Former Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt is no longer a member of the department. He was granted his medical disability pension Friday by the department’s pension board.

Tyke Hunt

“He’s medically retired officially today,” board attorney John Dascoli said following the vote.

Hunt will receive $6,038 a month beginning July 1 based on his 19-plus years of service.

Hunt returned to paid medical leave in May after serving a 20-day suspension for violating police department policies. Hunt has been accused by two women of inappropriate conduct–once when he was a testing officer, the other allegation came during his time as chief. An internal investigation returned a 10-day suspension without pay for each complaint of sexual misconduct alleged against Hunt. He was also demoted from lieutenant to corporal following the investigation.

The four-member board, made up of two current police officers and two retired officers, voted 4-0 Friday that Hunt was disabled followed by a 3-0 vote that the pension should be considered an off-duty disability pension.

Dascoli said two doctors agreed that Hunt was disabled.

“It begins with his doctor and then it goes to another doctor and if those two doctors agree as to there being a disability then there’s a non-discretionary duty for the board to grant and that’s what happened in this case,” Dascoli said.

Hunt, who is part of a construction business with his brothers, underwent back surgery in the past year.

The board does have an option in the matter of on-duty or off-duty. The off-duty ruling means Hunt receives 60% of his last pay but his additional income is capped at $18,200.

Dascoli said the disability means Hunt is prohibited from working as a police officer.

“If someone is doing the actual work in spite of what the doctor’s say that can be a reason to stop a disability pension,” he said.

Dascoli said there are certain provisions in state code where a pension can be denied. He said something like fraud or theft. He said there’s also a seldom used provision that would allow someone to challenge the granting of a public pension.

Hunt fell just short of the regular 20-year pension which usually is more lucrative, Dascoli said.

“If you had a regular career of many years and earned good wages, depending on the whole on-duty/off-duty issue, it may be better to have a regular retirement but that would just depend on the circumstances of each case, each work history,” Dascoli said.

Hunt was not at the hearing in person. He was called on the phone by the committee. Hunt then asked for a closed door hearing. The vote by the board came after the executive session.

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