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Time of reckoning for inaccurate county records draws near
Column by the Editor
posted August 27, 2008
COLUMN – I have remained relatively quiet
on the near seven-minute tirade by Edgefield County Councilman Norman
Dorn at the monthly public meeting on July 1. During his near
seven-minute rant he called me a “liar” and a “crook” more than once
and is on record doing so, it is just not part of the “official
record”. I remained quiet because I wanted to allow the full Edgefield
County Council, Clerk to Council, and the Administrator ample time to
produce their version of the meeting, vote on it, and then publish
their “official record”. It was no surprise that the “official” record omits the entire
portion of the meeting containing the attack.
The current members of the county council have an inclination of doing
that when it suits their fancy. In July of 2006 Edgefield County
Probate Court Judge Bobby Peeler addressed the county council
concerning an “administrator” of his court’s computers disabling the
security features and allowed the entire computer system to be invaded
by thousands of viruses, spyware, and other malicious attacks. The
conflict, heated at times, ended with County Council Vice-chairman
Willie Bright confirming former County Administrator Wayne Adams was
the administrator of the court’s computers.
The matter took nearly two-thirds of the entire meeting, yet, in the
official records, it is listed as a single sentence stating Judge
Peeler addressed the council on a computer matter. Making the incident
more deceitful was that it was done just before Judge Peeler’s bid for
re-election in June. Adams resigned his position and took another job
the following month.
I expected nothing different when a sitting county councilman verbally
attacked a private citizen during a meeting. Why, that might look bad
so if we just say it never happened, it never happened.
Well, guess again my friends.
The personal attacks by Councilman Norman Dorn during the official
meetings are well documented. He has attacked everyone and anyone he
thinks did him wrong in his personal life under the auspice of official
county business by claiming “the floor” before launching into his
He has attacked the Chief Magistrate Davis Parkman because he lost a
case in his court. He has attacked the Town of Edgefield and Mayor Ken
Durham because he was sent a letter that was sent to many property
owners about the condition of property that was in violation of
ordinances. He even told Mayor Durham, who stood to address Dorn’s
concerns, to sit down that he did not want to hear from anyone – he had
But when Norman Dorn takes the floor to personally attack a taxpayer,
he crossed a line he cannot scurry back over and expect to hide behind
his delusion of grandeur as an all-powerful politician. In fact, this
time he roped the rest of the council and administration as he jumped
over that cliff.
However, true to form, the “good ole boys club” circled the wagons and
voted to approve minutes they indisputably knew were inaccurate and
lacking even though state law requires the minutes to accurately
reflect “all matters” discussed.
You have to remember, however, that the minutes of the meetings that
are presented to the county council to be voted on are transcribed by
Clerk to Council Barbara Stark under the guidance of the County
Administrator John Pettigrew - who in my opinion is better suited for
his previous job as a used car salesman rather than our county
The question comes down to who made the call to alter public records?
Did Clerk to Council Barbara Stark take it upon herself to
intentionally omit a portion of the official record on her own
volition? If she did she should be fired at once.
County Administrator John Pettigrew certainly has to preview the
minutes of the meetings before they are presented to be voted on by
council. Did he order the portion of the meeting be left out? If so, he
should be fired. Did he just pass the transcribed document on without
If so, then he is derelict in his duties and the omission would then
have to be that of Clerk to Council Barbara Stark. Not a pretty picture
for either one if you ask me.
Of course, we cannot leave out the boys club. Those five county leaders
who have allowed more shenanigans to course through the veins of this
county’s government for far too long. They ultimately voted to approve
official records they knew were inaccurate.
And let’s be honest here, it is not as if the majority of Edgefield
County was not aware of what took place at the July 1 meeting.
reported by EdgefieldDaily.com (audio made available),
the local papers, and has been the talk
on the street for two months. The only people the county council
members, County Administrator John Pettigrew, and Clerk to County
Council Barbara Stark were lying to by omitting the event were
I can assure you they will have a lot of explaining to do in the very
I can’t wait to hear their explanation.
original material is property of
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without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
JAM Straight Customs
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