Berkeley County parole officer arrested, charged with taking bribe

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A member ofSouth Carolina'sDepartment of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services was arrested by statepolice Thursday and charged with accepting a bribe from an offender he wascharged with watching.

Vincent O'NealHoward, of Summerville, was assigned to SCPPP's Moncks Corner office in Berkeley County when he was arrested as part ofan investigation conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division and SCPPP,SLED officials said in a release.

Accordingto the warrant, Howard made a deal on Oct. 23 with an unnamed offender to buyan early release from SCPPP supervision. On Thursday, the offender deliveredthe money to Howard while undercover agents watched.

Howard "accepted the currency for his own personal use, and not as a part of any fines,fees, or restitution to be collected by SCPPP," the affidavit stated.

Officialshave not said how much money the offender paid.

Howard wastaken to the Berkeley County Detention Center where he later wasreleased on bond.

{}According to SLED, the Ninth Judicial CircuitSolicitor's Office will prosecute the case.