COMPTROLLER GENERAL’S SON SEEKS “PRE-TRIAL INTERVENTION”
By FITSNEWS || S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom‘s son wants a recent criminal domestic violence (CDV) arrest expunged from his record – and is reportedly seeking access to a pre-trial intervention (PTI) program in an effort to make the charge disappear.
Victim advocates familiar with the case tell us Brad Eckstrom – who was accused of assaulting his pregnant ex-fiancee earlier this month – is applying for such a program in order to avoid a conviction and clear the charge from his permanent record.
We’re also the PTI option is being pushed by Eckstrom’s father – who despite his incompetence in office and disastrous personal life is nonetheless a shoo-in to win another term as the state’s top accountant this November.
Anyway, PTI is a program which endeavors to keep first-time, non-violent offenders from clogging up the state’s court dockets – although it hasn’t always been available to alleged CDV perpetrators (given that the “V” in CDV stands for violence).
Also of interest? The program is not uniformly administered across the state’s sixteen judicial circuits – which strikes us as a serious equal protection issue.
“It’s a mess,” one defense attorney familiar with the system told us. “Depending on the jurisdiction there’s either no PTI or PTI based on this, that or the other – a judge, a victim, a prosecutor signing onto it. And yeah your odds of getting it – especially on a CDV charge – go up depending on who you know.”
Who you know …
Sounds like a formula for good old fashioned South Carolina corruption if you ask us …
Brad Eckstrom allegedly punched, kicked and grabbed his 29-year-old former fiancee Blair Pettrey by the hair, dragging her across his mother’s home during the October 10 incident. Pettrey – who suffered multiple bruises – was nine weeks pregnant with Brad Eckstrom’s child at the time of the alleged assault.
We’ve yet to get any direct comment from either side of the drama, but sources familiar with the complaint say the dust-up originated with Kelly Payne – a 2010 “Republican” candidate for S.C. Superintendent of Education who has been Richard Eckstrom’s on-again, off-again lover for the last four years (pre-dating his ex-wife, Peggy Eckstrom, who divorced him in 2011).
“She broke up the wedding basically,” a source said of Payne’s intervention in the scheduled October 4 wedding between Pettrey and Brad Eckstrom.
Drama in the Eckstrom family is nothing new.
The star-crossed affair between Richard Eckstrom and Kelly Payne has produced courtroom battles, police reports, allegations of sexually transmitted diseases, wedding rings for sale on Craigslist as well as campaign finance abuse charges related to Eckstrom paying for Payne’s travel to the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Frankly we think the elder Eckstrom should be in a psych ward – not a statewide office. But then again no one ever lost a race by overestimating the intelligence of the South Carolina electorate.
As for the Comptroller’s 38-year-old son, the jury is still out on him. Well … assuming a jury ever hears his case.
Which leads us to our point: There should be only one standard for prosecuting (or not prosecuting) CDV cases in the Palmetto State. In other words the law in one county should be the law in every other county – with the same standards applied evenly. Anything short of such uniformity – whatever the standard is – represents a violation of equal protection.