Post Tagged with: "SLED"

Searching for A False Narrative

January 3, 2019 8:47 AM
Searching for A False Narrative

False narratives appear to have become the standard emanating from some county government officials pursuing personal agendas over the past few years.

The latest is the five-page narrative crafted by county attorney Arrigo Carotti, with some input from county administrator Chris Eldridge, which attempted to place new council chairman Johnny Gardner involved in a nefarious plot that never happened.

Local editorial cartoonist Ed Wilson captured the essence of what went on between Eldridge and Carotti perfectly in the editorial cartoon accompanying this article. Once again, Wilson has demonstrated that a picture is worth 1,000 words.

The two examined snippets of conversations either or both had been party to with Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation CEO Sandy Davis to attempt to find incriminating evidence against Gardner. As Wilson depicts, the search was quite literally to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Eldridge used this bit of creative writing on the part of Carotti as an excuse to call in SLED to investigate. The narrative was also conveniently leaked to a Columbia media outlet to sensationalize the narrative.

This is not the first time a false narrative has been used as a county tactic to attempt to create a certain image in media.

One only has to read the county’s response and counterclaims, as amended, in the Angie Jones lawsuit against Eldridge and the county to view another example.

As I quoted from the amended response and counterclaims in the Jones lawsuit, the county said, “If Jones has any alleged “issues” with regard to staffing and competently and efficiently performing her duties as the Horry County Treasurer, such issues are solely as a result of her mismanagement of her offices and her own decisions, including her decisions to drive out and remove and replace competent long-term employees with friends and political supporters lacking in relevant experience.”

The bit about doing favors for friends and political supporters is strikingly similar to allegations against Gardner.

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Gardner Victory Top Story in 2018

December 31, 2018 7:07 AM
Gardner Victory Top Story in 2018

Johnny Gardner’s primary victory over incumbent Mark Lazarus to become the Chairman of Horry County Council beginning tomorrow is the top story for 2018.

As the incumbent, Lazarus was endorsed by a number of elected officials in the county including U. S. Rep. Tom Rice, most of the county legislative delegation members, his 11 co-members of county council and most of the county’s mayors. He was also supported by most of the Myrtle Beach Chamber crowd and those others in the county who consider themselves power brokers.

Gardner was supported by a vast majority of the employees of Horry County Government including endorsements by the public safety fraternal organizations Horry County Professional Firefighter Local 4345 of the International Association of Firefighters and Coastal Carolina Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 12. He was also supported by a majority of those voters often overlooked by Horry County politicos and power brokers – the average citizens.

The 2018 election cycle was a change cycle in Horry County. Three out of four incumbents who received serious challenges in either the primaries or general election lost and the fourth squeaked by with just over a 30 vote victory margin.

Supporting the concept that Gardner’s victory was the most watched of those four are events that have happened since the June 12th primary.

Horry County voters supported an advisory referendum on changing the state impact fee law to require new development to pay for more of its costs by a nearly three out of four margin (73% to 27%).

Developers rushed to get a number of rezonings approved in the last six months of the year, but not without some significant defeats along the way.

County staff “discovered” that more of the approximately $41 million of hospitality tax revenue could be used for areas such as public safety, infrastructure and recreation than they had previously acknowledged.

Lazarus led a major push to have council pass a resolution approving a contract with the S. C. Department of Transportation for rights of way acquisition, engineering and construction of I-73 in Horry County. Part of that resolution designates $25 million per year of hospitality tax revenue to go into a special road fund for the I-73 project but the resolution is not a hard appropriation of tax dollars.

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Southern Holdings SLED and FBI Coverup

October 19, 2016 5:08 AM
Southern Holdings SLED and FBI Coverup

“New evidence uncovered in documents released by SLED pursuant to a July 2015 Freedom of Information Act request point to the fact that HCPD and SLED never intended to provide the original videotapes to the plaintiffs regardless of court orders, subpoenas or any other legal documents.”

