Crime News

Two previous Town of Summerton employees facing charges


Indictments came down Monday, Jan 23 against two former City of Summerton employees, Amanda Salka and Anthony Smith, regarding the ongoing investigation into the Town of Summerton's water system. Both Salka and Smith are accused of misrepresentation of facts related to the operation of the public water system. The state's Attorney General's office alleges that Salka and Smith knowingly submitted falsified documents to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) during a DHEC investigation of the town of Summeton's water systems.

Both defendants were granted Personal Recognizance bonds of fifteen thousand dollars and have until Friday, Jan. 27 at noon to turn themselves in to Clarendon County Detention Center for processing. 

Nelson Parker is the attorney on record for Anthony Smith but could not be in court on Monday so Smith was represented by Ceth Land, who told the Judge that Smith is a graduate of Scott's Branch and has been a law abiding citizen in Summerton for over fifty years. Scott Robinson echoed these comments when speaking on behalf of his client Amanda Salka. Neither Smith nor Salka have a previous criminal record.

In March of 2021, Water Systems Inc. of Lexington completed an assessment of the town's water system. These tests revealed more than 120 unique problems with the water system, which was ran by Blackmon Laboratories. At the time, Beth Phillips was the Town Administrator but was soon replaced by Amanda Salka. After further investigation, the town council decided to switch water providers to Water Systems Inc. 

Currently, Summerton is under new leadership with a new Mayor, Tony Junious, a new Town Administrator, Mary Adger, and the water system has also been replaced with Oliver Environmental Services. 

On Monday the Town of Summerton released the following statement:

The Town of Summerton is aware of an ongoing criminal investigation of a Town employee related to falsified documents submitted to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) between Aug. 1, 2020 and Aug. 13, 2020, regarding the Town's public water system.

In response, Town Council held a special called meeting on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023 and the employee involved has been suspended without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal matter. The Town of Summerton takes this matter very seriously and is committed to public transparency and accountability. The Town will fully cooperate with law enforcement.

Although the recent developments loom, it is important to note that the Town has experienced significant turn over in the last 10 months, with the election of a new Mayor, four new Council members, the hiring of a new Town Administrator, and other key staff - none of whom bare any responsibility for these current events. 

"The new administration has been committed to transparency and regaining the trust of our citizens," says Mayor Tony Junious. "We will allow the criminal justice system to run its course, wherever that may lead."