Post Tagged with: "SLED"

Federal Tort Claims Lawsuit – Part III

September 12, 2012 1:36 PM
Federal Tort Claims Lawsuit – Part III

A federal tort claims lawsuit, with Horry County and former Horry County Police Department Chief Johnny Morgan included as defendants, is moving forward in Florence federal district court as discovery and depositions are scheduled later this month.

Last week, we posted the first two parts of this series. Part III concentrates on the attempts by plaintiffs’ expert Steve Cain to analyze the original videotapes shot from HCPD patrol cars of the arrest of James Spencer on August 6, 2000.

Cain had already analyzed a copy of the videotape from the police vehicle operated by HCPD officer Jay Brantley during the arrest of Spencer. The videotape from the Brantley vehicle was a key piece of evidence that backed up claims by Spencer of violation of civil rights and police brutality.

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Federal Tort Claims Lawsuit Part II

September 7, 2012 8:31 AM
Federal Tort Claims Lawsuit Part II

A federal tort claims lawsuit, with Horry County and former Horry County Police Department Chief Johnny Morgan included as defendants, is moving forward in Florence federal district court as discovery and depositions are scheduled later this month.

The suit stems from allegations of fraud on the court under color of law by HCPD officers, SLED agents and FBI agents, among others. The suit alleges personnel of these agencies conspired to withhold evidence, commit perjury and commit other unlawful acts in order to influence the outcome of a previous federal lawsuit, thereby violating the civil rights of the plaintiffs.

This is Part II of a series on how and why the county and its police department are now involved in defending a claim against them in excess of $100 million.

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Federal Tort Claims Lawsuit Moves Forward

September 4, 2012 9:10 AM
Federal Tort Claims Lawsuit Moves Forward

A federal tort claims lawsuit, with Horry County and former Horry County Police Department Chief Johnny Morgan included as defendants, is moving forward in Florence federal district court as discovery and depositions are scheduled later this month.

The suit stems from allegations of fraud on the court under color of law by HCPD officers, SLED agents and FBI agents, among others. The suit alleges personnel of these agencies conspired to withhold evidence, commit perjury and commit other unlawful acts in order to influence the outcome of a previous federal lawsuit, thereby violating the civil rights of the plaintiffs.

An extraction, by plaintiff James Spencer, from the initial notice of the federal tort claims suit reads:

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The Internet Sweepstakes Café Conundrum

August 22, 2012 6:06 PM
The Internet Sweepstakes Café Conundrum

The conundrum now engulfing the internet sweepstakes cafe issue around the state has had intricate twists and turns in the last several months.

Several key legislators told us recently that SLED chief Mark Keel was lobbying General Assembly members to close the “loophole” in the state law on gambling that allows sweepstakes games at food stores and fast food restaurants. The same loophole is being used by internet sweepstakes café operators to justify their business model.

After the General Assembly failed to act on any change in the law, Keel, using an opinion by Attorney General Alan Wilson, began raiding internet sweepstakes cafes and confiscating the computers on which the games were being played.

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SLED, the FBI and Statutes of Limitations

August 21, 2012 9:40 PM
SLED, the FBI and Statutes of Limitations

“Whenever we hear SLED and FBI used in the same sentence, we can’t help but think of the Southern Holdings case.”

The best aspect of blogging is the opportunity to encourage an ongoing dialogue about issues, especially as they apply to the political arena.

Our recent post on internet sweepstakes cafes drew an interesting response that we believe deserves an answer.

The comment read: “This is the most obsurd (sic) thing I have ever read. SLED and the FBI will certainly solve this problem for you Mr. Sewell and Mr. Gable. They have done the research and they know who is involved and this is a very poor attempt at making this political. This Internet Sweepstakes Case has nothing to do with a political campaign. I would be careful at how I approach this or you will drag yourself into a place that you cannot get out of.”

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The Politics of Internet Sweepstakes Raids

August 20, 2012 8:48 PM
The Politics of Internet Sweepstakes Raids

Politics and intrigue too often inject themselves into what should be relatively straightforward issues in South Carolina. This has been especially true recently in government agendas related to internet sweepstakes cafes.

We have been reading recently of what is called the ‘Lexington Ring’ in blogs. Assertions have been made that this so-called cabal of law enforcement officials, magistrates and state legislators is conspiring to allow illegal video poker operations in the midlands.

“Make no mistake none of this is about video gambling. It is, all about assisting petition candidate Katrina Shealy in defeating incumbent Republican Sen. Jake Knotts in the November general election.”

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General Assembly Action Needed on Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

August 2, 2012 7:04 PM
General Assembly Action Needed on Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

Federal lawsuits, state arrests, judges giving opposing rulings on the same law and the current head and former head of SLED on different sides of the issue, this is the world of internet sweepstakes cafes in South Carolina.

Sound confusing – absolutely – but it is really an example of the General Assembly fiddling while South Carolina burns.

While the General Assembly spent a large portion of this year’s session determining how to spend an additional approximately $1.2 billion in unexpected excess revenue, it virtually ignored several bills introduced to regulate or outlaw the internet sweepstakes café industry.

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Nikki Haley, Public Corruption and Nepotism

July 26, 2012 9:37 PM
Nikki Haley, Public Corruption and Nepotism

Charges of nepotism and apparent attempts at media intimidation have turned a non-story into a story affecting the administration of Gov. Nikki Haley as well as highlighting why South Carolina ranks as the 45th worst state in the nation in a public corruption study by the Center for Political Integrity.

A little background:

Approximately two weeks ago, we received an e-mail claiming that Gov. Nikki Haley’s 14 year old daughter was working at the State House gift shop and that two workers hours had been cut to accommodate the new employee.

We could not confirm that employee hours had been cut and decided this was not an important story. When a high school age girl, regardless of who she is, wants to get a summer job, we applaud it.

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Reynolds Williams Should Step Down

July 23, 2012 8:55 AM
Reynolds Williams Should Step Down

S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission chairman Reynolds Williams barely escaped having to step down as commission chair Thursday when his vote resulted in a 3-3 tie on a motion by S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis.

Loftis’ motion asked commissioners to remove Williams from the chair while he is under investigation by the S.C. Ethics Commission and S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

“The chairman has an immense amount of responsibility,” said Loftis in discussing the motion. “I don’t think that person, while under a significant amount of investigation, should be chairman.”

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SLED Raids Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

July 12, 2012 10:33 AM
SLED Raids Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

Two internet sweepstakes cafes, one in Richland County and one in Lexington County, were raided and shut down yesterday for illegal gambling by a combination of SLED agents and sheriff’s deputies.

End of problem right? Business owners trying to get around the state ban on gambling, except of course for the lottery, are now out of business.

Not really. Despite yesterday’s raids, an earlier opinion from Attorney General Alan Wilson that sweepstakes cafes are illegal gambling and confident statements by SLED chief Mark Keel that the games are illegal, they are NOT gambling.

In point of fact they are worse, but we’ll get to that later.

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