Georgetown correctional officer charged with sexual misconduct with inmate

Kimberly Gibbs
Kimberly Gibbs Georgetown County Sheriff's Office

A Georgetown County correctional officer was arrested on Friday on charges of sexual misconduct with an inmate, according to a release from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.

Kimberly Gibbs, 36, is also charged with misconduct in office, furnishing contraband to an inmate and obstructing justice in connection to an investigation that began Wednesday at the Georgetown County Detention Center, the release says.

Officials with the Georgetown County Airport notified personnel at the detention center about a cellphone that was discovered in the ceiling of the bathroom of one of its hangars, according to the release. It was initially alleged that the cellphone was placed there by one of the state inmate workers assigned to the airport, the release says.

The cellphone was discovered soon after a pilot approached a suspicious vehicle occupied by a female that was parked near one of the hangars but left promptly when the pilot approached, according to the release. The pilot then went to check the bathroom, which was occupied by an inmate, police say. The pilot then notified a manager and the bathroom was searched, revealing ceiling tiles that were disturbed and led to the discovery of the cellphone, police say. A second cellphone was found outside the hangar, the release says.

The inmate was returned to the detention center for questioning and, after initially denying knowledge of the cellphone and suspicious vehicle, he claimed responsibility for one of the cellphones, the report states. The next day, an incoming message from Gibbs came to the cellphone while she was on duty, according to the report.

Sheriff’s office investigators brought Gibbs in for interviews and she was ultimately placed on administrative leave with pay, the report states.

Upon further questioning, the inmate confessed to a relationship with Gibbs, claimed ownership of both cellphones, revealed knowledge of the driver of the suspicious vehicle and told how he’d gained access to the cellphones, according to the report. Officers learned that Gibbs and the inmate on multiple occasions performed sexual acts in the detention center, the report states. Officers also learned that Gibbs received and provided the cellphones to the inmate and was receiving compensation through electronic means from unknown individuals associated with the inmate, police say.

When questioned further Friday, Gibbs admitted to the majority of the allegations and was arrested and transported to the Georgetown County Detention Center, where she was terminated and detains while awaiting a bond hearing, according to the report. Gibbs had been employed there since March 2015.

The female driving the suspicious vehicle was identified but no state criminal violations were reported, police say. The investigation is ongoing.

The controversial director of the Richland County Recreation Commission has been indicted by a county grand jury, which accused him of using his position “to coerce and attempt to coerce female employees into having sexual contact with him.”

David Wetzel: @MYBSports, 843-626-0295