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Embattled Florence Sheriff: “I Am Not Corrupt”

Kenney Boone opines on himself …

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Kenney Boone – the irascible sheriff of Florence County, South Carolina – is taking a page out of the late Richard Nixon’s book, telling his colleagues in law enforcement “I am not corrupt.”

Sound familiar?

On November 17, 1973, America’s 37th president stood before a group of newspaper editors in Orlando, Florida and made a similar pronouncement.

“People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook,” Nixon infamously said.  “Well, I’m not a crook.”

Boone issued his pronouncement in an email message sent to his fellow sheriffs.  The email was sent in response to legislation introduced by state senator Gerald Malloy that seeks to place the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in charge of investigating all officer-involved shootings in the Palmetto State.

SLED currently conducts such investigations in 44 out of 46 counties based on requests from local law enforcement (Florence and Richland being the only exceptions).  Prior to last year, Florence County also requested that SLED head up its officer-involved shooting investigations but Boone refused to allow the agency to assist in last fall’s deadly suburban ambush that left two law enforcement officers dead.

Why did he do that?  Um, drama.  Lots of personal drama.

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Anyway, with Boone increasingly under scrutiny – and facing a credible challenger in next year’s election – it seems the pressure is getting the better of him.

“I am not corrupt,” Boone wrote in his missive, which was obtained exclusively by WMBF TV (NBC – Myrtle Beach, S.C.).  “I strive hard to make the proper decisions for the citizens that elected me to make those decisions.  For someone to insinuate in a public hearing that is on video and readily accessible to our constituents that we are corrupt and/or incapable of making the proper decisions is a personal insult to me and it should be an affront to my fellow sheriffs.”

Boone cannot seem to stay out of the news … for all the wrong reasons.  Two weeks ago, he drew criticism for yanking his department’s Facebook page offline – a move we panned as being detrimental to community safety in Florence County.

“Communities rely on social media to connect with their local law enforcement agencies – and more importantly, to stay informed of relevant threats within their neighborhoods,” we noted.  “For a page like this to be taken offline because of an elected official’s inability to handle criticism is inexcusable.”

Stay tuned …

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