SC

Report Detailing Arrest Of Henry McMaster’s Top Staffer Released

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S CHIEF OF STAFF WAS TRAVELING “SOUTHBOUND … IN THE NORTHBOUND LANE” || By FITSNEWS || Newly elected S.C. lieutenant governor Henry McMaster‘s chief of staff Mark Plowden was pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) early Saturday morning after police officers observed his Toyota 4-Runner traveling “southbound…

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR’S CHIEF OF STAFF WAS TRAVELING “SOUTHBOUND … IN THE NORTHBOUND LANE”

|| By FITSNEWS || Newly elected S.C. lieutenant governor Henry McMaster‘s chief of staff Mark Plowden was pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) early Saturday morning after police officers observed his Toyota 4-Runner traveling “southbound … in the northbound lane” on a downtown Columbia, S.C. street.

Ruh-roh … although at some point we suppose that happens to the best of us.

At least that’s the narrative of the arrest outlined in an incident report provided to FITS by the Columbia, S.C. police department.

News of Plowden’s arrest was first reported over the weekend – but the incident report detailing what happened wasn’t released until this week due to the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

That’s obviously a bummer for Plowden … who now has to deal with a second round of news coverage related to his arrest.

Oh well … if they spell your name right, right?  Right? 

Anyway, after police say they detected a “moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Plowden’s breath and person,” the veteran political operative was asked to exit his vehicle.  He did so, although he declined (as is his right) to be subjected to a field sobriety test.

Plowden also declined, as is his right, to submit to a breathalyzer examination upon his arrival at a local detention center.

Police said Plowden – who has a concealed weapons permit – had a loaded Ruger LC9 pistol in a holster in the center console of his vehicle at the time of his arrest.

In one section of the document (below), officers report Plowden “stated that he had a loaded pistol in the vehicle.”  However in another section of the report it states “at no time during the traffic stop up till Plowden was arrest(ed) did he identify himself as a concealed weapons permit holder nor did he state that he had a loaded firearm in the vehicle.”

We’ll let you know if we get any clarification on that subject …

Without elaborating, sources close to Plowden say he’s had a “rough go of it” lately and urged us not to blow his arrest “out of proportion.”

MARK PLOWDEN INCIDENT REPORT (.pdf)

***

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68 comments

GrandTango February 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Kinda funny…FITS and McMaster are from the same moderate-establishment McCain-Sanford wing of the GOP.

But McMaster threw in w/ Haley, after Sanford turned on her…so I’m guessing it’s why FITS is so viscous toward McMaster, his captains and his crew….

Any one else have any info to add, to help enlighten us about the relationship???

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You First February 2, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Funny, tell us what Flip’s favorite color is…

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Smirks February 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Drunk driver defender.

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GrandTango February 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm

No insight whatsoever. Just ignorance, and stupidity……not surprised…

Why do y’all bother….??? (:

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Try To Keep Up February 3, 2015 at 10:08 am

Mad much?

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Try To Keep Up February 3, 2015 at 10:08 am

Drunk driving defender slippery slope much?

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mamatiger92 February 3, 2015 at 8:28 am

Being viscous towards anyone is a bad idea. Things could get sticky.

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Rocky February 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Not bad. Drunk, armed and cruising the streets of Columba, Makes you wonder – don’t it?

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on the way to orlando February 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm

maybe he was headed to gang-points and needed the weapon….
of course if he’d just crashed into someone while driving with his lights off, there’d be no charges at all… even if the girl died

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Rappin' Rocky February 2, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Drivin’ dirty, don’t know I’m driving dirty…..

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Rakkasan February 2, 2015 at 5:39 pm

A true SC patriot. FREEDOM!!!

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Smirks February 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Ruh-roh … although at some point we suppose that happens to the best of us.

If drunk drivers are “the best of us” I’d hate to see what the worst of us would be doing.

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James February 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

If I lived in SC, I’d probably be drunk all the time too.

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9" February 2, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Come on down! Sounds like you’re bored,wherever you are.Can I call you,Jimmy Bob?

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nitrat February 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm

They tell you at your local DAODAS class to keep your license, that a sign of having a serious alcohol problem is that it has caused you problems with law enforcement.
People who get DUIs generally have serious alcohol problems.

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9" February 2, 2015 at 6:25 pm

You don’t have to be drunk to get a DUI.There are plenty of bad cops out there who’ll bust you because you were in the wrong bar…

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Matt February 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Mark is a reasonable guy. Has served the state well. He has made a mistake and will have to pay for it. I know it is easy to hurl insults like a 3rd grader, but “let those without sin cast the first stone.”
The price he will pay is great. Instead of being childish we should think “there, but for the grace of God, goes me.”
We have all done foolish things in our life. Speeding, loaded guns without the safety on, etc. Perhaps we can learn from this.

