Ex-South Congaree police chief pleads guilty to perjury

Jason Amodio

The State

Former South Congaree police chief Jason Amodio pleaded guilty to perjury in federal court Thursday morning before U.S. Judge Joseph Anderson.

Anderson accepted the plea and will sentence Amodio at a later date.

Amodio agreed to plead guilty earlier this year to lying to a federal grand jury – a violation related to his accepting payments to release illegal gaming machines seized while he was police chief. The grand jury to which he told lies was investigating bribes and kickbacks at the time.

As part of the agreement, Amodio also agreed to plead guilty to the charge of misconduct in office in state court at a later time.

Federal court records say Amodio is cooperating with authorities. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of four years’ probation and eight month of house arrest, assistant U.S. attorney Jay Richardson told Anderson.

Amodio told the judge he has for several years been undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The judge asked him about it to help determine whether Amodio was competent to enter a plea. No further details were discussed.

The charges against Amodio came during a joint federal-state public corruption probe that produced charges so far against three Lexington County officials – including former sheriff James Metts – as well as a restauranteur and a former Richland County deputy-turned-online-gaming businessman.

Amodio was police chief in the town of 2,300 residents near Columbia Metropolitan Airport for 11 years.

He quit the post in May 2013, citing unspecified personal and family reasons. At that time, the state-federal probe was in full swing.

His resignation followed a raid on Town Hall by FBI and SLED agents in which unspecified items were seized.

Amodio was a West Columbia police officer before going to South Congaree as second-in-command of its police department in 2011, becoming chief 15 months later.

 

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