Videotapes of the illegal arrest of Southern Holdings president James Spencer were key pieces of evidence in the lawsuit against Horry County.

Where the original tapes of the arrest could be found were issues of question from the beginning of the case.

Finally, copies of the alleged original videotapes were sent to the plaintiffs (Southern Holdings, Spencer et al) expert analyst Steve Cain in March 2004.

Cain’s analysis gave strong indication that the tape copy he analyzed had been heavily edited. Cain submitted a three-page report in March 2004, to plaintiffs’ counsel in which he noted various anomalies that indicated editing of the tape.

“All of the above anomalies collectively cast serious doubt concerning the authenticity of portions of the original videotape from which this tape was reportedly manufactured by the Horry County Police Department,” read one section of Cain’s report.

Cain furthermore said he “strongly recommended” obtaining the original tape for examination and the original VCR that was used to produce the original tape (in order to confirm the editing, which would prove evidence tampering on the part of HCPD.)

After much court wrangling about the original videotapes, they were allegedly taken to Cain’s laboratory in Wisconsin by Defendants’ attorney Robert E. Lee on October 27, 2004, pursuant to Court Order 109, issued September 7, 2004, by Judge R. Bryan Harwell.

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Press Release: American Execs Tried To Cut Off Al Qaeda Funding Pre 9/11

April 29, 2016 2:06 PM
Press Release: American Execs Tried To Cut Off Al Qaeda Funding Pre 9/11

The news media is filled with reports that the “Saudi kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the cover-up goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook.” Fox News, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, New York Post, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Beyond the contents of the 9/11 report allegedly implicating Saudi involvement in the funding of al Qaeda, is the documented information on how the United States Justice Department’s vaunted NCIC system was used in the attempted murder of United States business executives who were unwittingly shutting off Saudi funding to al Qaeda. For the past fifteen years, the surviving business executives have spent their lives to get to the truth of why they were targeted and why the United States Justice Department was actively involved in protecting the perpetrators.

During the fifteen years, they have uncovered links and concrete irrefutable documentation of the involvement of an Assistant Director of the FBI, the office of United States Senator Lindsey Graham, the United States Justice Department, the head of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and a Director in the Office of Homeland Security. The internal documents from the individuals and/or the agencies involved detail how these individuals’ lives were destroyed by illegal actions of the government under the guise of National Security to keep the secret of the Saudi financial involvement in 9/11 from the American public.

Millions of dollars of government funds were used and are still being used to stop this action from reaching a truly independent review in Federal District Court. The local political and geopolitical interest supersedes the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution because of the perceived impact of exposing documentation of both our governments’ actions against the public to protect Saudi interests tied to the funding of the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 and the Saudis funding 9/11.

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Mia McLeod Requests Better Protection for Clinics

December 1, 2015 4:42 AM
Mia McLeod Requests Better Protection for Clinics

Rep. Mia McLeod calls on Gov. Haley to increase security at women’s health centers in South Carolina

Columbia, SC – On Monday, State Representative Mia McLeod called on Governor Haley to increase security at women’s health centers in South Carolina following the deadly shooting of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Rep. McLeod (D-Richland) said Governor Haley’s personal politics should take a backseat to the safety and wellbeing of health professionals and patients at South Carolina clinics.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, our focus right now should be to make sure what happened in Colorado Springs doesn’t happen in Columbia or Charleston,” said Rep. Mia McLeod. “The anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric has been more prevalent in South Carolina than anywhere else in the country, and Governor Haley would be wise to tone down her own rhetoric and instead beef up security at our clinics. The safety and wellbeing of patients and those who work at women’s health centers in our state should be our top priority.”

Rep. McLeod said Governor Haley should take seriously the FBI’s warning in September that attacks on women’s health centers were likely.