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God's Perfect Lamb February 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

“but “let those without sin cast the first stone.”

That’s why Smirks is here.

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Smirks February 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

The trick is to step outside of your glass house before throwing the rock.

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God's Perfect Lamb February 2, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Never ever drove when you thought you might have had one too many? Not even once?

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ChiefJusticeToal February 2, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Nope.

God's Perfect Lamb February 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

lol…not you!

Seriously though, I don’t know of many people that haven’t once in their life(usually very young) gotten in their car and drove home after a party thinking they probably shouldn’t have.

You might say, “It’s the crowed you run with.”-but I don’t think so..

Mom February 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm

It’s irrelevant that many pp have driven drunk in their lives. Just as it is irrelevant that many pp cheat on their taxes. You get caught, you get punished.

Hello February 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm

It is as if you are saying that all crimes have an “oops” clause and should be forgiven and everyone looks away. It is funny because Mark didn’t afford that clause to anyone while he was at the AG office with asshole. Matter-of-fact he said everyone charged with a crime is guilty.

Smirks February 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I haven’t, no. I’m not much of a drinker. That, and I was almost killed by a drunk driver, so yeah, there’s that.

God's Perfect Lamb February 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Hmmmm, well then…throw away.

Have You Hugged Jose', Today? February 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm

More than 5.46 million foreign nationals have received work permits from the federal government since 2009, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Data uncovered from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency reveal that approximately 982,000 work permits were given to illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals unqualified for admission……

Self Respecting Woman February 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm

He was far past the point of having one too many. For God’s sake, he was driving down the opposite lane on a road very familiar to him.

Self Respecting Woman February 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm

@ Pastor Matt – Reasonable guys know better than to drive drunk! Mark Plowden broke the law in a very big way, not just speeding or having a loaded gun without the safety on. Drunk Drivers kill people! And he’s old enough to know better. This cannot be deemed a “youthful indiscretion”. Your quoting Scripture is repulsive at best. If judges and juries went by the motto “let those without sin cast the first stone,” then all criminals/drunk drivers would be forgiven and not punished. Mark Plowden is a public servant and chose to work in a job that puts him in the spotlight. His reputation will suffer, he will be likely be found guilty and be punished and possibly lose his job.

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timmy February 3, 2015 at 5:33 am

Perhaps the pastor should reserve judgement till we see the dash cam video

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GrandTango February 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm

There might go YOU…Dumb@$$…but not me…

I would know better – at 38-years-old- to endanger my 100K-a-year job as a political lackey…

The problem is: You idiots milk us dry w/ severely character-challenged made men…while we MUST walk a straight line…because our family depends on us to be responsible…

You’re playing w/ money you STEAL from the people…and Demand forgiveness…when you have none for us who actually toil…to pay your salary… while you play around…

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Have You Hugged Jose', Today? February 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm

More than 5.46 million foreign nationals have received work permits from the federal government since 2009, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Data uncovered from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency reveal that approximately 982,000 work permits were given to illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals unqualified for admission ////////////

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GrandTango February 2, 2015 at 7:48 pm

The highest court in the land lets Obama do anything he wants. The people allow it. Not sure that I can do anything but keep doing what I’m doing.

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Saluda Rapids February 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm

And what is that? Posting on someone else’s blog b/c yours failed miserably?

Rakkasan February 3, 2015 at 8:29 am

The highest court in the land gave us GWB who gave us 2 unfunded BS wars, unfunded Medicare Part D (including the giveaway to Big Pharma on no govt discounts on drug purchases), and unsustainable tax cuts to help the wealthy.

Trending News Now February 2, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Obama Criminally Opens Border for Flood of Illegals — Graham and McCain condone. White House sets up shadow amnesty program illegally. Will Folks supports amnesty. Millions of Americans calling for violent attacks on members of Congress for not impeaching Obama.

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Mom February 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm

“Perhaps we can learn from this.”
Learn what; that drunk driving is bad; that you can quote scripture; that he made a little mistake?

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Mom February 2, 2015 at 5:44 pm

@Matt – what if this no good drunk had killed your grandmother? A no good drunk DID kill my grandmother.

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nitrat February 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

No, he will not have to pay more than anyone who has been arrested for DUI since they ‘toughened’ up the law.

