Gaston Ring Update

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…


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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BigT November 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

If Kinard is not prosecuted…will FITS forfeit his website boss-manship???

Finding corruption is one thing…but Slinging baseless FILTH based on politicians who are buying you, is DISGUSTING…

It is a time when we should all push for Stronger Libel lawas for POS like FITS…

If you cannot prove it, you should have your sorry #$$ jailed…It’s what you deserve…

Rob Blake November 3, 2012 at 6:11 am

I worked with Jim Kinard and he is no crook. He is very quiet and unassuming and one of the few who don’t rant and scream and be shrill, unlike a certain lady wannabe, and in my opinion has done a good job representing our district on county council. It’s always easy to slam the quiet guys. Shame on FITS for stooping to a new low.

Badger November 3, 2012 at 8:10 am

At lonnnnnnnnnng last I agree with T except FITS is not a POS. This piece and the Liber-tea flyer appear to be a “purchased” piece to support Inexperienced Hutto the Horrible. No reason not to re elect Jim Kinard for council.

BigT November 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Sorry Badger. Should not have called FITS that name, if it’s true or if it is not.

It just infuritaes me to see the same ol’ good ol’ boy “Insider” Columbia political-prostitutes Attacking people, w/ no facts…

It’s wrong and it clouds the water, so you cannot focus on the REAL crooks…

There REALLY needs to be laws against people like FITS accusing an innocent person (according to the law) of criminal activity, unless he can prove it…

FITS is far more Guilty than half the people he accuses…and if you are a supporter of Justice, you should want him Prosecuted for it…

Don’t wish bad on anyone, but I think it will be a service to us all when it catches up w/ FITS and the dark element he serves (and it will, at some point)…

Badger November 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Fully agree T. Slandering people with no evidence is low,

Groundball November 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

They should all have their sentences commuted for time served ….. in Gaston!!

Falconair Pilot November 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Megan Hutto’s people seem to have recruited Sic Willie to sling mud at a guy who doesnt deserve it. This is just a Hutto ploy. Her true character is coming out with this and other personal attacks on Kinard. We always knew she is just a bitch fronted by Daddy’s money. I know Megan Hutto and she ain’t no fiscal conservative and she ain’t interested in anything other than being sure Huttos can build those ugly ass, low quality, eyesore retail centers all over the county. Learned long ago not to trust her.

Tim Davis November 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm

She’s a bitch? That right there tells me you don’t know her. Eyesore shopping centers? Give us some examples, and best of luck to you dad/uncle/brother/drinking buddy Jim(whichever he is, all I’m certain of is that you’re associated with Kinard.

And kudos for having the courage to post anonymously and not use your real name.

Linda Fitzpatrick November 4, 2012 at 3:08 am

Reading FITS News at work tonight and saw the comments about Ms. Hutto and I for one will use my name. I was considering voting for her until I saw the Libertea flyer which to me is a slander piece that serves no purpose other than to promote Ms. Hutto’s campaign? Just being a banker in a small town doesn’t mean Mr. Kinard knows the use of his customers money anymore than the car dealer knows how I am using the vehicle I recently purchased. I can’t now vote for someone who pays the blog media to slander people to assist a political campaign. We have enough people in our elective offices who resort to this type of activity and adding Ms. Hutto to the pile makes no sense in my opinion. I’ll be voting for Mr. Kinard now. Thank you.

Big Ben November 4, 2012 at 5:44 am

Example of a big POS ugly ass Hutto commercial site is the Hutto Plaza on US 1 in Lexington. The Anchor tenant is a BINGO parlor. Hutto (Daddy’s money) has had consignment shops, thrift shops, massage parlors and other low end operations in there and they didn’t work out. This place is not only ugly it attracts a seedy clientele which is why previous restaurants didn’t make it there either, including Hutto’s own place. Hutto is just Gaston and Pelions version of Stambolitis…elect her and she’ll create loopholes to put up this ugly shit and we’ll have bingo parlors, pawn shops, everywhere. What I want to know is who the architect was that “designed” these awful places?

Tammy November 3, 2012 at 6:02 am

Kinard is better choice. No evidence whatsoever that he has done anything with the so called Gaston Ring. If Hutto wants to start slinging mud then let’s air it here starting with real estate deals. She’s admittedly running to benefit her own business and that of her family. Oh yes, agree with Falconair that the Hutto construction is butt ugly. Their place in Lexington “Hutto Plaza” is a real eyesore attracting only lower end retail, consignment shops and a number of restaurants that can’t make it because the place sucks. We want more of this low end crap in Lexington?

Pelion Peanut November 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

Jim Kinard has served us with distinction and honor. No use changing a known member of council with an unknown who talks only about wanting to help people. That’s admirable but Jim helps people and everyone running for office all say they want to help people. With Jim Kinard we have a record of service to point to.

LMSAILOR November 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

Using FITS logic, if the two Poole crooks and Sharpe bought groceries at Publix then it would be “grocer to the town.” or getting gas in a police car at Hess makes Hess “gas provider to the town.” This is all about using FITS to smear Jim Kinard so there is no trace to Megan Hutto. I and hopefully others see through this and sorry, Megan, we don’t need more mudslingers so I’m voting Jim Kinard for Lexington Council.

