By Betsy Finklea
Judge Paul Burch has ordered County Council Chairman Macio Williamson into Court on September 21st.
The order came after Judge Paul Burch read and considered an affidavit for a rule to show cause in Dillon County, a body politic and corporate by and through its members of County Council, Macio Williamson, Et. Al. vs. John Doe, a citizen of Dillon County.
The order was signed on August 24th by Judge Burch and filed with the Clerk of Court’s office on August 26th.
The order states that Williamson shall appear in the Dillon County Court of Common Pleas at the Dillon County Courthouse on September 21st at 10 a.m. “to show cause, if any you can why you should not be held in Contempt of Court for violating the Order of this Court dated June 1, 2010.”
In his order in June, Judge Burch stated “That the Dillon County Council members are jointly and severally enjoined from dealing directly with county employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the Dillon County Administrator and they are Ordered to comply with Section 4-9-660 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. Council Members shall deal with County Employees only through the Administrator except for the purposes of inquires and investigations. These inquires and investigations must be approved by a majority of Council in advance of the inquiry or investigation. County employee personnel issues shall be handled through the County Administrator and in accordance with the County’s established personnel policies. Any violation of this Section 4-9-660 of the South Carolina Code of Laws and of this provision of this Order may lead to severe fine or jail time for those Council Members who violate this provision.”
The letter following sent from County Administrator David Mobley to Judge Mackie Hayes accompanied the order along the with following affidavit.
The letter sent on August 13, 2010 to Chief Magistrate Mackie Hayes, Dillon County Magistrate Court, reads as follows:
Dear Judge Hayes:
I have today received a phone call from Dillon County Council Chairman Macio Williamson and have been directed to inform you, and I quote:
“If you don’t hire an African-American to fill the vacant position at the Dillon County Magistrate’s Office, that I the Chairman of the Dillon County Council will cut this position from the Dillon County Magistrate’s Office Budget.”
In addition, he directed me to further inform you that “Mackie Hayes is not going to push me or County Council around.”
Therefore, I am conveying this message to you as directed.
David D. Mobley, Jr.
There was also an affidavit. Since Hayes is the affiant in the affidavit his name is used instead of the word affiant as listed in the affidavit to create an easier understanding. The affidavit reads as follows:
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF DILLON
“Personally appeared before me Mackie D. Hayes, who upon being duly sworn, states:
“That Hayes is the duly appointed Chief Magistrate for Dillon County, SC; that as Chief Magistrate Hayes is in charge of the personnel who work in the Dillon County Magistrate’s office, which includes the responsibility of hiring and firing employees who work in the Dillon County Magistrate’s office; (See SC Code Section 4-930 (7) and Attorney General’s Opinion dates August 8, 1991) that recently one of the employees who had worked in the Dillon County Magistrate’s office for a number or years resigned to take another job; that Hayes began the process to hire a replacement for that employee; that the employee who resigned was an African-American; that the employee Hayes decided to hire is white; that on August 5, 2010 at approximately 1:30 p.m. Hayes received a phone call from an employee in the County Administrator’s office stating that Macio Williamson, Chairman of the Dillon County Council wished to speak with Hayes and she redirected his phone call to Hayes’ phone; that Chairman Williamson stated to Hayes that Dillon County was 49% black and that Hayes was going to hire a black person in Hayes’ office and that if Hayes did not do so that he would cut the position from the budget; Hayes told Chairman Williamson that I had been to the Administrator’s office and followed his direction in hiring a new employee; Hayes further stated to Chairman that the revenues in the Magistrate’s office had increased since Hayes became the Chief Magistrate; Chairman Williamson stated that that did not matter and he would cut the budget if I did not hire a black person; Hayes told Chairman Williamson to take his best shot and Chairman hung up; that shortly after this conversation Hayes was contacted by the Dillon County Administrator who requested that Hayes go to his office; Hayes went to the Administrator’s office; that the Administrator informed Hayes that the Administrator was in charge of hiring and firing of employees in the Magistrate’s office; that Hayes told the Administrator that was not correct; Hayes inquired if the new hire would be able to come in to work and the Administrator stated that he did not know; that on August 11, 2010, Magistrate Judge Rogers was requested to appear before County Council to discuss the situation with the new hire; that Hayes was not present at that meeting which was held in Executive Session by Council and does not know the substance of the meeting; that Hayes returned to the Administrator’s office on August 12, 2010 and inquired as to why Judge Rogers was asked to appear before Council and not Hayes; that the Administrator replied that Chairman Williamson had summoned Judge Rogers to appear; that the Administrator stated that Attorney Shine was also present at the meeting and had informed Council that Hayes had the authority to hire and fire employees in the Magistrate’s office; that the Administrator further stated that Chairman Williamson was having a lot of input on this position; that on Friday, August 13, 2010, Hayes went to the Administrator’s office again and met with the Administrator and the County Attorney regarding this matter; that Hayes stated that the new hire would be coming to work on Monday, August 16, 2010; that Hayes was asked to produce the Attorney General’s Opinion regarding employees in the Magistrate’s office; that later on the same day Hayes met with Attorney Shine and Attorney McMillan and presented the Attorney General’s Opinion and was told that the matter had been researched and that Hayes was correct; that later on Friday, August 13, 2010, Hayes received a letter from the County Administrator stating that Chairman Williamson had contacted him again and went on to state what Chairman Williamson said; that a copy of this letter is attached to this Affidavit; that Hayes believes that Chairman Williamson has no authority to threaten or intimidate Hayes in the hiring of employees in the Dillon County Magistrate’s Office. This affidavit consisting of two typewritten pages is signed this the 19th day of August, 2010.”
Mackie D. Hayes
Sworn to this the 19th day of August, 2010
Charles E. Curry
Notary Public for South Carolina