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Latest News Across the Net February 2, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Obama Criminally Opens Border for Flood of Illegals — Graham and McCain condone. Millions of Americans calling for violent attacks on members of Congress for not impeaching Obama.
White House sets up shadow amnesty program illegally

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Drunks Drivers Kill People February 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Mistake? MISTAKE????? …. SHEESHUS, DUDE!!! This was NO FUCKING MISTAKE, you Moron!!!! Drinking and Driving is NOT A MISTAKE.
HANG THE SOB. You better be glad he did not KILL ANYONE while DUI, like a 5 year old little girl or something. It is people like you that need to taken out back and horsewhipped.

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Toyota Kawski February 3, 2015 at 8:09 am

“It is people like you that need to taken out back and horsewhipped”.
can we get the same treatment for our Charleston friends who voted for Sanford this last round?

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Krazy Kat February 2, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Maybe he had a diabetic seizure.
Maybe he had a pebble in his shoe.
I’m sure he has a good explanation for driving down the wrong side of the street, dead drunk, with a loaded pistol by his side. Hell, most of us do that every night. Who can judge??

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Mirror February 3, 2015 at 8:17 am

Mark Plowden is the lap dog of (the arrogant) Henry McMasters and has conveyed Henry’s arrogant words for him for years against individuals in our community. These individuals who have gone through the system of being tried in the media, because this is Henry’s venue. Mark has always taken to the media to intimidate and ensure people are put on trail in the media. His position is , they are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Well Mark I could care less if your friends come out to support you and say you have have had a rough go at it. Suck it up you drunk and i’m glad you didn’t kill someone to prove a point to society about what a waste you really are behind the cloak of McMasters. I’ll just take your position as you always have, Your Guilty

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TyroneMamaCollards February 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

no one learns anything from this. if we did, we would have no repeat events. his insurance is going wayyyyyyyyyyy up.

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Hello February 3, 2015 at 8:35 am

MADD is coming for you Mark

South Carolina Worst in the Nation for Drunk DrivingJanuary 7, 2015

2013 fatality DATA reveals 44% of South Carolina traffic deaths related to drunk driving

COLUMBIA, SC – Recently, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) South Carolina learned that South Carolina had 335 drunk driving deaths in 2013 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While this represents 13 fewer drunk driving deaths than 2012, the state rose to number one in the rankings due to 44% of all state traffic deaths being caused by drunk driving. The national average is 31%.

“Improvements aren’t being made fast enough, and it’s a shame that we lead the nation in such devastating circumstances,” said MADD South Carolina PROGRAM Director Steven Burritt. “It forces us to ask ourselves as a state once again whether we’re doing everything we know we should to drive these numbers down. We know the answer is that we’re not.”

MADD was hoping to see greater declines in drunk deaths for the state, considering that overall traffic deaths dropped 11% from 863 in 2012 to 767 to 2013. However, drunk driving deaths dropped by only 4%.

Nationally, drunk driving deaths once again topped 10,000 in 2013, though they dropped from 10,322 in 2012 to 10,076 in 2013.

MADD is several years into its Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which outlines steps to end drunk driving deaths. The Campaign calls for more high visibility law enforcement through sobriety checkpoints, all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device, and the development of advanced vehicle technology, like the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), which one day can eliminate drunk driving COMPLETELY.

South Carolina had a victory in its efforts to embrace the Campaign this year when Emma’s Law went into effect on Oct. 1. Emma’s Law expands the use of ignition interlock devices to first-time offenders with a high BAC, but that is not the full measure recommended by the Campaign.

“Emma’s Law is going to help with these numbers going forward, for sure,” said Burritt. “But we did not go as far as 24 states have done to require these devices for every DUI offender, so we can’t expect the kind of massive drops those states had. Also, Emma’s Law can only meet expectations if those who should be convicted of drunk driving actually are. We know this isn’t happening.”

In 2015, MADD South Carolina will be joining with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and others to attempt to make changes to the state’s law regarding videotaping of DUI arrests. Local ACCOUNTS indicate a rising trend of cases being thrown out over minor flaws in the videotape recording, sometimes for reasons out of officers’ control.

“When clearly impaired individuals are having their charges thrown out because someone stumbles out of the frame briefly or half a body part is cut off on the recording, we’re not keeping the public safe from drunk driving like we should,” said Burritt. “These are roadside dash cam recordings, usually at night. They are not travelling TV studios. We’ve got to bring back some sanity to this PROCESS.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is celebrating its 35th anniversary by creating a future of NO MORE VICTIMSTM. MADD is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every ten minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end drunk driving through increased law enforcement, all offender ignition interlock laws and advanced vehicle technology. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their teens about alcohol, using Power of Parents®’ proven approach to reduce underage drinking. Learn more by visiting MADD’s new website at madd.org or calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

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upstate February 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm

CWP holders in SC are not required to notify law enforcement that they are a CWP holder, or of the presence of a fire arm, unless their firearm is on their person, or in the vehicle in a place other than the console or glove box.