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Saudi Arabia’s 9/11 Funding Case Now Before the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

September 17, 2015 12:32 PM
Saudi Arabia’s 9/11 Funding Case Now Before the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

Financial Content | TheState.com Evidence of Obstruction of Justice by the FBI, the Justice Department and the Offices of US Senator Lindsey Graham alleging a cover-up of the Saudi Kingdom’s role in the funding of the al Qaeda 9/11 Attacks on the United States and ISIL terrorism, was presented to […]

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Michael Slager Denied Bond

September 14, 2015 6:00 PM
In this undated photo provided by the North Charleston Police Department shows City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager. Slager has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist after a traffic stop. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told a news conference that city Slager was arrested and charged Tuesday, April 7, 2015, after law enforcement officials saw a video of the shooting following a Saturday traffic stop. (AP Photo/North Charleston Police Department)

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager has been denied bond by Judge Clifton Newman.

Slager, the officer who made international news by shooting a fleeing Walter Scott numerous times on April 4, 2015, will have to stay in jail for now as preparations for his defense go forward.

In his short narrative order filed earlier today, Judge Newman said, “After careful consideration of all the evidence presented and the nature and circumstances of the offense, the Court finds that release of Defendant would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community and the request for release on bond should be denied.”

This ruling was predictable considering how aspects of the case have been handled so far.

While SLED was honoring FOIA requests from media sources about some of the evidence in the case, Slager’s attorneys have made numerous requests for evidence that have been ignored.

A statement from Slager’s attorneys about the decision reads:

“We share Michael’s disappointment in today’s Court decision but remain firmly convinced that following a review of all the evidence, a jury of Michael’s peers will find that he was free of any criminal intent in his actions on April 4, 2015.”

The statement is signed Andrew J. Savage III, Shaun C. Kent, Cameron J. Blazer.

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New Evidence in Michael Slager Case

September 9, 2015 6:00 AM
In this undated photo provided by the North Charleston Police Department shows City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager. Slager has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist after a traffic stop. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey told a news conference that city Slager was arrested and charged Tuesday, April 7, 2015, after law enforcement officials saw a video of the shooting following a Saturday traffic stop. (AP Photo/North Charleston Police Department)

New evidence has been filed with the court in the case against former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager in the shooting death of Walter Scott.

The evidence was filed yesterday in preparation for a bond hearing for Slager to be held tomorrow.

Slager’s attorney, Andrew Savage of Charleston, provided Grand Strand Daily with a copy of the Mitigation Package for Bond Hearing filed with the court.

We all know what we saw on the video of Scott running away from Slager and Slager firing his weapon multiple times killing Scott.

What isn’t nearly as evident, nor covered in most media stories on the incident is what happened before the final scene.

A hospital report on Slager and Scott’s autopsy report show bruises on both men’s bodies consistent with violent confrontation.

Gunshot residue was found on both of Scott’s hands during the autopsy. Scott’s proximity to a weapon being discharged, or firing one himself, had to have occurred before the final minutes of the incident captured on the video.

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Southern Holdings and Public Corruption

July 6, 2014 8:00 AM
Southern Holdings and Public Corruption

Public corruption cases are all the news in South Carolina lately and it’s time for the name Southern Holdings to be as scrutinized as Harrell, Metts or Pinson among others.

The Southern Holdings case stems from actions by the Horry County Sheriff’s Department and Horry County Police Department in June 2000 and August 2000, as well as subsequent events.

Southern Holdings, Inc. and several stockholders of this closely held corporation are plaintiffs in the case. Horry County, Horry County Police Department, Horry County Sheriff’s Department and various individuals are defendants in the case.

Any time you study an issue that evolves from the original Southern Holdings case, you get tangled in a web of lies, deceit and public corruption.

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Crystal Moore Reinstated as Latta Police Chief

June 28, 2014 6:00 AM
Crystal Moore Reinstated as Latta Police Chief

A special called meeting of the Latta Town Council Friday night voted unanimously to reinstate Crystal Moore as Police Chief of the town.

Latta Mayor Earl Bullard was not in attendance at the meeting.

Bullard fired Moore on April 15th, ostensibly for not signing seven “reprimands”, but more probably because Bullard did not agree with Moore’s lesbian lifestyle.

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