South Carolina has a curious conception of justice, people. Its judges will set accused murderers free on bond, but turn around and lock nonviolent “offenders” up for months on end because they violated a gag order designed to protect an influential political family from public humiliation.
These same judges routinely seal family court files for the powerful and politically connected … while forcing the rest of us to wallow in the public shame of our dirty laundry.
Such is the institutional insipidness of South Carolina’s system of “justice” – an accumulating assemblage of ever-escalating travesties which eschews any conception of fairness. Our courts have established one set of rules for “We The Proles,” and another for “Them, The Connected.” Of course, there is a case in the Palmetto Upstate which capably demonstrates that – when you have upset the apple cart of carefully choreographed generational corruption – “justice” comes for you no matter how much money you have.
Especially if the attorney on the other side of the fight is a powerful lawyer-legislator … one constitutionally empowered to pick the judges who preside over their cases.
Upstate South Carolina real estate developer Ron Rallis is learning that lesson the hard way … or at least we think he’s learning it. Rallis may very well emerge from a Greenville prison cell early next month with a perspective similar to the one he gained the last time he was locked up …
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He is scheduled to be released on May 9, 2023.
That’s right. Three months.
Rallis is the estranged husband of Paula Dhier, a businesswoman/ socialite who is the alleged mistress of U.S. congressman William Timmons. Rallis and Dhier are embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their daughter, Sterling. Dhier is represented in that battle by Bruce Bannister, an attorney who has served in the S.C. General Assembly since 2005 – including a stint as majority leader.
Bannister is an ally of Timmons – whose family is an institution in the Greenville area. Timmons’ great-grandfather – William R. Timmons Sr. – built an empire in the Upstate beginning in the mid-1920s, focusing on the real estate, trucking, and insurance industries. The family – which helped establish and maintain Greenville’s civic and philanthropic communities – is reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Timmons, readers will recall, initiated his own sex scandal last spring via an unsolicited “prayers and privacy” statement issued to this news outlet responding to rumors of an extramarital affair with Dhier. As I have often reminded readers, this news outlet never asked Timmons for a statement – nor did we indicate we had any plans to publish a story on the allegations.
“I would have never covered this story had Timmons’ team not decided to plant a preemptive public statement about it with my news outlet,” I noted last August.
The congressman created the story with his statement …
Timmons’ subsequent angry response to the affair allegations – and obscene messages sent to Rallis by his family members – fueled a combustible conflagration as this saga gripped audiences in the socially conservative Upstate for weeks. The congressman also gave his estranged wife, Sarah Timmons, a valuable piece of property – apparently in exchange for her silence as it related to his alleged affair(s).
Driving the coverage of the Timmons affair? Rallis – who masterfully advanced the story in the mainstream media.
In late July of 2022, Rallis walked into a West End Greenville church he purchased – and previously painted pink – and gave this news outlet an exclusive interview regarding his starring role in the Timmons’ sex scandal. When the interview was over, he boarded his private jet and headed to the Hamptons … although he didn’t stay there long.
“I’m back in South Carolina full-force, brother,” Rallis told me last September. “I have too much to say that will help people for me to be scared of jail time.”
Clearly, he wasn’t scared …
Count on this news outlet to let our readers know the moment Rallis is released from jail. Also, we are digging into another troubling chapter of this soap opera involving Dhier – who has yet to speak publicly about her role in the scandal. Apparently, the socialite’s affair with Timmons wasn’t her only high-profile extracurricular entanglement.
Finally, we are told prior to his incarceration Rallis had begun a romantic relationship with one of his attorneys, Erika Baldwin of Slater-Marietta, S.C. This news outlet has reached out to Baldwin in the hopes of verifying that information, but did not immediately receive a response from her.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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