BigT November 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Well said…

Lexcocat November 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Jim Kinard is a good guy and he is always going out of his way to help his constituents. If he was involved in any way with the embezzlement, I would be shocked. You’re backing the wrong candidate this time, FITS. And Hutto Plaza is a shithole eyesore.

wildcat November 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Hutto Plaza should be torn down. Nothing but meeting place for drug dealers and prostitute activity and you get accosted by panhandlers in the parking lot. Housing the only Bingo hall in Lex says it all. Yes it’s a real POS. I

BigT November 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

It’s a bit sickening that FITS would latch onto a candiate based on her physical appeaeance…and even more disturbing that SHE accepts support on that level…

It’s Obama-esque…

Sam in Swansea November 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Doing comparison, Hutto’s mailers and the LiberTea flyer appear to have been produced by the same person. Goes to show Hutto is desperate and relying on consultants and FITS to hide her from being associated with this despicable character assassination. I didn’t care which one of them won but now I do and am voting to re elect Kinard.

Sir Drinkalot November 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Kinard in a landslide. He’s quiet and unassuming but he’s no crook. Grow up Megan.

Donaldt November 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

What about the Lexington Ring? Any update? Agree with all the above–Kinard is THE choice for county council, particularly if goofball Duncan gets elected in District 5 and one of those idiots running in District 3 get elected. It could be a nightmare scenario!

BigT November 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Sam: I think you bring a PROFOUND point to the dynamic…

A lof of Left-lean, Soft-core Moderate types, like FITS and Hutto, are trying to mask themselves as Conservatives…(even Tea-party…

They KNOW running as a democrat is a dead end, so they play the: “Republicans are the same as the democrats’ ploy…so that you go with them…

Notice FITS calls all Republcians RINOs..and he HATES Every one of them…yet he gets in bed w/ democrats over aand over…

Hutto will not come out and say it…but she is one of those pro-Tax, haters of Traditional values…They use fire and police as an excuse to Tax us more…

She (like FITS and Ron Paul) claim they have a new-age better way…but it’s just another form of Liberalism, that if they were honest about…they’d be Rejected w/o question…

As it is: The Moderate Lukewarms, like FITS, may get 5% of the vote on a good day…and it’s usually from the Nutjob sector…

TripleNet November 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Big T– You are spot on this time. I agree with you except I would suggest that there are exceptions where advocating for strong police and fire services can be done if costs are cut elsewhere and it’s not masked liberalism. I think FITS crawls in bed with anyone willing to pony up a few bucks and create a story impugning the character of good people to further a campaign. There’s no other logical reason why FITS would focus on this backwater race in Lexington between two nobodies. FITS missed the chance to jump in more meatier and hotly contested races in Lexington County such as the one for Smoky Davis seat or the Lexington One school district race where it is first time incumbents on the ballot since the corruption involving the River Bluff high school purchase, the traffic mess the school board created, the out of control spending and other irregularities.

Bill Cannon November 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Don’t get us started on the Lexington 1 corruption. Vote out Cindy Smith and Ed Harmon the incumbents, The shit mess they have made on Corley Mill Road is criminal. Back room deals, inside land deals, Beijing based contractors, 200,000 in lawyer fees to litigate with a parent and lose are appalling. Those board members need to be indicted or tossed out for breach of public trust. Disgusting. Vote for ANYBODY except Smith and Harmon!!!

Greg Paginini November 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

SLED should have been all over Lexington 1 years ago. Think traffic is bad now??? Lexington people you are in for a MESS come next summer when the new schools go on line. yikes!

Tammy November 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Cindy Smith and G. Edward Harmon need to both be voted out for incompetence and being either active or passive participants in the new high school mess and debacle (or corruption). The list of atrocities by these two slugs and their fellow board members is incredible. The entire Lexington 1 board that was involved with River Bluff needs to be booted and investigated. Their “recruits” Jean Haggard (related to board member Frank Shumpert) and Brent Powers are puppets of Cindy Smith and Harmon and need to be rejected.

Vote for new leadership in District 1!

The sensible choices— Janet Frazier, Hazel Porth Duell, Rutu Bohnsle, Ted Zee.

LMSAILOR November 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

What “idiots” in District 3 are you referring to? I don’t think Bobby Keisler has any problem with Duncan. Duncan’s just another Wilson familybot.

Donaldt November 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm

That Other Keisler, think his name is Anthony, and that Kent Collens person. Look like scum.

Camilla George November 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Jim Kinard has helped my family when we needed assistance with property issue. He is good man and has our vote. No need to change horses when this one’s not lame.

Dog Luvr November 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Why is Hutto any better than Kinard? For once the State Newspaper had it right. Keep Kinard.

MountainPenelope November 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

FITS and other TBaggers have only one goal and that is to stifle any and all government programs unless said program puts $$$ in their respective pockets.

Understand that and your blood pressure won’t spike.

Fortunately the majority of the populace recognizes and supports government programs that make the lives of citizens better.

BigT November 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Penelope: Hutto is a democrat, but won’t admit it. She is pro-tax, as if Lex-Co does not tax too much in the middle of an Obama Depression, anyway…

Kinard voted against the Tax Hike in Lex-Co at budget time…but Hutto called him out for it…

And FITS is in bed w/ Hutto…so what does that make him..and what does that make her???

Elaine November 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I know Hutto and wouldn’t consider her conservative. She and her family are social liberals but as far as their properties go they want as little tax as possible so they can raise rents and pocket more $$. Definitely a RINO.

Justice4All November 5, 2012 at 12:15 am

Looks like FITS isn’t as up to speed on all the corruption and cutting edge news after all. That Lexington school district no. 1situation is good case in point. With the school on Corley mill and the ones by Chilis all open in the fall Lexington is in for trafficageddon. Lexington already has worst traffic issues in the state and that bogus, stupid, idiotic construction of three schools feeding onto the same intersection is reason enough to vote out Cindy Smith and Ed Harmon. Maybe with the incumbents going down the real inside story will come out of that ultra secretive group.

jeffy01 November 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

So they should be indicted for…Heavy traffic in Lexington?

Booyah November 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Too bad the perps don’t ALL have heart attacks, though strokes would do.


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