CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County Emergency Management Director Jason Patno has been placed on unpaid leave after officials learned about his arrest on Thursday.
Records from the Charleston County Detention Center show Patno’s charges are kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery, and first-degree burglary.
Charleston County Administrator Bill Tuten said Patno was placed on unpaid leave while the county investigates details surrounding his arrest.
“I have the utmost confidence that law enforcement and the Solicitor’s Office will handle this professionally and appropriately,” said Tuten.
A report from the Charleston Police Department detailed a series of events between Patno and his then-girlfriend dating back to 2018, which includes harassing messages and altercations on a number of occasions.
Public Information Officer for Charleston County, Kelsey Barlow says Joe Coates is the acting/interim emergency management director.
He is currently the Chief of Operations.
Patno appeared before a bond judge on Friday where the victim spoke out.
She gave an emotional testimony, describing the past five years as a nightmare and recalling multiple instances of abuse.
While the relationship ended more than a year and a half ago, she said the intimidation, harassment, and stalking persist.
Patno’s lawyer argued his past accolades, which ranged from serving in the military to receiving a 9/11 Medal of Honor showed character and that he was not a flight risk.
However, the judge ultimately decided that the best option for Patno, for now, is to remain in the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center, calling him “a danger to the community” and denying bond.
Patno will appear again before a court in two weeks.
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