By: Jeremy Handel, Staff Writer
After more than a year of investigation into allegations of falsifying documents, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has cleared Woodruff Police Chief Greg Ryan of any wrongdoing following accusations of change of status documents.
“The outcome was what I expected because I knew I had done nothing wrong,” Chief Ryan said. “I’ve never been through something like this before, and I’m appreciative of the support I received from the City Council, (City Manager) Lee (Bailey), and many people in the community. If it weren’t for that, this past year would have been much more difficult.”
In early 2020, two former employees of the Woodruff Police Department filed a complaint against Chief Ryan with SLED, accusing him of filing false records with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Authority (SCCJA), prompting a criminal investigation by the state law enforcement division.
According to Chief Ryan, the accusations were raised regarding personnel change of status forms filed with SCCJA to update the organization on training, certification, and other status updates for law enforcement officers in the state. The complaint indicated that Chief Ryan had filed forms with falsified information, which would have broken the moral turpitude clause if found to be true. Chief Ryan could have faced criminal charges and had his law enforcement license revoked.
“This was a learning experience. I appreciate the professionalism, hard work, and diligence of the investigators,” Chief Ryan said. “It’s never easy investigating another officer, and they were very professional.”
Before the SLED investigation, Bailey said he had received an internal complaint regarding Chief Ryan and found no basis for the complaint.
“I received a complaint and did an internal investigation, as I would with any employee, and found no wrongdoing,” he said. “From the beginning, I felt that Greg did nothing wrong, and that’s why we left him in his position and let the case run its course.”
The investigation was prolonged due to the need to forward the investigation to different departments because of conflicts of interest. Some departments were forced to pass the case on because of investigations or other business with Woodruff and/or Chief Ryan.
In the end, South Carolina Eighth Circuit Solicitor, David Stumbo reviewed the investigation. He cleared Chief Ryan, writing in a March 10 declination letter that “I have found no evidence whatsoever of criminal activity on the part of Chief Ryan as to these complaints.”
Based on the decision by SLED, the SCCJA has also dropped their investigation into Chief Ryan.
While he is happy to have the investigation behind him, Chief Ryan is still looking at it as an opportunity to learn and to improve the department.
“We’ve made some adjustments after this,” he said. “As a department, we came out of this stronger. I know as a chief I have.”
He said he has revised the procedure for filing SCCJA paperwork to secure the process better and prevent any incidents in the future.