An area prosecutor who pleaded guilty last year to misconduct in office has resigned as an attorney in lieu of further discipline, according to documents made public by the S.C. Supreme Court.
William “Billy” Whitney, 69, was charged in 2013 with malfeasance in office after an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division. He was accused of exchanging sexual favors for dropping cases.
Whitney, a city prosecutor in Union for 17 years, resigned shortly before his arrest. He pleaded guilty in May 2016 to misconduct in office and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and two years’ probation, court records show.
After a second hearing in York in late May 2016, Whitney was allowed house arrest and GPS monitoring for a year because he was undergoing cancer treatments, said a spokesperson for the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, which handled the prosecution.
Whitney’s license to practice law was suspended by the S.C. Supreme Court in 2013.
But in a ruling granted March 23 by all five S.C. Supreme Court justices, Whitney resigned permanently in lieu of futher discipline.
That means Whitney accepts that state lawyer investigators can prove the allegations of misconduct and that he declines to defend himself against them, Supreme Court guidelines show.
The resignation means Whitney can never practice law in South Carolina, court rules show. Whitney has 15 days to surrender his law license, the court order shows.
State court rules require that the disposition be made public and published by the S.C. Supreme Court.
Union County is part of the 16th Judicial Circuit, which includes York and Union counties, but had no connection with the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which handles felony cases in both counties.