SLED arrests Norway Mayor Jim Preacher - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Warrants: Preacher hired son to position in town's water department

SC Highway Patrol dashcam of Trooper stopping Norway Mayor Jim Preacher. SC Highway Patrol dashcam of Trooper stopping Norway Mayor Jim Preacher.
Jim Preacher Jim Preacher

NORWAY, SC (WIS) – Norway Mayor Jim Preacher has been arrested. SLED agents arrested Preacher Tuesday on charges of impersonating a police officer and misconduct in office.

"They came to the office. I was on my golf cart, coming back from doing some work in town and they said they have two warrants for me," Preacher said.

Arrest warrants allege Preacher had no authority, as mandated by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, to make a traffic stop on a South Carolina Highway Patrolman who had pulled Preacher over minutes before.

Preacher was cited for driving the city's Dodge Charger 70 mph in a 55 mph zone.

After he was given the ticket, the trooper's dash cam video shows Preacher make a U-turn and turn his lights and sirens on to make a stop on the trooper.

Preacher asked the trooper for his license and told the trooper he was interfering with a police officer.

Preacher claims he was serving in his duties as village constable when he stopped the trooper.  He has since resigned his duties as Norway's chief constable.

"He told me that Norway had no police department and I couldn't be the mayor and a police officer," Preacher said.

The state Department of Public Safety launched an investigation into the stop the following day. After reviewing the tapes, DPS turned their investigation over to the State Law Enforcement Division to determine whether Preacher violated state law in stopping the trooper. SLED is also investigating whether Preacher had any police powers, since his law enforcement certification records show that his certification is "inactive" with the academy.

SLED turned its investigation over to the state attorney general's office for an opinion as to whether Preacher has police powers, and the authority to conduct traffic stops. Attorney General Alan Wilson has not issued an opinion.

"Probably some of it is my fault for trying to protect the people that thought they were being robbed. The man had a gun at the store. I think I was duty-bound to do something," Preacher said.

Another arrest warrant says Preacher instructed Norway's town clerk to pay him a salary equal to what the previous Norway police officer was making in addition to his salary as the town's mayor without council approval.

The warrant goes on to say Preacher hired his own son, James Arren Preacher, III, to a position at the town's Water Treatment Department without approval.

Preacher laughed at the charges being brought against him. "I probably shouldn't be talking about this. I just don't think I've done anything wrong," he said.

Preacher was released from jail on $15,000 bond. He maintains his innocence and his job as mayor. He'll be back in court in June.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

sidebar Jim Preacher

Updated:

Read Jim Preacher's ticket here STORIES Mayor steps down as constable after pulling trooper over SCDPS releases video of mayor pulling trooper over Mayor who pulled trooper over not SLED-certified constable Mayor More>>

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters

    APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:12:25 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:53:50 GMT
    Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>
  • USC sophomore defensive back charged with assault, burglary

    USC sophomore defensive back charged with assault, burglary

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:50:30 GMT
    Javon Charleston, a sophomore defensive back for the Gamecocks, has been charged with assault and robbery following an incident involving a 19-year-old female victim in West Columbia on June 17. (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)Javon Charleston, a sophomore defensive back for the Gamecocks, has been charged with assault and robbery following an incident involving a 19-year-old female victim in West Columbia on June 17. (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)
    Javon Charleston, a sophomore defensive back for the Gamecocks, has been charged with assault and robbery following an incident involving a 19-year-old female victim in West Columbia on June 17. (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)Javon Charleston, a sophomore defensive back for the Gamecocks, has been charged with assault and robbery following an incident involving a 19-year-old female victim in West Columbia on June 17. (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)

    A USC football player has been charged with assault and burglary following an incident that occurred at a home in West Columbia on June 17.

    More >>

    A USC football player has been charged with assault and burglary following an incident that occurred at a home in West Columbia on June 17.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT: Temps feel like the triple digits on this first full day of Summer

    FIRST ALERT: Temps feel like the triple digits on this first full day of Summer

    Friday, June 22 2018 4:50 PM EDT2018-06-22 20:50:22 GMT

    Today, a weak system is expected to come through the Midlands. It will bring a better chance of afternoon showers and storms

    More >>

    Today, a weak system is expected to come through the Midlands. It will bring a better chance of afternoon showers and storms

    More >>
Powered by Frankly