Last month, Patty Carson was elected to be the mayor of the town of North, South Carolina. Two weeks later, the town’s police chief resigned because of differences with the new mayor – and the rest of the force followed suit.Image credit: Screenshot/WTLX-TV
Mark Fallaw, who had led the force for 14 years, says that he tendered his resignation because Carson was starting to micromanage his department and that her new directives were “contrary to national standards.”
One police officer left the department prior to the election. Then another officer, a reserve officer, and a department clerk joined Fallaw in leaving their posts.Image credit: Screenshot/WTLX-TV
Fallaw told The Times and Democrat:
“It was clear when she took office she was going to hold the reins not only of the police department, but all the departments… I would describe her management style as dictator.”
Here is a list of the accusations that Fallaw has leveled against Carson:
- The police department was not permitted to spend any money from its budget on anything other than gasoline and tires for the patrol vehicles.
- The department was forbidden to enter into mutual-aid agreements with other area law enforcement agencies.
- The mayor demanded that she approve all email and other correspondence from the police department before it went out.
- The mayor assumed control over scheduling police staff vacations and other personnel matters, and the police chief was no longer responsible for administrative tasks.
- The department was ordered to begin issuing about three or four times as many tickets in order to meet a quota (which Fallaw told her violated state law).
- Even though Fallaw gave her two weeks’ notice, the mayor told him to clean out his office three days after he submitted his resignation letter.
- The mayor booted the police sergeant out of his office so that she could occupy it herself.
- The mayor has not provided the officers with their final paychecks, even though she signed off on documentation indicating that all town property had been returned by the employees.
Carson has reportedly refused to comment, claiming that she “won’t discuss personnel issues in a public forum.”Image credit: Screenshot/WTLX-TV
Until North hires more police, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department will take calls from the residents of the 754-person town. Fallaw says that might prove difficult, as there are higher-paying jobs in police departments around the town.
Carson only received 100 votes for mayor out of 180 votes cast.