Bed bugs found in criminal court offices at Moss Justice Center in York
For the fourth time in less than a month, bedbugs have been found at the Moss Justice Center in York.
The insects were found Friday afternoon in a reception area of the solicitor’s office, said York County Clerk of Court David Hamilton. That office is on the second floor.
The area had been “locked down” and “quarantined” after previous bedbug incidents in October in the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, but at least one live insect was found, Hamilton said.
The area will be sprayed and treated over the weekend, and the building is expected to be open Monday after an inspection, Hamilton said.
The solicitor’s office prosecutes criminal cases.
Monday, the observance of Veterans Day, is a state holiday in South Carolina, but not a county holiday for employees, officials said.
“We anticipate the area being cleaned and ready and being open for business Monday,” Hamilton said.
The courts building was open this past week, and held civil and criminal hearings despite bedbugs being found in the building next door on Monday. Bedbugs were found in the court building on Nov. 1 and in October.
The building has more than 100 employees from offices including the clerk of court, solicitor, public defender, court security and other court functions.
The Moss center is made up of two buildings - the courts building and a building next to it containing the York County Sheriff’s Office and county jail.
Bedbugs were found in the lobby of the jail on Monday. All the lobby furniture was removed and the area was treated, according to sheriff’s office officials.
Sheriff’s office officials said they did not believe the bugs found Monday were connected to the earlier instances at the building next door.
No bugs were found in other areas of the sheriff’s office building, Sheriff Kevin Tolson said Monday. The jail’s 460-plus inmates did not have to be moved or forced to evacuate. More than 350 sheriff’s office employees also remained in the building.
However, the adjacent courts building at the Moss center was evacuated and court canceled Nov. 1 after bedbugs were found in the second floor courtrooms and other public areas on both the first and second floors.
Chemical treatment was done the weekend of Nov. 2-4, officials said.
The first instance of bedbugs was Oct. 16. The insects were found in office areas of both the solicitor’s office on the second floor and the public defender’s office directly below on the first floor, officials said. Dogs trained to find the bugs “hit” on areas in both the prosecutor and public defender offices, officials said in October.
Those offices were treated with heat treatment in October.
York County officials have said all county-owned buildings will be inspected for bedbugs since the outbreaks at the Moss Justice Center interrupted court services. But county officials have not said when those inspections will take place or how much it will cost.
It also remains unclear if more treatment measures will be used after the fourth incident.