Darlington City Council votes to turn over personnel matter involving councilmember to city attorney

Darlington City Council votes to turn over personnel matter involving councilmember to city attorney

DARLINGTON, S.C. (WMBF) – The Darlington City Council has called a special meeting to discuss a personnel matter involving a city councilmember and the Darlington Police Department.

The meeting started at 6 p.m. with councilmembers going into executive session for two hours. The meeting was at the Harmon Baldwin Recreation Center to allow more space for social distancing. WMBF News reporter Cameron Crowe said that every seat in the center is filled.

The city of Darlington was unable to provide many other details about the meeting.

But the meeting comes more than a month after an incident involving councilwoman Sheila Bacuss.

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According to a police report, the incident stemmed from an improperly parked SUV on Oak Street, which led to an officer placing a parking ticket on the vehicle.

The police chief said the vehicle was operated by Baccus.

Authorities said it led to an exchange of words between the officer and Bacuss in which she claims she was being harassed.

When the officer told Bacuss to take up any problems with the chief of police, he claims she replied with a racial statement.

Once councilmembers emerged from executive session they filed a motion to have the personnel matter turned over to the city attorney and the city attorney would then write a letter to Gov. Henry McMaster and the State Ethics Commission who will review the incident.

The only two who voted against the motion were Bacuss and councilwoman Elaine Reed.

Mayor Curtis Boyd explained that this was the avenue they took because they have no right to be able to remove someone from office.

Boyd added that he supports the police officer and that the officer is by the book and did everything he was supposed to do.

Reed also spoke during the public portion of the meeting and said that Bacuss is a good councilwoman and leader to the community, but she also praised the police officer for his service. She said that this is an issue of two people just not coming together and understanding each other.

WMBF News reporter Cameron Crowe is inside the meeting and will have a full report on what city leaders discuss on WMBF News at 11 p.m.

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