State troopers keeping jobs despite breaking rules

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June 22, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Eighty state troopers who have been disciplined at least twice since 2003 have kept their jobs despite questionable behavior that includes giving false information about an accident and speaking to jurors during a trial.

The State of Columbia reported Sunday that repeat offenders include troopers who have been disciplined for improper conduct or breaking department rules.

Even suspensions were rare, coming in only 16 of the 207 cases. Troopers in more than half the cases received counseling for violations, including at-fault car wrecks with patrol cars.

New Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel told The State he was troubled by the findings. Ousted department director James Schweitzer told the newspaper he had worked for a "fair and effective" disciplinary process but declined to discuss specific cases.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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