Court orders Charleston Co. sheriff to pay fees in lawsuit over jailhouse calls

A judge ordered Charleston County's sheriff to pay legal fees in a lawsuit over a Freedom of Information Act records request.
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 10:52 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2023 at 10:58 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The judge who found Charleston County’s sheriff broke the state’s Freedom of Information Act law ordered her to pay legal fees over a lawsuit on the matter.

Retired South Carolina Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal ordered Sheriff Kristin Graziano to pay a total of $33,175 in legal fees.

That order follows a lawsuit filed by Gray Television, the parent company of Live 5 News, over the sheriff’s office’s refusal to release jailhouse calls made by Jamie Lee Komoroski.

Komoroski is charged with one count of reckless homicide and three counts of felony DUI involving great bodily injury in an April 28 crash on Folly Beach. Investigators say Komoroski crashed into a golf cart killing newlywed Samantha Miller and injuring her husband, Aric Hutchinson and two of Hutchinson’s family members who were taking the couple back to their hotel hours after their wedding on the beach.

Gray Television filed the lawsuit against the sheriff’s office on June 22 after the sheriff’s office refused to turn over jailhouse calls and other documents related to Komoroski that it had already given The Post and Courier.

In an order filed on Monday, Toal cited state law that allows for a person who prevails in a lawsuit over a FOIA matter “may be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs of litigation specific to the request.”


The sheriff’s office last week released hours of video and phone calls Komoroski made since she was booked into the jail on April 28. In a May 2 call, she speaks with her father, Charles Komoroski. He asks how she is doing.

“I’m filled with regret and remorse,” she says.

“Jamie, you’re gonna feel that, but it’s not completely your fault,” he says.

“Yes, I just wish I knew if I was gonna get a bond or not,” she says.

Judge Michael Nettles denied bond for Komoroski, calling her a flight risk. But Nettles said if she is not tried by March of 2024, bond would be set with several conditions.