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Hear no evil, see no evil

A Column by the Editor
web posted June 17, 2008

COLUMN – Edgefield County Administrator John Pettigrew said Monday afternoon that there would be no report forthcoming as a result of a county employee informing several other employees, including Clerk to the County Council Barbara Stark, that District 1 County Councilman Norman Dorn allegedly said that if he found out a county employee voted against him they would lose their Christmas bonus. Pettigrew said he has spoken with the employee and that, “(the employee) did not wish to pursue the matter.”

Administrator Pettigrew said that the employee “did not feel intimidated” and the talks with Clerk to Council Barbara Stark was “casual talk” and not intended as a complaint in an email to EdgefieldDaily.com Monday.

Asked Friday if it mattered whether the information was related to a county official in “casual conversation” or as a direct complaint change his responsibility to report the claim to higher ups, Mr. Pettigrew said he would have to wait until he spoke with the employee on Monday. According to his email on Monday there will be no further action.

So, the only thing that can be derived from this situation is that if a county employee mentions in “casual conversation” a claim of a possible crime that might have been committed; nothing will be reported to authorities.

Let’s see how this could play out.

Scene: County Administrator John Pettigrew is sitting at the counter eating his lunch when a county employee sits down next to him.

Mr. Pettigrew:  Hi Jimmy John.

Billy Bob: Hiya Mr. Pettigrew, I didn’t see you sittin’ there. And the name is Billy Bob. Guess I gotta be on my best behavior now. (Laughing nervously)

Pettigrew: No, no, no, no, no, as long as no one complains it’s okay.

Billy Bob: Really?

Pettigrew: That’s right, that’s right, that’s right, I’m down with the struggle of the county employee. Oh, and by the way, don’t listen to the reports that my raise when I was hired was equal to almost two year’s worth of the county employees Christmas bonuses.

Billy Bob: So it weren’t that much?

Pettigrew: No, it was, but like I said, don’t listen to them.

Billy Bob: Oh, OK…

Pettigrew: So, how’s things going out there in the county, everybody working well together? I want to tell you how proud I am of the job you guys do.

Billy Bob: Well, for the most part every thing is ok. But Billy Ray, he’s a real problem. But you already know about that.

Pettigrew: Well, I’ve heard some things. What do you know about it?

Billy Bob: Billy Ray, you know he be all caught up in that crack cocaine mess. He sells it while he’s at work and all. It’s just a real pain in the (rear end) if you know what I mean.

Pettigrew: He’s selling crack at work?

Billy Bob: Yeah.

Pettigrew: Do you want to file a complaint?

Billy Bob: No, I owe him too much money.

Pettigrew: Oh, okay. (Wiping his forehead) I thought there for a minute I might have to do some work. Well, you have a good day Bobby Joe.

Scene Two: Mr. Pettigrew at the next County Council meeting.

Chairman Kneece: So, John, how is everything in the county government?

Pettigrew: Just fine sir. Everybody is working well together and we have no complaints.

Councilman Kitchens: I think we should give Administrator Pettigrew another raise, this time at least 3%. All in favor?

Council: Yes.

And everything in Edgefield County is wonderful. The local paper reports on the major issue of “what we do with our trash”.


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