Brenda Rindge of the P&C has some new details in her recent story about some of the candidates in the race for sheriff in Berkeley County. Rindge brings to light new details on some off the candidates we havenâ€™t previously covered. For example, we were not aware that petition candidate Derrick Burbage had been indicted in 2000 for shooting a fleeing suspect. We took the time toÂ look up the criminal history of that suspect, Julius Cuttino. Given his penchant back then for carrying guns and assaulting cops we canâ€™t say we disagree with Burbageâ€™s decision to pull the trigger. In fact, we would love to see the video, if there is one. News articles from the time indicated Burbage was dragged 500 feet down the interstate before he shot Cuttino three times. Sounds like a good enough reason to us to blast someone.
Omar Brown, a CPD officer, was running for Mayor of Charleston back in 2007 when he got into a shootout with a known hoodrat thug by the name of Antonio Rivers. Apparently Rivers took exception to Brown retrieving his purchases from the counter of a convenience store on Dorchester Road. Rivers went to his car, retrieved a handgun and approached Brown from behind. Brown noticed Rivers approaching with a gun in his hand and a shootout ensued. Brown was hit in the thigh, Rivers was hit multiple times, but survived. He is currently in prison after being sentenced to 12 years on a charge of Assault & Battery With Intent to Kill. Rivers is due to be released in 2018. Brown was cleared by 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson. After watching the video, we canâ€™t see how anyone would have any heartburn with that.
What we do have heartburn with is the litany of other charges against Antonio Jerome Rivers which were dismissed by Scarlett Wilson. That, however, is fodder for a separate article.
As we have pointed out several times in the past, there seems to be a ton of candidates with ties to BCSO claiming, “I was cleared”. Unfortunately for them, not all of them are telling the whole truth. Remember those recent allegations involving members of BCSO planting evidence in order to keep a witness to the murder of a police officer quiet for some unknown reason? The same allegation reported on in depth by Andrew Knapp of the P&C? It seems a citizen tried to get documentation from SLED on that investigation and was promptly told, “I am advised that the matter you reference is part of an ongoing investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The citizen was advised to contact the FBI. We all know how fruitless that would be.
It would appear those claims of being cleared may be a bit premature. Unless and until that investigation is finalized no one involved can safely make that claim. Even Scarlett Wilson, who allegedly demanded that witness take three polygraphs while making threats to levy charges if the witness failed, has publicly indicated the investigation is ongoing and she has been participating in it. How great is it that someone who is alleged to be part of the problem can participate in the investigation of the problem.
Wilson seems to have taken exception to us reporting her alleged participation in that intimidation. Keep that in mind as we remind you of the fact Wilson also apparently rolled over and gave up on the investigation into a statement given by a Hanahan police officer which conflicted with the police report he wrote after he chased and stopped the former Berkeley County sheriff the night he was out driving drunk. Once it was determined a fellow lawyer was instrumental in obtaining and delivering that statement, and that lawyer was also a personal friend and confidant of Wayne DeWitt, the investigation was promptly closed with no further action taken. That happens a lot with SLED investigations into BCSO.
Rindge goes into the family history of two of the candidates with BCSO. We were in stitches after reading this pull quote:
“Candidate Dan Isgett also is a son of a former sheriff, the late Ray Isgett, who served from 1990-1994, between M.C. Cannon and DeWitt. Isgett is the only one of the last four sheriffs in the county who was not indicted.”
Three of the last four sheriffs indicted.
Rindge takes note of the fact that many in the county are fed up and have serious questions about those candidates with ties to an agency which has such a reputation for corrupt administrations it has become a running joke. She rightfully notes that Berkeley County is on the cusp of transitioning to the possible position of an industrial powerhouse and growth has been building and will increase dramatically in the coming years. In order to make that transition the county needs to move beyond the Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane model of law enforcement. There are a lot of decent deputies working there, but they are reigned in and dragged down by those running the show.
We do have to take exception to the comments of Brian Adams, however. He probably should read the blog, as should any of the few decent candidates hoping to get elected as sheriff and put their reputation on the line. They need to know what they are facing. Apparently our articles on the issues at BCSO have caused Adams a bit of a problem or two with his candidacy and his current boss. We hate to hear that, but we canâ€™t and wonâ€™t apologize for it.
You see, the information we report about BCSO comes from those within BCSO who know it is time for a change, desperately want that change and are willing to provide the necessary information in an effort to make it happen. Unfortunately, the issues are so systemic and the culture there is so ingrained in some at BCSO any change will take a long, long time and whoever is elected sheriff will have to deal with more and more of those issues when they finally see the light of day.
And finally, to Brenda Rindge, who refers to our articles as “screeds”, or, as the definition reads - a piece of writing typically regarded as tedious. Have you spent much time actually reading the woefully lacking “news”paper you work for, Brenda? If the folks there would actually engage in some true journalism and provide all pertinent facts of a story the citizens of the Lowcountry probably wouldnâ€™t feel the need to visit our site millions of times a year. We know it hurts your feelings when citizens put up links to our informative articles on your social media feeds. Donâ€™t get mad, get better.