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Letter to the Editor: John Taylor

John Taylor writes Summerville Patch to defend his May 23 letter.

Several weeks back I forwarded a letter to the editor voicing my concerns with . Upon reviewing several of the letters posted responding to my article and after carefully considering the remarks made I felt compelled to respond in my defense. Especially towards three individuals who posted responses: , & all who appeared to be highly agitated by my letter.

First I would like to say that it was never my intention to insult or offend anyone and if everyone remembers carefully I even asked was I right or wrong in how I felt concerning this matter. However, I do apologize if anyone was offended but I will not retract how I feel about this issue.  It was never my intent nor did I imply that Churches should not involve themselves in political issues, especially if it serves the greater good of the community or God. What I do believe is that no religious organization should be preaching in behalf of one candidate over the other and this is exactly what took place at Cathedral, notonce but twice. I simply feel that all churches should remain neutral when it comes to political candidates and allow the congregation their freedom and right to vote without religious influence, aren't we all God’s children. Simply in my opinion this only demonstrates hatred & discrimination considering that the church should be looking out for all of God’s flock, political candidate or not. I will add that no one would ever be able to convince me that Cathedral does not have some form of political agenda or ambition hiden here.

Second in Mr. Todd's article he would have you believe that I was leading a personal attack against the pastor of these two churches. Well folks nothing could be further from the truth I simply do not feel that church services should be used in order to solicit votes for political candidate’s campaigns.  Nor do I feel that churches should display campaign logos and signs endorsing one candidate over the other. I feel that this implies the wrong message to our younger generation, especially to a world that is so easily influenced by social media today.  Mr. Todd would also like you to believe that Faith Assembly had nothing to do with a the campaign sign on their fence, however, doesn’t the ball field belong to them and wouldn’t someone approved for it to be put up, it certainly was taken down fast enough when it became an issue with its own congregation.

Third I would have to agree with Mr. Todd on one note, even though he is not actually offering advice rather attempting to criticize me, the word, as he refers to it in his article, meaning the word of god, should not be separated from political issues, remember folks not my issue the word to endorse one political candidate over the other is the issue of my concern. I certain have no issue when churches preach on political issues and concerns, especially when so many political issues impact us as a nation. All I can say folks are draw your own conclusion concerning this matter but I will add this. I may not be all that knowledgeable when it comes to the bible; I certainly need to spend more time studying it, I do remember the basics on things such as love thy neighbor, doesn’t mean you have to agree with their politics. My point though shouldn’t the church base its word on that theory and not using the word or allow the word to be used as a political stepping stone.

Fourth and for most what I find insulting is that Mr. Todd would have you believe that I am attempting to get voters to look the other way from the main issue the Sheriff’s Office. I have to say that I am not surprised in the least considering if you look at the bottom of his article where it is printed Mark Todd, Campaign Manager, Mike Turner for Sheriff. Well the real reason for Mr. Todd’s response to my article, it has nothing really to do with the Church & State article at all. However, folks I did write an article concerning the Sheriff’s race bringing to point issues discovered by friends and myself in many of the debates. Issues, which supporters of Mr. Turner used negative campaigning tactics attempting to disgrace the current Sheriff. Tactics that were brought to the public’s attention in all fairness to the current Sheriff, Mr. Knight, this article not mentioned once by Mr. Todd’s in his article.  Funny, well as everyone knows the truth often hurts.  Must have since Mr. Todd fails to mention it or address it since it’s been posted.  Since Mr.  Todd has decided to take this approach lets go there so everyone can know the actual truth supported by documentational facts.

