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Gaston Ring Update

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LATEST ON BREACH OF TRUST TRIAL

Since we last updated our readers on the status of the “Gaston Ring,” one of its principal participants has pleaded guilty to felony breach of trust charges.

Larry Sharpe, 65, the former mayor of Gaston, S.C., is the third town official to plead guilty in this embezzlement case – following in the footsteps of former town administrator Jennifer Poole and her daughter, former town traffic clerk Jessica Poole.

And get this … Sharpe apparently suffered a heart attack during his plea hearing, as the strain of accepting responsibility for his indiscretions was apparently too much for him to bear.

All three convicted felons face up to ten years in prison for stealing money from Gaston taxpayers – a scam that was uncovered five years ago but not prosecuted until last month.

Hmmmm …

In addition to suspicions stemming from this delay, there are also plenty of other loose ends that need to be tied up.  For example what (if any) role did local county council representative Jim Kinard – who was the town’s banker during the scandal – play in the shenanigans?  We know he was recently passed over for a magistrate’s position, but did the fallout from the “Gaston Ring” sink his candidacy?

Kinard is currently facing a stern challenge for his seat from political newcomer Megan Hutto, one of Sic Willie’s favorite up-and-comers.

Liber-TEA – our founding editor’s political group – has decided to get involved in an effort to educate voters about the corruption going on in this corner of Lexington County.

In fact here’s our mail piece …

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