Fire chief charged in prostitution ring

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A volunteer fire chief was arrested in a sex sting in York County, South Carolina

Thomas Pickard was one of eight people arrested in the bust that netted a total of five men and three women, according to the York County Sheriff’s Department.

Pickard was led to a room by an undercover officer and he agreed to pay money for sex, investigators said.

Investigators said not only were they going after potential clients, they also had undercover officers going after women who were advertising their services online.

Pickard has been with the Lancaster Fire Service since 1996 and has been chief for two years.

He has been suspended without pay while this matter is under investigation. But some area residents say they would not feel uncomfortable if he responded to an emergency and say he should not lose his job.

“No absolutely not, I don’t think so,” said Shakea Vinson, a York County resident.

Hope Williams, who is also a York County resident, said: “I don’t think I would feel uncomfortable at all.”

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