ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Norway town councilman who is accused of interfering with the traffic stop of a family member has been suspended by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
Michael Singleton, 42, was arrested on April 9 and charged with hindering/interfering with an officer and stopping/parking in the roadway. He was later indicted by a Grand Jury.
Last week, Gov. McMaster suspended Singleton from his office as a member of the Town Council until the charge is resolved.
According to the arrest warrants, at about 6:30 p.m., an officer was conducting a traffic stop on Harrison Avenue in Norway. The arrest warrant says Singleton "came to the scene of the traffic stop, stopped and parked his vehicle in the roadway and exited his vehicle and attempted to hinder, obstruct, interfer (sic) or prevent the affiant from performing his duty by demanding the officer to tell him what was going on prior to the officer issuing a uniform traffic summons to one of his family members."
The warrant continues: "Defendant stated to the officer that he is the police commissioner along with statements that the officer may want to resign and that he is the officer's boss. Further investigation found that the defendant is not the police commissioner and is believed that he attempted to use his council position for his family's benefit..."
Singleton said his emotions got the best of him, but he said that he's fed up with the Norway Police Department – and said he didn't act that way because a family member was involved. He claims racial profiling as a defense to his actions.
"My intentions were not to use my position as council member," Singleton said. "I'm going to be honest with you, being on council here in Norway absolutely means nothing to me, but the work that I do does."
And he said he'll continue to call out and question the town's officers.
"What I'm concerned about is the way that the police department is harassing and profiling our patrons so that they can have a paycheck," he said.
Singleton faces up to a $3,000 fine and up to three years in prison if convicted.