CHARLESTON, SC — The state wildlife departments top law enforcement officer has been suspended without pay after his arrest Sunday on a domestic violence charge.
Col. Alexander Chisolm Frampton, deputy director for law enforcement at the Department of Natural Resources, is accused of kicking his wife and threatening her with a broken broom stick during a dispute over money at their home on Johns Island, records show.
Frampton, 47, was released Monday on a personal recognizance bond in Charleston County, according to the DNR. He was not immediately available for comment.
Capt. Robert McCullough, a spokesman for the DNRs law enforcement division, said Frampton was suspended without pay from his $96,000 per-year job Sunday afternoon. McCullough said the agency had no further comment on the unfolding investigation by the Charleston County Sheriffs Department.
A person facing certain domestic violence charges in South Carolina can lose the right to carry a gun if found guilty. Depending on the outcome of the case, that could prove significant to Framptons future in law enforcement at the DNR. Maximum penalties for certain, first-time criminal domestic violence offenses are 30 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.
According to a Charleston County Sheriffs Department report, Framptons wife ran to a neighbors house for help Sunday afternoon following an argument and physical assault. The report said the dispute involved her spending habits.
The report said during the altercation, a box with donations for the poor was smashed. The report also said the suspect broke a broomstick and threatened her, and she allegedly was kicked to the floor of a closet before running out of the home for help.
Frampton, a Charleston native, became the S.C. Department of Natural Resources law enforcement chief in 2012 after 19 years with the agency. He replaced Alvin Taylor, who is now agency director.
As a law enforcement officer, Frampton has received numerous awards. Those include the Order of the Palmetto in 1998, as well as the U.S. Coast Guards meritorious service medal for maritime security, according to the DNRs website.
Frampton, who has two children, began his law enforcement career as a private with the DNR in 1993. He also served four years on the security force for Gov. David Beasley. Frampton is a distant relative of former DNR director John Frampton, agency officials said.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is South Carolinas chief wildlife and marine resources agency. The law enforcement division checks for game and fish violations and patrols lakes for drunken boaters, among other duties. The division Frampton supervises has about 190 officers.