Sheriff's deputy will not be disciplined for bikini car wash participation

photoMONCKS CORNER -- A Berkeley County sheriff’s deputy will not be disciplined for participating in a bikini car wash for charity on her own time, the sheriff’s office announced.

But a Moncks Corner police officer was out of a job Tuesday after photos showed him having his police car washed at the event.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, was not on duty and did not use or display sheriff’s office resources during the event.
“She was involved in the event as a private citizen and did not violate the law, BCSO or county’s policies,” the statement says.

The sheriff's office received an anonymous tip about the deputy's participation in the charity event, called the “Tits n Tats” car wash, held at The Rockstar Tattoo Studio on Redbank Road.

Moncks Corner Police Chief Chad Caldwell would not identify the officer. He also would not say if the officer was fired or asked to resign, saying that it was a personnel matter and he was forbidden by law from discussing it.

Caldwell did acknowledge, however, that the officer was no longer with the department.

“I think he took his personal car there first and then he went in his police car,” Caldwell said. “I don’t think he was trying to be malicious. I think he used completely poor judgment.”

Rockstar Studio promoted the car wash on its Facebook page, saying it would feature bikini-clad employees from Diamonds North night club in North Charleston. Josh Badgett, owner of the tattoo studio, said Wednesday that only one of the women was a dancer. He said the others included a bartender, his wife, and other regular clients of the tattoo parlor. He said the deputy is a regular client. Badgett said other officers and firefighters attended the event in the past.

Moncks Corner officers are provided with take-home cruisers, but the department has policies governing their use, Caldwell said. Allowing bikini-clad women to be photographed next to a take-home cruiser is a violation of those policies, he said.

“It reflects badly not only on the police department,” Caldwell said. “It reflects badly on the town.”
Badgett said the purpose of the annual function is to raise money for various charities, including the Shriners Hospital in Georgia. He said the reaction was excessive.

“The girls were washing cars. There was nothing illegal,” Badgett said. “I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal out of it. If Girl Scouts were out there washing cars, would there be a problem?”