UPSTATE LAWMAN USES GOVERNMENT RESOURCES TO CAMPAIGN
We’ve never been fans of Spartanburg, S.C. sheriff Chuck Wright. Whether it’s his office’s failure to go after the infamous “Upstate Peeper,” allegations of conspiracy in a civil case, or his annual adventures in rolling fascism – we’ve simply got no use for the guy.
He’s a thug, in our estimation … and if the rumors we’ve heard about him are anywhere close to the truth, then we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of his bad behavior. Wright has apparently heard the rumors, too. In fact he referenced them in a bizarre email sent this week from his taxpayer-funded address.
Wright – who is being challenged this year by one of his former corporals, Russell Lynch – sent an overtly campaign-related email entitled “Stay the course” to his sheriff’s office employees and to employees at the Spartanburg County detention center.
“I know you have seen the news or read the paper about another fellow who wants to be Sheriff,” Wright wrote. “My message to you is Stay the Course.”
“The main thing is you must know that I support you and will fight for you, stay safe, do not allow these events to make you lose sight of what we have asked you to do since day one, do your job, and stay safe,” Wright continued. “I will address you all when we have time to meet, I would as always ask for your prayers and support.”
Hold up … he’s asking his subordinates to support his political campaign? Using his government email?
That’s a clear “no-no,” although as we’ve seen repeatedly in this state campaign ethics laws are routinely broken – and rarely enforced.
Anyway, Wright’s message wrapped with an ominous reference to the upcoming political campaign – and an obligatory nod to religion (this is the socially conservative Upstate, after all).
“I can deal with whatever may come, but I can’t deal with any one of you getting distracted and getting hurt,” Wright concluded. “I do not like to communicate via the email, but until we can meet, please know that you are being prayed for and backed ALL the way.”
LOL … “the email.”
He also added a curious post script to his taxpayer-subsidized screed, telling his employees “Rumors are just that Rumors.”
“He’s getting scared,” a source who received Wright’s message told us, adding that his rival’s campaign “has dirt on him.”
Corruption among South Carolina sheriffs is obviously nothing new. Former Lexington County, S.C. sheriff James Metts is currently doing time in a federal prison on federal immigration violations – the latest in a rash of scandals involving local lawmen.
Among them? The infamous DUI arrest that led to the 2015 resignation of Berkeley County sheriff Wayne DeWitt. Previously, Williamsburg County sheriff Michael L. Johnson was busted filing fake police reports as part of a credit repair scam. Before that, Chesterfield County sheriff Sam Parker was indicted for his role in an inmate labor scandal. Parker was convicted and sentenced to prison – and his office’s bad behavior has since mushroomed into a much larger scandal.
In June 2012, Saluda County sheriff James Booth lost his job in another inmate labor scandal. In April 2012, Laurens County sheriff Ricky Chastain was busted using a squad car to drive his mistress to an abortion clinic so she could kill their illegitimate child.
Meanwhile in 2010, Lee County sheriff E.J. Melvin was busted participating in a narcotics ring – receiving “dues” from drug dealers in his county in exchange for providing them with his protection.
Gotta love the Palmetto State’s definition of “protecting and serving …”