving stolen goods, but Carter said the air conditioning units were not stolen. He said they belonged to his landlord and were being stored at his business, J.W. Tire Station, at her request, the complaint stated.
Four years later, on May 6, 2013, a town representative offered Carter a “release” stating that the town would dismiss his pending criminal charges if Carter agreed not to press action or file a lawsuit against the town, according to the complaint.
“This type of release is unethical, illegal, and unenforceable in South Carolina and is evidence of corruption,” the complaint stated.
Carter did not sign the agreement, but the criminal charges still were dismissed around that time, the report stated.
Town representatives and Price could not be reached for comment Tuesday. It was not clear who is representing Price in this case.
Price has not been criminally charged in the shooting death of Reeves. A suit filed by Reeves’ family alleges that Price, then 40, drove to Nut Hatch Lane, blocked Reeves in and shot him in the chest. The town has countered that Reeves’ reckless actions led to his death.
Price has not returned to law enforcement since the shooting. He was laid off from the Cottageville Police Department in September 2011. He started in Cottageville in May 2008 after cycling through eight jobs in 11 years. His work history includes multiple firings, allegations of misconduct and brutality claims.
Attorney Mullins McLeod is representing the plaintiffs in both suits against Price.
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.