NOT YOUR GARDEN VARIETY CORRUPTION …
So the city of West Columbia, S.C. is in the news this week … and as you might imagine, it’s not for anything good.
The municipality – which we’ve always referred to as the “armpit of the Midlands” – is apparently dealing with some serious issues involving its mayor, Joe Owens. In fact a report prepared by a local attorney accuses the mayor of all sorts of public corruption – including threats, favoritism, obstruction of justice, waste of taxpayer resources, etc.
“On a routine basis Mayor Owens ordered or instigated, under threat of termination, the taking of certain actions, the procurement of certain equipment or services, or the hiring of certain employees in violation of ordinances, policies, and procedures and over the objection of the City Administrator or other department heads,” the report alleges. “When challenged as to any particular directive or activity, the Mayor routinely threatened to have the reluctant employee or staff member fired, often stating something along the lines of, ‘Remember, I have the votes,’ or, ‘If you don’t do it, I will have you fired.'”
And this is different from other local governments in South Carolina … how?
“This routine intimidation gave way to an atmosphere in which most employees refused to question the Mayor and simply did as they were told regardless of the law or the established policies,” the report continues.
Again … how is this any different from any other government in the Palmetto State?
Just wait …
Of particular interest in the document are allegations regarding the city’s former assistant police chief Matt Edwards – a law enforcement officer who was allegedly promoted within the department thanks to “interference” from Owens.
Edwards is accused of all the predictable stuff – fixing traffic tickets for council members, signing off on fraudulent time sheets and practicing favoritism among his employees. He’s also accused of asking job applicants discriminatory questions.
But he’s also been accused of some bizarre behavior …
“There were numerous officers who related an instance of former Major Edwards having had dogs unnecessarily shot,” the report states. “More than one officer indicated that Edwards ordered the shooting of 3 dogs on October 9, 2012. More than one of those officers indicated that the dogs were not threatening and one referred to them as ‘docile.’ Further, one of the officers indicated that Edwards ordered them to shoot the dogs in a firing squad manner as he raised his arm and lowered it while calling ‘Fire!'”
Edwards lost his job with the city earlier this year – but not before Owens went to the mat (quite graphically) on his behalf.
“You better have all the cards when you move because I will fight that till I am sh*tty as a bull,” Owens told the city’s police chief in reference to his decision to terminate Edwards. “We are going to find out who has the hairiest balls.”
Again … wow.
We don’t really care what happens in West Columbia because it is literally the definition of an eyesore, but this is what happens when you let ignorant rednecks vote for other ignorant rednecks – and then give them millions of dollars to play with.
You get wanna-be Heinrich Himmlers executing dogs by firing squad and wanna-be Adolf Hitler’s discussing whose balls are the hairiest.
To read the report for yourself, click the link below …