AIKEN, S.C. - According to a spokesperson for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the mayor of Aiken is under investigation on suspicion of "exploitation of a vulnerable adult."

SLED tells FOX54 that the investigation was requested by the Aiken Department of Public Safety Director on February 29, 2024.

According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, a "vulnerable adult" is defined as follows:

"Vulnerable adult" means a person eighteen years of age or older who has a physical or mental condition which substantially impairs the person from adequately providing for his or her own care or protection. This includes a person who is impaired in the ability to adequately provide for the person's own care or protection because of the infirmities of aging including, but not limited to, organic brain damage, advanced age, and physical, mental, or emotional dysfunction. A resident of a facility is a vulnerable adult.

Reading further into the South Carolina Code of Laws, "exploitation" means:

(a) causing or requiring a vulnerable adult to engage in activity or labor which is improper, unlawful, or against the reasonable and rational wishes of the vulnerable adult. Exploitation does not include requiring a vulnerable adult to participate in an activity or labor which is a part of a written plan of care or which is prescribed or authorized by a licensed physician attending the patient;

(b) an improper, unlawful, or unauthorized use of the funds, assets, property, power of attorney, guardianship, or conservatorship of a vulnerable adult by a person for the profit or advantage of that person or another person; or

(c) causing a vulnerable adult to purchase goods or services for the profit or advantage of the seller or another person through: (i) undue influence, (ii) harassment, (iii) duress, (iv) force, (v) coercion, or (vi) swindling by overreaching, cheating, or defrauding the vulnerable adult through cunning arts or devices that delude the vulnerable adult and cause him to lose money or other property.


FOX54 has reached out to the city of Aiken for comment. They declined to speak with us.

The FOX54 newsroom also reached out to the attorney representing Mayor Milner, Chris Austin of Austin & Pethick Law Firm, PC. You can read his entire statement below.


This is an ongoing investigation. FOX54 will bring you the latest details on this investigation as soon as we learn more.


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