The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Berkeley County truly is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to fraud and corruption. On Monday afternoon WCIV reported that Duane Lewis’ bachelor of science degree (or BS degree, as it were) in fire sciences from Western States University was a fraud.
As it turns out, the “university” was sued and shut down because it was nothing more than a diploma mill. Pay some money, get a degree. Western States was eventually sued out of existence. We even saw information indicating it is illegal in the state of Texas to claim a degree from the “university” on a job application or resume.
A quick Google search reveals quite a bit about the “school”. Here is a very interesting thread about the worthless degrees from 2002 with stories dating back to the late 1990’s, so those of you claiming Lewis might have “done it the right way 23 years ago” can see the “school” has been a fraud from day one. Here is an article from 1987.
A number of public service “professionals” ended up losing their jobs or incentive pay as a result of claiming these fraudulent degrees in the hiring and promotion process. Here is a story containing information about a firefighter who submitted his WSU masters degree to his employer just seven days after he submitted his bachelors degree. He must have studied day and night, huh? What dedication!
We find it interesting that Lewis and his folks made a big deal out of other candidates not having college degrees when in fact he really doesn’t have one, either. Not that a degree in fire sciences would have anything to do with law enforcement in the first place. When these facts were pointed out to the Berkeley County Republican Party on their Facebook page, Chairman Tim Callanan promptly decided to take his ball and go home. He closed the group to any Republicans not approved by him.
An “open forum” that is a closed group. Gotta love the irony in that. This is exactly what politicians do when they lose control of the narrative and their fraud becomes obvious. Nothing like stifling the free exchange of ideas and information among members of your own party, right Tim? You can go to their new “fan page“, but there hasn’t been a post put up there in over a week and you had better not try to post anything the powers that be don’t approve of.
That certainly does not bode well for the folks who are making the point that Lewis is probably guilty of falsifying the paperwork necessary to qualify for this election. The party that made a huge deal out of a clerical error by another candidate will undoubtedly fail to recognize or take action against this latest fraud perpetrate by one of their favored candidates. We haven’t heard about an emergency meeting of the party to address this issue similar to the one they had to address the clerical error.
Also suspect is the fact that WCIV waited until the run-off to release this information. Maybe they think they are helping the Democrat candidate Anthony Smalls. There is just one problem with that. We have scoured the local Berkeley County news sources and social media feeds for information regarding debates or joint meetings with both candidates present. It seems none have been scheduled, yet the election is only a couple of weeks away. Why do you think that is?
Well, you can blame it on typical Berkeley County shenanigans. Anthony Smalls is a great guy, but he also values his job at BCSO. We all know what would happen if he were to actively campaign against Lewis and lose. Smalls would subsequently lose his job. Heck, we wouldn’t be surprised if he has already been offered a promotion to stand down since the results of the election are already a foregone conclusion in the minds of many. We all know the folks in Berkeley County won’t elect a Democrat as sheriff. Especially not a black one.
Duane Lewis keeps saying he wants to restore public trust and integrity at BCSO. He should probably start by addressing this issue of his fraudulent degree and producing transcripts and details of the classes he claims he took. He won’t do that. He will continue to send his spokesman out to deflect attention from the issue by invoking the case of attempted murder against Lt. Will Rogers. Now that’s a dirty bastard, right there.
Of course, once Lewis is sworn in we here at CTL will have at least another four years to expose the corruption and mismanagement at the highest levels of BCSO. Things like the recent payment of $800,000 to the family of an inmate who fell while handcuffed and died from a head injury while waiting for medical attention. Or what about the fellow a few months ago who was injured when some pipes fell out of the ceiling of the jail and injured him. You haven’t heard about that because jail personnel moved him to one of those “unused” portions of the jail after he was treated for his injuries. We suppose they assumed by isolating the inmate the story wouldn’t get out. How much is that one going to cost the taxpayers of the State of South Carolina?
Public trust. Ha!