SC

Former Berkeley County Candidate Stands By Bribery Allegation

… USING LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS || By FITSNEWS || There’s been a lot of chatter on social media this week regarding our reporting on the 2015 special election for sheriff of Berkeley County (a race necessitated by this scandal). To be clear: We don’t live in Berkeley County.  We…

… USING LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS

|| By FITSNEWS || There’s been a lot of chatter on social media this week regarding our reporting on the 2015 special election for sheriff of Berkeley County (a race necessitated by this scandal).

To be clear: We don’t live in Berkeley County.  We did not – and do not – have a dog in the fight.  We’ve written precisely two stories: One in which a specific allegation was made by one of the candidates in the race, and a second story in which the initial allegation came under fire.

The nickel tour of this S.C. Lowcountry drama?  According to former candidate Jerry Merrithew, he was offered a bribe by the first-place finisher in the April primary for this office. That candidate – Brian Adams – denied the allegation, but the damage was done.

Adams lost to second-place finisher Duane Lewis in the “Republican” runoff election earlier this year.

Since then, Lewis has been exposed as having dubious academic credentials – prompting Adams to withdraw his support for his former rival as he faces Democrat Anthony Smalls on June 9.

“My campaign was built on honesty and integrity, which is what the voters of Berkeley County expect of their next Sheriff,” Adams said in a statement.  “Discovery of potential misrepresentation of his college degree and law enforcement service time on his filing affidavit has been revealed to me in the last few days. This has cast doubt on the legitimacy of Duane Lewis as a candidate for Berkeley County Sheriff that is why I am withdrawing my support.”

Supporters of Adams also claim Merrithew lied about the bribery allegation – and have offered us a counter-narrative.

“Merrithew and Brian met when Merrithew was considering the possibility of dropping out of the race due to financial difficulties,” one source told us.  “He wanted Brian to promise him a position if he did, and Brian refused.”

Interesting …

Of course the fact that we published both sides of the story doesn’t seem to have satisfied some of the locals.

“As a resident of Berkeley County, just wanted to express my extreme disappointment at publishing the accusations against Brian Adams prior to the local runoff election,” the resident wrote.  “Now the damage is done, and follow up reporting is showing that it’s not true, and that you should have never published such a story. I know you are a state level tabloid, but shame on you for meddling in this election.  Maybe in four years we can elect a qualified candidate without interference from FITS news.”

Ouch …

Our founding editor’s response?

“The candidate in question went ON THE RECORD with a specific allegation,” Will Folks wrote.  “In fact our website followed up to confirm that the candidate in question was indeed alleging what he said in his email to us – and that his allegation was to be considered on the record. HE CONFIRMED. We then offered the individual he accused the opportunity to respond to the allegation. Please tell me – in any of this – where my website was doing anything other than its job.”

In fact FITS followed up with Merrithew this week and asked if he was standing by the allegations he made during the GOP runoff election.

His response?

“Absolutely!!!!!!”

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s six exclamation marks.

***

Related posts

SC

Pastor John-Paul Miller’s Personality Test: Mining for Clues

Callie Lyons
SC

Follow-Up File: S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy

Will Folks
SC

S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy: Police Truck Kills Woman

Will Folks

4 comments

Buddy Miles May 21, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Overheard on video during apprehension of Sheriff DeWitt by Hanahan PD, “I bet this gets swept under the rug”.
Eight S.C. sheriffs in four years charged with crimes. (Those are just the ones that were caught) My favorite though is Al Cannon and the protection of his married bisexual boyfriend.

Reply
Bible Thumper May 21, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Three days before an election is not sufficient time to adequately challenge allegations of this sort. Lacking any physical evidence (recordings, emails etc.) or any corroborating evidence, fitness was very scummy to publish these unsubstantiated allegations right before the election.

This action to publish these allegations, however, was entirely consistent with fitsnews journalistic standards.

Reply
Limbaughsaphatkhunt May 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Corrupt police in S.C.? I simply don’t believe it.

Reply
Me May 24, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Why was proof not asked for from Mr Merrithew? I mean he sent you an email about these supposedly allegations and you ran the story. You then ran another story about it and now there is this one. What I haven’t seen is the proof. Do you not require any proof before a story runs? I mean I have seen Mr Merrithews wife state that he was going to take a polygraph test. Why not ask him for that, or I have a better one. Ask him for the email with this said proof. When you can provide this type of evidence then this might be a reliable news source.

Reply

Leave a Comment