Obama’s free cellphone scam…..
Swinney’s traffic stop video…..
PICKENS, S.C. —A police officer who was terminated after issuing a speeding ticket to Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney says that the excuse used for his firing was a “red herring” and the mayor’s anger over the ticket led to his wrongful termination.
Officer Michael McClatchy and his attorney held a news conference Thursday morning. McClatchy read a detailed account of what he says happened on Sept. 14 and in the aftermath of the traffic stop.
Records show that Swinney was clocked going 63 mph in a 35 mph zone on Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. on the way to his radio call-in show. He was cited for speeding.
McClatchy said he reduced Swinney’s ticket to four points and a $185 fine, down from a six-point ticket with a $445 fine.
McClatchy said Chief Rodney Gregory later reduced the ticket further to an $81.50 fine, and two points on Swinney’s license.
Gregory said that McClatchy behaved professionally during the stop, but that he was terminated because he used a department computer on Sept. 14 to detail his version of what happened during the stop and posted it on a website.
At Thursday’s news conference, McClatchy said he pulled over the Ford F150 driven by Dabo Swinney in the parking lot of the BI-LO store on Highway 8 in Pickens.
McClatchy said after he pulled the truck over, the coach and his brother, Tracy Swinney, got out of the truck. McClatchy said Tracy Swinney told him that he was a retired police officer from Alabama and asked if he would take that into consideration.
The officer said he made several requests for the brothers to get back into the truck, but they refused to do so.
“Just to clarify, I did not call the Manager of Bi-Lo or any police officer or the Chief of Police on the evening of the traffic stop.
The manager of Bi-Lo called me to inform me of the chaos being caused at Bi-Lo related to the incident. I did not call him. I did ask to speak to the officer involved and when I was informed he was unable to come to the phone, I spoke with the other officer involved at the scene. I told them to continue doing their job and follow the proper procedures because there were a lot of people watching. I never said anything regarding how the ticket should be handled that day or at any time after the traffic stop. The next day, after reviewing the video, I even told Chief Gregory to commend the officers on their professional handling of the situation. I also told Mr. McClatchy personally that he did a great job and that I had seen the video and he handled himself very professionally.
“I took no part in the decision to terminate him and did not even know until later that day.”
“The City of Pickens did not terminate Mr. McClatchy for conduct related to the issuance of the citation. His conduct during the traffic stop was professional and he followed all appropriate procedures.
“Mr. McClatchy was terminated for engaging in private activity on company time on company equipment in addition to violating several general orders. It is important to note that Mr. McClatchy spent an hour and a half during his police shift at the police station ‘editing’ his blog post.
“The City has policies in place where employees who believe they are wrongfully disciplined or terminated may grieve to the Department Head, the Administrator, and finally, the City Council. Mr. McClatchy never made any request to grieve either of his two previous disciplinary warnings or this final action. Instead he has chosen a different route.
“If necessary, the City is fully prepared to defend our decision. However, we will do so in a more proper setting, such as a court room where these matters belong.”