CCSO taking responsibility after jail mix-up in Michael Slager release

CCSO taking responsibility after jail mix-up in Michael Slager release
Published: Jan. 5, 2016 at 9:03 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2016 at 9:15 PM EST
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff's Office is taking responsibility after a jail employee mistakenly posted that accused killer Michael Slager had been released an hour and a half before his actual release.

Slager, the former North Charleston police officer, is charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott in April 2015.

He was released from the courthouse Monday night after posting a $500,000 bond.

The sheriff's office said an employee who works in the jail's management system assumed Slager had been released right after his hearing at the county courthouse.

"Our jail staff prematurely updated the website which they should not have done," sheriff's office spokesman Major Eric Watson said.

After we reported that Slager had been released, the sheriff's office tweeted the that the ex-cop had not been released and was still in custody.

"Apparently we had jail staff that may have assumed the bond was received by the jail staff at the courthouse when actually it was not," Watson explained. "We took full responsibility for our actions and that's why we tweeted out he was not released."

It was a mistake that prompted one Twitter follower to say "Gee, it's like they're trying 2 throw the press off."

Watson says that's not true and that it was just a mistake made at the jail.

"When they updated it, you and the national media got a hold of it and said he's released and that started a firestorm."

Finally Slager's bond was paid and he was released at the courthouse.

A tweet from the sheriff's office said it happened at 7 p.m., almost an hour and a half after the jail's mistake.

"This is a unique situation. It's a high profile case, local and national media monitoring our website. So if it was an average person, it wouldn't have mattered," Watson said.

Watson says as a result of Monday's mistake, the employees who run the jail management system will be re-trained to make sure it doesn't happen again.

He says no one has been formally disciplined.

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