Matt Edwards threatens suit over Bolchoz Report - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Former W. Columbia major threatens suit over Bolchoz Report

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A former major with the West Columbia Police Department has planed to file a defamation and wrongful termination lawsuit following the release of a report detailing alleged troubles in city government and the police department.

The attorneys for Matt Edwards, a former assistant police chief, says the report from attorney Robert Bolchoz has turned the officer into a "victim of a political battle within his hometown."

That battle has pitted members of City Council against Mayor Joe Owens, the other subject in Bolchoz's report. The report says Owens committed various policy violations, improperly procured tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds, and abused his power. 

Edwards, meanwhile, was accused in the report of "inappropriate activity in regard to personnel, procurement, and law enforcement, in violation of established policy and procedure."

But perhaps one of the most shocking accusations in the report comes from several of Edwards' fellow officers who claim the assistant chief ordered "firing squad" style executions on three dogs.

Edwards is being represented by attorneys from J. Lewis Cromer and Associates, who released a statement on Wednesday in defense of their client.

"Compellingly the report that calls Edwards' integrity into question contains zero reference to the identity of Edwards' apparent accusers and in some instances relies on the second-hand hearsay of those apparently anonymous accusers," said Edwards' attorneys in a statement.

As for Mayor Owens, he has continued to maintain he has done nothing wrong as West Columbia residents prepare to vote on whether or not to give Owens strong mayor powers on Sept. 30.

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