The chairman of the York County Republican Party in South Carolina has been arrested on a charge of unlawful neglect, York County jail records show.
Mark Benjamin Ignatowicz, 33, of Rock Hill, was booked into the jail after 8 a.m. Monday on a charge of unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person, York County Sheriff’s Office jail records and court records show.
An arrest warrant in the case stated Ignatowicz spanked a child on March 27. The child had bruising, according to the warrant.
South Carolina online court records show Ignatowicz was charged Monday morning by the State Law Enforcement Division. The charge is a felony under South Carolina law that carries up to 10 years in prison for a conviction.
Ignatowicz appeared in court late Monday morning, records show.
He was released from the York County jail after posting a $5,000 bond that was set by a magistrate judge, court records show.
The York County Republican Party’s website lists Ben Ignatowicz as chairman.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson, a Republican, said because he is a Republican and Ignatowicz is chairman of the county Republican party, his office did not handle the investigation and referred it to SLED.
Officials did not want any perceived bias in the investigation, Tolson said. Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit Solicitor, also is a Republican. Brackett said he is aware of the investigation and the subject’s status as chairman of the county party.
Brackett said he contacted the S.C. Attorney General’s Office to have the case transferred to another prosecutor. The case has been assigned to the 7th Judicial Circuit in Spartanburg. Riverwalk Academy, a charter school in Rock Hill, said in a statement Monday that Ignatowicz served on the school’s board of directors between 2018 and 2021.
Ignatowicz voluntarily resigned from the board in April 2021 and he stepped down in June 2021, the statement said.
“Mr. Ignatowicz does not currently have any affiliation with Riverwalk Academy, and Riverwalk Academy is not involved in Mr. Ignatowicz’s pending legal matter,” the statement said.
No other details have yet been released.
Check back for updates on this developing story.