Lyman mayor accused of wiretapping and misconduct in office - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Lyman mayor accused of wiretapping and misconduct in office

Rodney Turner (Credit: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) Rodney Turner (Credit: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)
Gary Christopher Martin (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Facility) Gary Christopher Martin (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Facility)
LYMAN, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Lyman Mayor Rodney Dean Turner is accused of wiretapping and misconduct in office. 

On Wednesday, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents arrested Turner, 58, and another man in connection with an investigation into the installment of recording devices at Lyman Town Hall and conducting town business.

Turner failed to "faithfully execute the responsibilities and power of his office by committing official misconduct, corruption and oppression by willfully and dishonestly ignoring state law, oppressing the rights of others and acting independently of Lyman council" between July 8, 2008 and Aug. 14, 2014, according to an arrest warrant.

Turner is accused of secretly negotiating without the knowledge or consent of town council on a pending legal matter, causing the town to spend more than $200,000 in legal fees between July 8, 2008 and Aug. 14, 2014, according to another warrant.

Turner also is accused of trying to intercept communications between employees and other people conducting business with the use of electronic devices between Feb. 21 and Aug. 14, 2014.

Turner faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of wiretapping, according to a statement from SLED. 

Misconduct in office carries up to 10 years in prison upon conviction and Turner faces up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine if convicted on the other misconduct charge, according to SLED. 

Gary Christopher Martin, 65, of Inman, has been charged with wiretapping and a computer crime in connection to the alleged activity.  

Turner and Martin were booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center. They are both now out on bond. 

SLED investigated the case at the request of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The case will be prosecuted by the S.C. Attorney General's Office.

Lyman town officials released the following statement on Wednesday:

"We were informed this afternoon that SLED executed an arrest warrant on Mayor Rodney Turner. We are not the investigating or prosecuting agency therefore we cannot comment or make any statements regarding these charges. We will continue to cooperate with the investigating agencies when requested. Our main goal is to focus on serving the town and citizens of Lyman."

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