Folly Beach council upholds cop's recent suspension

By Nikki

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV)--In a 6 to 1 vote, Folly Beach council members voted to not uphold a grievance committee's recommendation to override the recent suspension of a Folly Beach police officer.

Eddie Ellis was the only council member who supported the committee's suggestion to reverse the suspension. The remaining six, including Mayor Tim Goodwin, disagreed.

Council came back with their decision after spending about 20 minutes in executive session Tuesday night.

Recently, Folly Beach officials called the investigation into Ron Avallone flawed and biased. The officer was initially suspended without pay after being accused of mishandling a sexual assault case.

In a grievance hearing, Avallone said the dispatcher never told him about a sexual assault accusation.

After listening to a tape of the call, a grievance committee found that to be true and recommended that Avallone's suspension be overturned.

Despite the recent suspension and council's decision, one Folly Beach homeowner says many in the community continue to support Avallone.

"Ron is probably one of the nicest guys out here on the beach--if not the nicest. He does his job right. he's realistic with people," said Folly Beach resident, John Reynolds. "I want him to stay here. He's one of the last dying breeds out here on the beach."

Even though Avallone has since returned to work, his suspension will go down in his personnel file.