Former North Police chief says new mayor is a "dictator" - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Former North Police chief says new mayor is a "dictator"

After serving 14 years as the police chief for the Town of North, Mark Fallaw called it quits. 

Resigning on December 1st, Fallaw says he refused work with new mayor, Patty Carson. He claims she implemented procedures that didn't comply with town and state laws.

"Taking away from the budget, that authority with the police chief," Fallaw said. " All incoming and outgoing correspondence had to be improved by her before we were able to send it. That also included e-mails."

Fallaw says Mayor Carson issued a gag order on the department, restricting officers from speaking to the media.

"We couldn't release anything, we couldn't release press releases, couldn't do anything without her approval," Fallaw said. "A lot of people have asked me how would I describe her management style and I would say dictator. She wants unlimited power to do what she wants."

Fallaw says he believes Carson is angry with him about disagreement that took place in 2010 when she was on the town council.

He says Carson submitted a freedom of information act requesting the police department's phone records.

"The request would've cost us $700," he said.

Fallaw says he did not provide Carson with the police records.

"She's being vindictive," Fallaw said. 

WIS asked Mayor Carson about Fallaw's claims and she said "no comment" to each question, declining an on-camera interview.

Only one police officer worked under Fallaw. Anthony Blanchard joined the force in 2008. He too resigned December 1st. In his resignation letter he stated he chose to follow in the steps of Fallaw. County deputies are now patrolling the area where nearly 800 people live.

"It's scary because if something happens who are we going to call," Michelle Seckel said. "If we do call the Sheriff's we still gotta wait 15, 20 minutes before they come, that' something for the town to think about."

The county administrator says this change could affect the budget in the long run.

"It causes us to have to start using man power and other things in addition that causes overtime issues for the county," said Harold Young.

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