Non-CWP holders are likewise not legally required to notify of a legally stored firearm in the glove box or console. Granted, if you go busting open the glove box to get to your registration, and the gun is there, it would be in your best interest to disclose this fact prior to opening the compartment.

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Crooner February 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

I thought if you had a CWP they aren’t allowed to arrest you?

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Advocate for MADD February 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

This defendant must be receive the full punishment for his crime. He of all people, knows better than to drink and then get behind the wheel of a 3 ton automobile.

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Advocate for DAMM February 2, 2015 at 7:28 pm

You know what we are all sick and fucking tired of? Whiny ass bitches and fucking dumb ass mothers. Mothers against guns, Mothers against drugs, Mothers against other mothers. Turn in your voter registration take off your DAMM shoes and get back to raising your little crotch fruit, and demon spawn.

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Have You Hugged Jose, Today? February 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

More than 5.46 million foreign nationals have received work permits from the federal government since 2009, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Data uncovered from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency reveal that approximately 982,000 work permits were given to illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals unqualified for admission.

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Goddamn Dude... February 2, 2015 at 8:39 pm

I think we read it the first fucking time…

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Matt February 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm

This is Matt. I wrote the comment below that gained a bit of attention.
I retract nothing and I add the following.

I would rather have Plowden as a neighbor than you self righteous, foul mouthed, small minded tools. He has a life of success and will learn a lot from this. Most of you are toads.

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Self Respecting Woman February 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Plowden’s lucky to have you as his pastor. This is a wonderful opportunity to minister to him. Please, please don’t let it turn into a rationalization of his sinful and highly illegal crime.

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Uh huh February 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm

“rationalization of his sinful”

Ah yes, the 11th commandment, “Thou shall not drive drunk”

He’ll certainly burn.

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Self Respecting Woman February 3, 2015 at 12:33 pm

That was meant to have a sarcastic nature to it. Sorry you didn’t catch that.

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Uh huh February 3, 2015 at 5:12 pm

That was meant to have a sarcastic nature to it. Sorry you didn’t catch that.

Matt February 3, 2015 at 6:44 am

I am not his pastor. Neither am I a sanctimonious, holier than thou finger pointer.

DUI is a serious crime and he must be punished. Bitching from perfect souls such as youself is not helpful. In fact, it makes me want to drive a nail through your eye into your brain, and then pee in the hole.

See you at church.

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mamatiger92 February 3, 2015 at 8:52 am

We should all be “finger pointers” at drunk drivers.

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Tisk Tisk February 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

Sounds like you need a good fingering.

Self Respecting Woman February 3, 2015 at 9:22 am

Bitching and complaining about drunk driving are why there are now laws against drunk driving. Just a few decades ago, there were no drunk driving laws.
It is imperative that we make a big deal out of this incident b/c Plowden is a well-known govt official who should be held to a higher standard. According to The State newspaper, Plowden is out of jail and will be allowed to keep his job. So far, the consequences don’t look to bad.

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Self Respecting Woman February 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm

*too

Self Respecting Woman February 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm

“DUI is a serious crime and he must be punished.” I’m glad to hear you finally say that.

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mamatiger92 February 3, 2015 at 8:40 am

Let me get this straight, first you say that he made a mistake and should suffer the consequences, and then you complain because people are essentially making him suffer the consequences by condemning his actions?

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euwe max February 2, 2015 at 11:51 pm

You know those guys who walk around the streets of New York, disabled in one way or another… screaming at people as they pass… “PLEEEEEUUUSSSSSHHH”… with their hand out… looking up with one bug-eye… occasionally seeming to carry on a conversation with some voice in their head? “NO…. NO!… I CAN’T…. I CAN’T!.” … I think it’s Damned Tango on the other end of the line.

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WTF February 3, 2015 at 11:18 am

Hey, maybe our good Gov Haley will create a DUI task force to combat the growing problem of drunk drivers

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Slim Shady February 3, 2015 at 11:37 am

“Rough go of it lately.” I tried that line and the cops let me go. They are a very understanding group. Get better soon, Mark!

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nitrat February 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

If this guy had been a cop, he would have been summarily fired.
Would Henry have been forced to fire him when he was at the AG, i.e., law enforcement, office?
Is Plowden going to a swank in-patient treatment center like Thomas Ravenel after he got arrested – for all the good it did him – or, will he just sober up on his own?
There’s one set of rules for the state/county/local employees earning under $60,000 or so and another for those ‘earning’ over.
Keep voting Republican, idiot government employees and let them keep screwing you over.

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