Let the “haters” hate …
That would appear to be the reelection motto of embattled Florence County, South Carolina sheriff Kenney Boone.
The 52-year-old law man – who is at the center of a seemingly unlimited number of controversies – made it clear this week that he intends to run for a fifth term as sheriff.
A formal reelection announcement is not scheduled until next month, we are told, but Boone has already launched his campaign Facebook page – including a surprisingly substantive letter to constituents highlighting what he believes are his top accomplishments over the last sixteen years.
Of interest? Boone’s letter touted a program at the Florence County sheriff’s office that has drawn scrutiny from some of his peers in local government.
“The FCSO has also been in relentless pursuit of the criminal element which has resulted in numerous arrests of drug-traffickers who deal in everything from crystal-methamphetamine to crack cocaine,” Boone wrote. “We have been highly successful in seizing the assets of these dealers which we have used against them through the purchase of police vehicles used in narcotics interdiction operations, and to fund additional training efforts for our officers. Using seized assets in this fashion also allows us to be more effective without increasing the burden to the taxpayers of Florence County.”
Assuming it is done legally, anyway …
As we reported back in December, Boone has been accused of misappropriating monies from this fund – however as of this writing he has faced no disciplinary action from the county.
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Boone is facing four announced challengers (so far) in the 2020 election cycle, though. On the Democratic side, veteran law enforcement officer Jody Lynch – the 2016 Democratic nominee for sheriff – has said she is planning to run again. She will be challenged in next spring’s partisan primary elections by Frizell Moore (originally of Lake City, S.C.) and by Darrin Yarborough – a former Florence County deputy who until recently was employed as a deputy in neighboring Darlington County.
On the Republican side, Boone will face former state trooper and high school football coach T.J. Joye in next spring’s partisan primaries.
That battle is already heating up, with Joye facing criticism for his alleged proximity to a ticket-fixing scandal in Lee County, S.C. involving former sheriff E.J. Melvin, who was convicted in federal court in November 2010 on a host of drug conspiracy and racketeering charges.
Melvin is currently serving a 17-year sentence at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont, Texas.
No one has alleged that Joye was involved in any of Melvin’s drug-running and racketeering activities, but his willingness to fix a ticket for the former sheriff – one of his longtime friends – has raised eyebrows.
Stay tuned … we will continue to keep a close eye on this race in the coming weeks as Boone prepares to formally enter the fray (and as his challengers begin to face heightened levels of scrutiny related to their candidacies).
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