South Carolina

Chester deputy fired after DUI charge while driving patrol car, sheriff says

‘Our neighbors are watching’: new Chester County sheriff tells law enforcement they will ‘work together’

Newly appointed Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Chester County Courthouse. S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster appointed Dorsey as sheriff after former Sheriff Alex Underwood was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday.
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Newly appointed Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Chester County Courthouse. S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster appointed Dorsey as sheriff after former Sheriff Alex Underwood was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday.

A Chester County deputy has been fired after he was arrested late Thursday for driving drunk in his patrol car, Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey said.

Evan Robert Hawthorne Hawthorne, 25, of Rock Hill, was off-duty when he was involved in the single-vehicle crash at the Chester Park school complex off S.C. 9 in Chester, officials said.

After S.C. Highway Patrol troopers arrested Hawthorne for DUI around 11:15 p.m., Dorsey said he immediately terminated Hawthorne.

“This office has a zero tolerance for driving under the influence - period,” Dorsey told The Herald Friday.

Hawthorne had been at a training class on Thursday before the incident and was not working at the time he was charged with driving under the influence, said Joe Tate, Chester County chief deputy.

Hawthorne had started work as a road patrol deputy May 1, Dorsey said. It was Hawthorne’s second stint with the sheriff’s office, Dorsey and Tate said.

Dorsey became sheriff in May when Alex Underwood was suspended as sheriff after being indicted by federal prosecutors on charges of lying to the FBI, violating a suspect’s civil rights and altering police reports and evidence. Two other former deputies were also indicted. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Another former deputy was arrested earlier in April 2019 for bribery involving nude photos.

Dorsey reiterated Friday that his deputies will serve the public without breaking the law. The public has to have trust in its officers, Dorsey said.

Hawthorne was released on his own recognizance Friday after being booked into the Chester County jail on the DUI charge, records show.

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