Florence County, South Carolina sheriff Kenney Boone – whose unhinged behavior has made all sorts of headlines in recent months – has drawn a challenger in his bid for a fifth term in office.
According to documents filed with the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) this week, former state trooper and high school football coach T.J. Joye has submitted paperwork and is now officially a candidate for the office Boone has held since 2004.
“He is a well known figure in the law enforcement community in Florence County and he will be a force to be reckoned with,” one of Joye’s supporters told us recently.
Joye will challenge Boone in the Republican primary in June of 2020. Given the purple tint of this county, we suspect at least one Democrat file for this seat as well.
Joye is a 32-year veteran of law enforcement, working for the Florence County sheriff’s office for four years prior to embarking on a 28-year career with the S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP). He is currently the head of security, director of athletics and head football coach for The Carolina Academy, a private school located in Lake City, S.C.
In addition to submitting his paperwork, Joye received his first contribution – a $950 check from local businessman (and former Boone supporter) Terry Grantham. We suspect Grantham won’t be the only one of Boone’s former backers to seek new leadership in the coming election, which could very well wind up being a referendum on Boone’s recent descent into madness.
Where to start with this sheriff …
(Click to view)
Back in August, this news outlet reported exclusively on threats made by Boone against county finance director Kevin Yokim.
“If I don’t get a call back I’m gonna send a deputy around your house or wherever you are to find your ass,” Bonne barked at Yokim on one voicemail message. “Call me now!”
After calling Yokim a “nerdy, unintelligent bastard,” Boone told the finance director “you ain’t seen hell yet.”
“I tell you what, you come to me (unintelligible) cause I’m gonna beat the -” Boone thundered. “Hell’s coming with me. If I was in Florence I would meet you personally.”
The office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson declined to press charges against Boone, who was allegedly upset at Yokim for questioning him over what appears to have been an attempt by Boone to vacation with his family on the taxpayer dime.
Boone’s response to the situation? Threatening those who criticized him …
“I assure you, and God is my witness, I will return the favor ten fold!!!” the recently baptized Boone wrote on his Facebook page.
Boone’s biggest drama involves his ongoing battle with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). That saga began this summer when the 52-year-old sheriff – who recently married his on-again, off-again girlfriend Anna Hovey Boone – claimed to have received death threats from his new wife’s ex-husband, Alex Curlington.
Curlington is married to a SLED agent, Genia Curlington, and Boone was livid at the agency for not firing her – and not immediately arresting her husband – in the aftermath of these alleged threats.
SLED was actually in the process of investigating the allegations when Boone called in deputies with the Richland County sheriff’s department to take their place. At that point, SLED stood down.
The conflict between Boone and SLED reached a fever pitch in October following a horrific shooting that left one Florence county deputy and city of Florence police officer dead (and five others wounded).
With an active shooter situation underway, Boone refused to allow a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team from SLED to assist in the law enforcement response. Not only that, Boone told SLED agents who were dispatched to gather evidence and conduct a forensic investigation in the aftermath of the shooting to leave the crime scene.
Once again, he called in Richland County deputies to assist … although shortly thereafter assets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and several other neighboring counties had to be summoned to assist with the sprawling crime scene. This news outlet criticized Boone in no uncertain terms for his reprehensible conduct following the shooting.
Boone has been a hot mess since returning from a stint in rehab for an alcohol addition last year. Beyond his treatment program for alcoholism – which may or may not have been completed – he was also reportedly hospitalized for some serious medical complications related to his alcoholism.
This news outlet is obviously not a fan of Boone’s, but that doesn’t mean we are going to reflexively endorse one of his opponents. As the upcoming campaign begins to unfold, we look forward to holding all of the candidates accountable as they start to make their respective cases to the citizens of Florence.
Clearly we believe new leadership is needed, but we also believe in vetting those who would seek to replace Boone.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? Please feel free to submit your own guest column or letter to the editor via-email HERE. Got a tip for us? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE. Want to support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.