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South Carolina Prison Official Remained on the Job a Year After Indictment

South Carolina Prison Official Remained on the Job a Year After Indictment

The deputy director over medical and health services for the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDOC) was suspended without pay in November 2008. His suspension, however, came more than a year after he was indicted on felony fraud charges.

SCDOC deputy director Russell H. Campbell, Jr., 40, was charged on November 14, 2007 with providing false information to Auto-Owners Life Insurance Company on an insurance application, including details related to his “father’s address and health condition.” Campbell defrauded the company to obtain a $50,000 payment on a life insurance policy for his father, who died in March 2005.

Although Campbell was initially indicted in November 2007, one of the charges was later dropped by prosecutors to obtain an indictment with slightly different language. The new indictment was issued on October 15, 2008.

The SCDOC said it was investigating why it did not learn of the initial indictment until November 18, 2008. “As soon as the Department of Corrections became aware of the indictments or any criminal charges against Russell Campbell, he was suspended,” said SCDOC spokesman Jon Gelinas. The state Attorney General’s office is supposed to notify state agencies when employees are indicted.

Campbell was subsequently convicted on January 28, 2009 of obtaining property by false pretenses and making a false statement; he was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the insurance company. He resigned from the SCDOC prior to his conviction, and will serve his sentence at an out-of-state facility.

Campbell had been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in August 2008 by Linda Dunlap, SCDOC’s director of clinical services, who claimed she was subjected to a “ruthless and unrelenting campaign of retaliation” by Campbell and SCDOC Director Jon Ozmint after she informed state lawmakers about corruption in the department.

Sources:, Associated Press

NOTE: Mr. Campbell received a pardon from the South Carolina Board of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in September 2013, for his above-referenced conviction. The civil suit filed by Linda Dunlap reportedly resulted in a settlement.

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