New sheriff re-hires deputy fired for political reasons - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

New sheriff re-hires deputy fired for political reasons

Tick Wilson Tick Wilson
Jim Miller Jim Miller

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email

CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - A former Kershaw County deputy who was fired for supporting his boss' opponent now has his job back.

Tick Wilson and Jim Miller both had ties to new Sheriff Jim Matthews, and were fired in June after former Sheriff Steve McCaskill found out. McCaskill had been an open supporter of Matthews' opponent.

Wilson said he was fired over voicemail. "I guess I didn't support the guy they wanted me to," he said in June.

Since then, we've learned the county has paid both deputies money as a direct results of their terminations.

The men didn't want to get into detail about the money they were awarded, but they did want to talk about Jim Matthews, who took office Tuesday as the men both looked on.

A family man who adopted two of his children from the Department of Social Services, Wilson says its been a tough few months for his crew after he and Miller were fired in June.

New Sheriff Jim Matthews says McCaskill fired the two men because they supported Matthews. "Like I told you before, politics is a funny animal," said Wilson.

After being fired, Miller decided his work was done. Wilson picked up a job as an officer in McBee, all the while hoping to get his old job back.

Matthews told him work had to be done first. "I remember one day he talked to me and said if I didn't lose some weight, pass the P.T. then I wasn't gonna have a job," said Wilson.

So Wilson started working out. He lost 47 pounds and picked up a new job. "Right now I'm employed with Kershaw County Sheriff's Office and I will be handling warrants for Sheriff Matthews again," said Wilson. "I'm excited, glad to get back out there serve the public."

Miller and Wilson both say sticking to their guns paid off, and in different ways, the man they stood for now stands by them.

"I'd do every bit of it the same way," said Miller.

"[Miller] sacrificed his job for me and I'll forever be indebted," said Matthews.

Wilson started his new job in the warrant division on Tuesday. Miller says he is enjoying retirement, and is concentrating on keeping the trees in his backyard healthy.

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