Recently resigned Oconee County Chief Magistrate Rebecca Gerrard is facing charges for allegedly breaking into a vehicle without the permission of the victim, who is a municipal court judge, on March 4 at the Clarion Hotel in Columbia after a South Carolina Summary Court Judge’s Association Legislative Reception.
Gerrard has been charged with misconduct in office, petit larceny and breaking into a motor vehicle.
The victim is believed to be a municipal judge in Pickens County.
Investigators also believe Gerrard took a set of keys belonging to the victim in November of 2008. A South Carolina Law Enforcement Divison spokesman also added in a release that Gerrard is accused of lying under oath to SLED agents about these allegations during an investigative interview process. Multiple sources say the incident was caught on surveillance video.
Gerrard was booked at Richland County Detention Center and released after turning herself in on Monday morning.
Misconduct in office is a misdemeanor offense punishable up to a year in prison, while simple larceny is a misdemeanor offense punishable up to five years in prison.
Breaking into a motor vehicle, however, is a felony, also punishable by up to five years.
Gerrard submitted her resignation at Oconee County chief magistrate Friday afternoon, citing her desire to spend more time with her family as a key reason for her departure. She had been a magistrate since 1982, and the chief magistrate since 2003, when she succeeded Dillard Medford.
Sen. Thomas Alexander, who will be responsible for making an official recommendation to Gov. Mark Sanford to replace Gerrard, said he has not set a timeline for finding a new chief magistrate.
“This is a very unique situation. I’m not sure what process is going to be used at this point,” Alexander said. “We’ve got the vacancy, and we’re going to make sure we go through a proper process to select someone to meet the needs of the citizens of Oconee County.”