Haley appoints Dorchester County coroner following Nisbet’s resignation

Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet (right, standing) appears in Magistrate Court alongside his attorney, Grover Seaton of Moncks Corner (left).

Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday selected Alice Durr to oversee the Dorchester County Coroner’s Office until November’s general election.

The selection of Durr, the county’s chief deputy coroner, was made two days after suspended Coroner Chris Nisbet resigned from office.

Nisbet had served as coroner for the past two decades. He was suspended from office in October after he was indicted on a misconduct charge in a racially charged confrontation with a black neighbor.

Nisbet, 47, who is white, had been drinking when he chased down Leroy Fulton, the neighbor he suspected of pointing a gun at a repo man in August. He cornered Fulton with his county SUV and pulled out a pistol, holding the man until Summerville police officers arrived.

Public records, including police videos and a 911 call, captured Nisbet hesitating to drop his gun when officers arrived and using a slur and other words that local activists viewed as racially tinged. He referred to past problems with the neighbor.

An executive order by Gov. Nikki Haley stated that a grand jury had charged Nisbet “for willingly and unlawfully breaching his duty of accountability to the public” and “for misusing his office to effect an unlawful arrest of a private citizen.”

The suspension would have remained in effect unless Nisbet was cleared of the charge.

The county’s chief magistrate, Katrina Patton, served as interim coroner following Nisbet’s suspension.

Reach Christina Elmore at 843-937-5908.