  1. FACT-Mr. Turner was the supervisor over the Detention (Jail) Director who while assigned in his position embezzled  approximatelty half a million dollars from the Sheriff’s Office from the Inmate phone service account, an account where Sheriff Nash negotiated the contract on at least three separate occasions. (A) Question- What type of management practices was Mr. Turner using while this money was being stolen and why wasn’t this issue spotted by him since he managed this individual, which was discovered and revealed by an audit, requested by outside sources upon money issues becoming questionable? (B) Question-Are these the same management and accountability practices Mr. Turner will use if elected as Sheriff? 
  2. FACT-Mr. Turner earns his Master Degree, a great accomplishment for Mr. Turner, from the American InterContinental University, a school which was under investigation, not to mention placed under probation, by the United States Inspector General of the US Education Department for allegations of questionable earned college credit hours where diplomas were issued. Where during his enrollment these matters were already in the open and several law suits were already in the process and pending against the school. (A) Question-Can we expect that Mr. Turner will conduct business without checking out his resources creditability and reputation before he commits to any decisions at the tax payers expense? (B) Question-Are we to expect unlawful searches and seizures and violations of our constitutional rights by his newly appointed deputies because like him they failed to completely check out their sources creditability?
  3. FACT-Mr. Turner comes under fire by the local media for having in his possession a County owned & issued firearm which he takes with him upon leaving the Sheriff’s Office. He indicates that he was given the weapon as a retirement gift from the Sheriff’s Office and when he is requested to return it because the gift was not authorized he lawyers up, don’t remember him every being accused of a crime, guilty consciences I suppose. (A) Question-Is this what the Tax Payers can expect from Mr. Turner, if elected, when comes to the accountability of the Tax Payers money and Sheriff’s Office Property, lawyer up?

Folks I beg of you don’t believe me do your own homework the proof is there as well as documentation supporting the aforementioned facts that I mentioned above. Can we as citizens and tax payers of Dorchester County tolerate another administration who fails to be accountable for their actions not to mention poor management of our tax dollars?For as far as Mr. Walker is concerned it is clearly obvious that you wrote your article sir without knowing the details for which you referred to. Mr. Walker, if he even exists since I couldn’t find any public record of him in Dorchester Co through the internet, should have taken his own advice before he took paper and pen in hand and started writing without having all the details.

Mr. Walker if you would have checked your facts, which you clearly didn’t since the incident you referred to is public record, you would have noticed that a prisoner in the back of the patrol car was slapped but never beaten. You criticize the current Sheriff for rehiring the individual, but there hasn’t been another issue since, wonder why maybe the subject whom you implied was brutally beat and wasn’t involved provoking circumstances which may have brought on the slap, not justifying the issue because it was certainly wrong. However, deputies are people too and capable of making mistakes? How many years has this Deputy been on the job, many to my understanding, and is this the only reported incident, to my understanding it is? In my opinion the Deputy should have gotten consideration for all his years of service with only one incident. Can I say as a citizen or can anyone else for that matter say they wouldn’t slap someone for spitting in their face, making threatened comments towards their family or even someone threatening to have a person’s spouse in a violent way, quite frankly no I can’t say I wouldn’t. Personally I am surprised that Officers don’t slap people more often and feel they show great restraint in their profession.

I can certainly agree with Mr. Walker on one thing folks do your research he speaks of crime statistics and not feeling safe, I suppose he is living in his house never leaving surrounded by bars which you place on your house for safety. I can say that in Dorchester Co. that I feel safe and feel that the Sheriff’s Office does their job proficiently considering the limited resources they are afforded, accompanied by the fallen economy and budgetary cuts. And remember ladies & gentlemen many city limits such as N. Charleston, Summerville, Ridgeville, Harleyville & St. George are within the county of Dorchester and their crime statistics are often credited towards the county as well since these cities, who have their own governing bodies and law enforcement departments , make many arrest themselves. 

Ms. Carman I apologize if you misunderstood my article concerning Church and State tithing has nothing to do with tax exemptions of which I speak of. You may need to research Federal Law concerning this to get a better understanding. I will have to question your story concerning your factual knowledge of a deputy who watched a drunkard inter their vehicle at a family reunion and did nothing as the drunkard drove away. I find that very hard to believe that any officer would watch a drunkard drive away and take no action because he was told not to make any arrest during the reunion, something I certainly won’t believe.  How can that Officer sleep at night knowing he let a drunkard drive and in my opinion criminal on his part to say the least? One thing I do know folks, legally no one not even the Sheriff can tell a sworn officer who or who not to arrest. If this Officer Ms. Carman refers to failed to take measure based on what someone told him then he failed to comply with his oath as a law enforcement officer. I would certainly not allow anyone that I observed to be intoxicated to drive a vehicle, as citizen or officer. Let me guess he/she was afraid of losing their job, what a crock that is. If that was the case then why didn’t the officer stop the individual and find him/her a ride or call them a taxi or even provide them a ride themselves. I feel that there is no merit to Ms. Carman’s story at all. Why didn’t she provide her facts which she mentioned in her article, she said she knew for a fact, how she apparently wasn’t there so where are her facts coming from the deputy who took no action.

