The former director of parks for Richland County suffered a double-dose of criminal news this week, as prosecutors announced new charges against him and a 11-year prison sentence for his son.
The State newspaper reports a county grand jury handed down new indictments against former Richland County Recreation Commission Executive Director James Brown last month. The charges were announced in an arraignment hearing Tuesday.
Prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office said the indictments accuse Brown of abusing his position to pressure at least two employees into oral sex with him in an office bathroom. The grand jury also said Brown would speak about female subordinates’ body parts and what he’d like to do with them.
The Recreation Commission oversees parks and other facilities in the unincorporated areas of Richland County.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors said a district judge sentenced Brown’s son James Anthony Brown to 135 months in prison on meth possession charges.
Richland County Sheriff’s deputies stopped the younger Brown in May 2016 after they watched retrieve a package from the front porch of a Columbia home. Believing the package contained drugs, the deputies searched it and found 11.9 pounds of marijuana. A subsequent search of Brown’s home resulted in a second package containing approximately 775 grams of methamphetamine ($20,000 “street value”).
Deputies said the second package was addressed to Brown and had the same return address as the first they spotted him carrying. Deputies said they found more marijuana, drug paraphernalia, ecstasy and an assault rifle inside the home.
The older Brown led the Recreation Commission from 2010 until his forced retirement in 2016. At the time of his departure, he had already been placed on leave for several months after several ongoing lawsuits accused Brown of forcing himself on female employees and threatening those who attempted to report him. He was eventually indicted on misconduct in office and intimidating a witness counts later that year.