Haley suspended mayor who allegedly hired son

Catching up with e-mail (my inbox is down to 296!), I came across one from several days back, from one of a number of readers who remain puzzled as to why The State still hasn’t published Gina Smith’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t story about Nikki Haley’s daughter getting a job working for an agency she supervises.

I wonder about it myself. But that’s not what this post is about. What it’s about is something else I had missed, and which this reader was attempting to bring to my attention:

The Associated Press

NORWAY, S.C. — The mayor of the Orangeburg County town of Norway has been indicted on charges of misconduct in office and nepotism.

Gov. Nikki Haley has suspended Jim Preacher from office while the charges are pending.

The indictment says Preacher gave himself a raise without the approval of the town council and hired his son at the town’s water treatment department…

There was more to it than that, including a bizarre alleged interaction between the mayor and a state trooper. One senses that more than nepotism brought the mayor to this pass. But what struck me was the irony that the governor has suspended this guy who among other things is charged of providing his son with a job in a department that apparently is under his purview.

Yet, in the story that briefly appeared in the Rock Hill Herald before disappearing, we found this:

State law prohibits public officials from causing the employment of a family member to a position they supervise or manage, according to the State Elections Commission. However, Haley does not supervise the gift shop; she supervises the agency that operates it, making the teen’s summer job permissible, an attorney with the commission said.

Really? So we’re to suppose that the governor’s position had nothing to do with an agency that reports to her deciding to hire a 14-year-old child?

This is a strange little story. To quote Jubal Harshaw, “this has more aspects than a cat has hair.”

10 thoughts on “Haley suspended mayor who allegedly hired son

  1. Brad

    I got the Norway population number from Wikipedia. But Wikipedia did not answer THIS burning question, which it just occurred to me, for the first time ever, to wonder about:

    Do the South Carolinians who live in Norway call themselves “Norwegians”?

    Perhaps some of my readers could help me with that…

  2. Brad

    As it happens, The State did run THAT story about an official accused of causing a child to be hired. The AP story apparently originated with the Orangeburg Times and Democrat, and has run as far abroad as The San Francisco Chronicle. Really? What could possibly have interested anyone in Frisco about doings in the SC hamlet of Norway (population 389 in the 2000 census)?

  3. Joanne

    I repeat: Haley is a hypocrite.

    Actually if you haven’t seen the Youtube of the Honey Badger, watch it. I call her Haley-Badger because like the Honey Badger she doesn’t CARE!

  4. KP

    I’m one of the readers wondering what reason there could possibly be for The State to pull this story, because I can’t think of a single good one. Please let us know if you hear.

  5. Brad

    First, they didn’t “pull” it. It had not been scheduled to run yet. But since The State and the Rock Hill and Charlotte papers share a production system, there was a misunderstanding that led to the brief, and inadvertent, publication.

    As for a reason why it isn’t deemed ready — well, I’ve heard a reason, but a) I heard it off the record and b) it wasn’t a good reason anyway. (Basically, it’s a hole in the story that would be very easy to write around.)

    It’s really ridiculous. It seems that if there’s no other reason to publish, the editors would want to report on all the talk about why the story hasn’t run. The buzz about this story is something that is actually happening in this community that the paper covers. That would be irresponsible, of course, in a case in which none of the particulars can be confirmed. But that is not my understanding. As I understand it, The State has for some time had enough for a story of some kind — one very like the one that was accidentally published.

    But I could be wrong. It could be there were significant holes in that story that were not immediately apparent to me — such as a “fact” that appeared solid but wasn’t. I just don’t know…

  6. Brad

    That was a COMPLETELY different situation.

    Those emails came in anonymously, and no one ever responded to requests for information that might have corroborated them.

    They were considered completely incredible, right up until the day a phone call came in saying that our governor was on a plane from Argentina. (I have yet to talk to anyone who was close to Mark Sanford who believed for a moment that what those emails indicated could have been true.) When Gina checked out the lead and bingo, there he was getting off the plane, suddenly the emails were corroborated.

    Before that, the paper had nothing it could use.

  7. Brad

    That was a particularly weird situation. I didn’t learn until the whole thing broke — after I’d already left the paper — that the emails had come in to MY department while I was still there.

    It happened the week after Christmas, when I was off. They came in, and whoever had the duty passed the material on to the newsroom. We were so busy when I got back (it would have been the week before the new legislative session, and everything comes back to life that first week or two of January), that the one person who had passed them on never thought to mention them.

    You have to understand — a LOT of weird, unusable, material of doubtful provenance comes in to a newspaper. The person who got it did the right thing — passed it on to proper part of the newspaper, the department with the reporters.

    You can woulda shoulda coulda on that one all day, but no one thought the emails were real until that moment at the airport…

  8. Jeff Morrell

    I think my Dad, Grand folks and others would take umbrage at the remarks on Denmark and Norway. See the long ago post on North and Due West!

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