Folks I am calling it a day and will leave you with this if I were you do your homework and do not take my word, which by the way did you notice that no one in Mr. Turners corner who produced letters to the editor suggested to the readers that they do their homework, other than Mr. Walker, who only suggest you look into crime statistics never the man himself. Don’t you feel that’s odd, if Mr. Turner is so fantastic why don’t they refer people to do there own research. I can tell one thing more Mr. Todd, Mr. Walker and Ms. Carman are right about one issue, I am supporting Mr. Knight for Sheriff, see folks I have already did my homework. It your choice folk as the old times always say the truth will set you free.

John Taylor

To submit a letter to the editor, email lindsay.street@patch.com.

C. Walker June 10, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Please take the time to read my letter to editor again, I never said Mr. Smith ‘brutally' beat the handcuffed prisoner, you did. I said he beat a handcuffed man and I stand by what I said. The definition of beat is to strike violently or forcefully and repeatedly. your research has misguided you yet again. Mr. Smith reportedly slapped the prisoner while handcuffed before he was transported to the jail; he slapped him again at the jail and again in the back seat of a patrol car. That is what I got off of the public record. This certainly falls under the definition of beating. Deputies are people too, you are right about that. But he was a Law Enforcement Officer when he put on that badge that morning before he went to work, therefore he should have controlled himself no matter what the prisoner said to him. If you cannot control yourself because someone says something threatening to you, then you do not deserve to pin that badge on every morning. Which, by the way, nowhere in the documents I have found does it say the prisoner was yelling, making threats and spitting in Mr. Smith’s face. Everything I have found says the prisoner was not talking at all, words from Mr. Smith himself. I do not care if this man has not had an incident since then. YES, I criticized the Sheriff for hiring Mr. Smith, and I stand by that as well. Why would the Sheriff put the lives of the citizens in danger by hiring that man in the first place? Period!
C. Walker June 10, 2012 at 07:14 PM
It would appear that you are not okay with one person letting another person get in a car and drive drunk, something I completely agree with by the way, so kudos to you, but you are okay with deputies in your words slapping people that are handcuffed because, hey, they are people too. If one day you are ever handcuffed, and an officer slaps you around; I wonder if you will still agree with your previous statements about this issue. I never suggested only looking into crime statistics. Again, Mr. Taylor you brought up crime statistics and the 11% drop in crime throughout the entire state. I only pointed out that Mr. Knight does not have that much control. Then I showed examples of the crime rate that is directly related to Dorchester County. I want people to look into the man himself, I want them to look into his decisions while in office, I want them to look into Mr. Knight’s budget, I want them to look into his past, I want voters to compare and contrast Mr. Turner vs Mr. Knight, so they have a clear understanding before voting. Please research the information, please ask the questions! Again, Mr. Taylor, read my letter, I never said I do not feel safe. I certainly know how to protect myself, my family and my home. Of course you feel safe in this county, if you are on the right side of Mr. Knight, which clearly you are, then you have nothing to worry about. Talk to the people who openly oppose Mr. Knight and see if they feel the same as you do about their safety.
C. Walker June 10, 2012 at 07:15 PM
And finally, “Mr. Taylor”, as far as my existence goes, it would appear you and I have something in common. Allow me to take you on a quick history lesson. Benjamin Franklin wrote letters to a newspaper as a middle-aged widow using the name Silence Dogwood. Mark Twain’s real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Samuel’s experiences fighting during the Civil War helped him come up with the pen name Mark Twain. My point is “Mr. Taylor”, a person in my position, a person with the vantage point I have, freedom of speech is not always free. It is apparent that you cannot change my opinion anymore than I can change yours. You will never convince me that Mr. Knight is a man to be respected, a man with integrity, honor and morals; and you certainly will never convince me to vote for him. However, you will never stop me from telling the truth about Mr. Knight and his actions as long as he is in office. With that said “Mr. Taylor”, I will see you at the polls.

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