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SC HIGHWAY PATROL REELING FROM RELEASE OF TROOPER MISCONDUCT RECORDS

FITSNews – April 26, 2008 – Fresh revelations of trooper misconduct are on the front pages of South Carolina’s three biggest newspapers this morning, as The (Columbia) State, Charleston Post and Courier and Greenville News all detailed various offenses ranging from physically abusing suspects to performing favors for elected officials.

According to The State’s story:

A 2005 complaint accused a high-ranking State Transport Police officer of ordering his officers to toss tickets issued to truckers traveling to or near the Lee County landfill, based on an agreement with state Rep. Grady Brown, D-Lee.

Maj. William Tommy Moore told investigators that about a year earlier, Brown had asked him to keep his officers away from the landfill, contending it provided 30 percent to 40 percent of the county’s tax base …

… another case raises the prospect of interference in drunken-driving cases by Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg.

In January, Lance Cpl. David Smith sent 17 tickets to his supervisor. Twelve tickets were marked as “not guilty.” Ten of those 12 were for DUI. Hutto was the lawyer for all 17 recipients of the tickets, according to a Jan. 28 letter from Smith’s supervisor, Capt. C.N. Williamson.

“This type of action by a trooper, finding driving under the influence tickets not guilty without a trial, is improper,” Williamson wrote. “I request that this matter be investigated further.”

Rep. Brown apparently declined to speak with The State, but he did admit to his involvement in The Greenville News story …

Brown told The Greenville News that he did talk to a State Transport Police major and asked him not to ticket trucks at the entrance of the landfill after the landfill operator complained. Brown said he suggested that there were plenty of areas around the county for the police to ticket trucks.

Nice … 

As for Hutto – who at this point has to rank as one of the most ethically-bankrupt lawmakers in the history of the state (which is saying something) – he didn’t return calls from either newspaper.