Fire chief & city administrator indicted for failing to act over firehouse asbestos

Marion, SC Fire Chief Ralph Cooper (left) and City Administrator Alan Ammons

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Brad Dickerson & Patrick Lloyd, WMBF-TV:

A Marion County grand jury has handed down indictments against the Marion fire chief and the city administrator, alleging they knew the Marion Fire Department building contained asbestos and allowed staff, volunteers and community members to come inside.

According to court documents filed earlier this month, city administrator and building inspector Alan Thomas Ammons and fire chief Ralph Walton Cooper III were each indicted on charges of misconduct in office, conspiracy to violate the Pollution Control Act and violation of the Pollution Control Act.

The indictments allege the two “did willfully and unlawfully commit misconduct” while in public office “by acts and omissions of malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance” by allowing people into the fire department building despite reportedly knowing the building contained asbestos.

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