Sheriff Candidate Charged With Attempted Kidnapping of a Retired Judge.
James Bartee is charged with solicitation to commit a felony.
A judge released Bartee on a personal recognizance bond on Thursday morning.
The judge said he does consider Bartee a flight risk. Bartee was required to surrender his passport and can have no contact with the alleged victim in the case.
WYFF News 4 was the only news organization there when Bartee was led into jail.
Solicitor Chrissy Adams said evidence was captured on audio surveillance, and Bartee gave a person money to buy items needed for the kidnapping.
Bartee, who is a retired U.S. Secret Service agent, is one of four candidates for Oconee County sheriff. He is accused of trying to arrange to have retired circuit Judge James C. Williams Jr. kidnapped.
Bartee is accused of trying to arrange the kidnapping after Williams filed an action asking for a judgment on whether Bartee was qualified to run for sheriff. The action also asked for an injunction against creating ballots with Bartee listed as a candidate.
Williams’ filing claims that Bartee is ineligible to run for sheriff because he was never a certified law enforcement officer under state law.
The decision on Bartee’s candidacy was to be made by Judge Cordell Maddox.