Charleston County Emergency Management director placed on unpaid leave following arrest Thursday

Charleston County News

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.

Jason Patno (Charleston County Detention Center booking photo)

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.

“He kicked my door frame in out of anger, he held a gun to my head after a male friend called me. I consoled him after his mother passed away, within two days he broke into my home bashed my head on the floor giving me a traumatic brain injury from which I lost two senses smell and taste.” 

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. 

Be the first to receive breaking news alerts 📲 Sign up for News 2’s breaking news email

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


2021 Hurricane Ready Guide

Click for latest news and information


Join our daily newsletter!